|Writer||Bill Prady and Bob Kushell|
|Guests||Elizabeth Banks and Topher Grace|
|Production||The week of April 12, 2015|
|Premiere||July 11, 2015 (Comic-Con)|
July 21, 2015 (YouTube)
In Spring 2015, it was first reported that ABC was developing a pilot presentation for a new television series featuring the Muppets under the working-title "Muppets 2015". Descriptions of the pilot presentation stated that "The Muppets excitedly gather at ABC for a meeting about the new Muppet Show. However, the show will not move forward unless Miss Piggy signs on." Early sources said the concept for the presentation pilot also features turmoil in Piggy and Kermit's relationship and includes plans for celebrity cameos — including Miss Piggy's current co-star and Fozzie's girlfriend and her parents. It was also reported that the project would be a "more adult Muppet show, for kids of all ages."
According to an early project description from ABC:
- Subverting the expectations of reality TV, this mockumentary looks at the day to day lives of the Muppets and the mayhem that ensues as they try to get a new network series up and running. Mixing the Muppets’ signature brand of nonsense with the hilarity of shows like The Comeback and Curb Your Enthusiasm, this series finally answers the question, "What happens when the Muppets go home?"
On April 2, 2015, the news broke that Randall Einhorn would direct the pilot which was written by Bill Prady and Bob Kushell. Prady had produced a similar 'mockumentary' pilot presentation with the Muppets in 2007 which was not picked up.
The presentation pilot filmed the week of April 12, 2015 on the Disney lot in Burbank, CA, and featured celebrity cameos from Elizabeth Banks and Topher Grace (which were removed from the iTunes version).
On July 21, 2015, the entirety of the pilot presentation was posted on YouTube. It was removed from YouTube after the series premiered.
- Elizabeth Banks as herself
- Topher Grace as himself
- Margo Harshman as Becky
- Jere Burns as Carl, Becky's father
- Meagen Fay as Holly, Becky's mother
- Joel Steingold as director
- Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Rowlf the Dog, Sam the Eagle, Scooter, Denise, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Animal, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, The Swedish Chef, Chip, Uncle Deadly, Statler and Waldorf, The Newsman, Pepe the King Prawn
- Walter, penguins, Crazy Harry, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Lew Zealand, Big Mean Carl, Behemoth, Sweetums, Zoot, Pops, Beautiful Day Monster, Satay, Rizzo the Rat, Thingy-Thing, Wayne and Wanda, Angel Marie, Vegetables, Bobo the Bear, Robin the Frog, Beauregard
Many of the jokes and one-liners from the presentation pilot were later re-used in the actual series itself:
- The gag with Bunsen tasering Beaker to get everyone's attention (and saying it's safe because he's wearing protective gloves) was recycled in "Pig Girls Don't Cry."
- Gonzo's aside about hating/loving the one-on-one interviews was reused in "Pig Girls Don't Cry."
- After introducing his relationship to Denise in "Pig Girls Don't Cry", Kermit reuses the line "What can I say? I'm attracted to pigs."
- Kermit's line his life is "a bacon-wrapped hell on earth" was reused in "Pig Girls Don't Cry." Sam Eagle walks by and comments that he "can't say hell."
- Fozzie's response that bears pooping in the woods "is an offensive stereotype!" is recycled in "Pig Girls Don't Cry."
- Kermit's original joke about the band being happy "legally" now was recycled and said by Scooter in "Hostile Makeover."
- The gag with Rowlf's post-surgical cone to prevent him from biting the stitches off was used upon his introduction in "Bear Left Then Bear Write."
- The Swedish Chef's "Swedish Sushi" was re-used in "Pig Out."
Behind the Scenes
- Variety - ABC Eyes ‘Muppet Show’ Reboot
- Variety - ABC Eyes ‘Muppet Show’ Reboot
- Muppets scoop: ABC revival to explore their personal lives in 'more adult' show
- ABC All Access - "Muppets" - Show Info
- @ProdWeek on Twitter. April 2, 2015
- Hollywood Reporter: 'Muppets' Revived at ABC With 'Big Bang Theory' Co-Creator
- The Muppets Revival Is Happening and Here’s the First Photo by James Hibberd and Natalie Abrams / Entertainment Weekly