It’s official: The Muppets are returning to television.
ABC announced its upcoming 2015-2016 slate of programming this week, and the schedule includes a new, weekly series featuring Kermit the Frog and the rest of The Muppets. The network debuted the first trailer for the series as part of its programming announcement.
Described as a “contemporary, documentary-style show,” this iteration of The Muppets appears to borrow liberally from the format of popular series like The Office and Modern Family with a mix of sitcom comedy and single-camera elements, and an affinity for breaking the fourth wall.
“For the first time ever, a series will explore the Muppets’ personal lives and relationships, both at home and at work, as well as romances, breakups, achievements, disappointments, wants and desires,” reads the synopsis for the series. “This is a more adult Muppet show, for ‘kids’ of all ages.”
The series will be co-written and executive-produced by Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory) and Bob Kushell (Anger Management), and produced by ABC Studios and The Muppets Studio. Prady in particular has some history with The Muppets and Jim Henson’s creations, having worked as a writer on the original Fraggle Rock series back in 1987. He later earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for his work on the 1990 television special The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson and has worked on several shorts and special productions featuring Kermit and The Muppets over the years.
The Muppets will be the first television series to feature Kermit and the gang since Muppets Tonight ended its two-season run on ABC in 1998. Previously, The Muppet Show ran for five, critically praised seasons in syndication on U.S. networks, earning 21 Primetime Emmy nominations and winning the 1978 Emmy for “Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Series.”
The new series is just the latest example of the renaissance The Muppets have experienced in recent years, with the 2011 film The Muppets winning over critics and audiences alike and putting Jim Henson’s creations back in the mainstream spotlight. While the 2014 sequel Muppets Most Wanted earned a more modest return at the box office, it earned similarly rave reviews from critics.
ABC has scheduled The Muppets to air Tuesday nights at 8pm ET. The premiere date hasn’t been announced yet.
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