It’s time to play the music. It’s time to light the lights. And it’s time for a grown-up reboot of The Muppet Show to get a series order at ABC!
The Muppets will officially return to prime time with a contemporary, documentary-style show (first photo above). For the first time ever, the series will explore the Muppets’ personal lives and relationships, both at home and at work, as well as romances, break-ups, achievements, disappointments, wants and desires—a more adult Muppet show, for kids of all ages. The recent pilot presentation, we’re told, received a standing ovation when it screened for ABC executives a couple weeks ago. Bill Prady and Bob Kushell are co-writers and executive producers alongside Randall Einhorn and Bill Barretta.
The news comes on the heels of ABC ordering six dramas, including Shonda Rhimes’ The Catch, Don Johnson’s untitled oil boom project, biblical saga Of Kings and Prophets, FBI thriller Quantico, anthology series Wicked City and the Joan Allen-starring project The Family. ABC also renewed many of its current shows, while canceling three dramas.
Other ABC comedy prospects Dr. Ken and The Real O’Neals also scored series pick-ups late Thursday.
Dr. Ken stars Community star Ken Jeong as Dr. Ken, a brilliant physician with no bedside manner. He is always trying to be a good doctor, as well as a good husband and dad to his two kids. However, these good intentions have a way of driving everyone crazy at both work and at home. Luckily, his therapist wife Allison is just the right partner to keep things sane. Jeong, Jared Stern and Mike O’Connell penned the comedy and will executive-produce with John Davis, John Fox and Mike Sikowitz.
The Real O’Neals is a contemporary take on a seemingly perfect Catholic family, whose lives take an unexpected turn when surprising truths are revealed. Instead of ruining their family, the honesty triggers a new, messier chapter where everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real. David Windsor and Casey Johnson wrote the pilot and will executive-produce with Brian Pines, Dan McDermott and Dan Savage. Martha Plimpton, Jay R. Ferguson, Noah Galvin, Matthew Shively, Bebe Wood and Mary Hollis Inboden star.
The news comes on the heels of ABC ordering six dramas, including Shonda Rhimes’ The Catch, Don Johnson’s untitled oil boom project, biblical saga Of Kings and Prophets, FBI thriller Quantico, anthology series Wicked City and the Joan Allen-starring project The Family.
More to come: We’re in the thick of a frantic annual three-day period of TV broadcasters making big decisions, so expect more series orders today—and perhaps some verdicts on existing shows as well. Follow @jameshibberd and @natalieabrams for up-to-the-minute details.