The Muppets are as beloved a cultural institution as exists in this cold, cruel world of ours. And after spending much of the first decade of this century languishing with TV movie adaptations of other properties, a pair of well-received theatrical features has helped return Kermit, Fozzie, and Miss Piggy to something resembling their past glory.
The next step in the Muppets’ return to form, of course, is a return to television. Since the franchise was purchased by Disney in 2004, the approach to restoring the Muppets has been slow and careful, and the first trailer for ABC’s The Muppets looks like the culmination of that plan. The two-and-a-half-minute video captures a very distinct tone and feel for the show, which appears to be something halfway between The Muppet Show and The Office–there are pretty funny gags about faux-documentary cutaways and revelations about the cast’s relationships. The premise seems to be similar to the premise of the past two Muppet movies: that the Muppets are some of the world’s most beloved entertainers (duh) and they’re putting on a show. It’s a good hook to build some meta-comedy around, and it’s safe to expect that The Muppets will be a smart lead-in to ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat on Tuesday nights. Of course, it’s also expected that Statler and Waldorf will still absolutely hate it.