Picked up to series after a short pilot presentation and rushed to a fall premiere, The Muppets reboot started the season as the biggest can’t-miss of the freshman class after earning a rare standing ovation at San Diego Comic-Con. What happened since was the stuff of TV legend.
Co-created by Bill Prady — who started his career under Jim Henson on The Muppets — and comedy veteran Bob Kushell, ABC’s Kermit and Piggy break-up marketing campaign went viral as the network focused much of its fall budget on promoting the return of a TV favorite with a new and edgy show-within-a-show concept.
Once ABC’s highest hope, the series crashed and burned faster than Fozzie can tell a corny joke.
The series premiere surprised ratings watchers when it topped Fox’s heavily promoted Ryan Murphy anthology Scream Queensin head-to-head competition despite a wave of lackluster reviews.
Subsequent episodes stumbled creatively as critics continued to take issue with the show’s depressing stories.
Picked up for only three additional episodes, co-creator Kushell was forced out and Galavant‘s Kristin Newman was tapped as showrunner in a bid to salvage the series and retool The Muppets reboot. Vowing to bring back classic sketches and old favorites, the show returned after the holiday break to a string of series lows.
The Muppets finished its freshman season with a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.3 million total viewers.
The Muppets joins other series to get the ax at ABC on Thursday including Castle, Nashville and Agent Carter.