By W.T. Bane
Not too long ago, I wrote a review of the first episode of the new Muppets show and stated how much I hated it. The new show takes a more “modern and adult” approach to the characters and attempts to portray them as real world beings with real world problems in a late night show. The biggest issue with the new format of the darker, more adultier Muppets is that it feels like any other show on TV but just with puppets. There really is no reason why this show needs the Muppets in it at all as it doesn’t showcase their unique brand of comedy or tone and they can be replaced with normal humans and its just a less funny 30 Rock. It’s pretty bad when Tracy Morgan being Tracy Morgan feels more like something from a Muppet property than the actual new Muppet property. Change in and of itself is not necessarily bad, but when the property is changed so much is doesn’t look or feel anything like the characters that made the property what it is, it loses its magic. Apparently, I’m not alone in my opinion of the new show either. It’s had its fair share of disdain from many fans.
Well, apparently Disney and ABC have been listening. Reports are coming out today that the showrunner, Bob Kushell, is being replaced and the show will be undergoing many changes. The show is now planned to take a hiatus after the tenth episode, and will relaunch in the new year with 6 episodes.
The show launched with impressive ratings with the premiere but the numbers have dwindled week by week. This accompanied with some backstage turmoil between the former showrunner and the executive producer, Bill Prady of Big Bang Theory, could not see eye to eye on the vision of the show has led to a change in direction. Disney invested a lot of money into the brand and no doubt want increasing ratings and reviews and not the current predicament.
When the show returns in the spring, it’s rumored to be given a “soft relaunch.” What exactly this means in not known currently. They could stick with the current format of the behind the scenes of the late night talk show while adjusting the tone to a more traditional format, or they could just adjust it completely to a more traditional Muppet styling of a variety show. Whatever happens, change is expected and there will certainly be pressure from ABC for it to perform.
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