ABC Network has a strong history of creating family comedies. The TGIF era of shows are what many of us grew up watching. Friday nights with the Tanners, Steve Urkel and Balki and Cousin Larry made for some great memories. In recent years, they’ve had shows offering nostalgia from the ’60s (“The Wonder Years”) and the ’80s (“The Goldbergs”), as well as giving us families like The Dunphys of “Modern Family”, the Huangs of “Fresh off the Boat” and the Hecks of “The Middle”.
When I heard there was going to be a revival of “The Muppets”, but that it would be completely different from the original, I was optimistic, but suspicious. That is, until I got to San Diego Comic-Con, where the Jim Henson creations had pretty much taken over ABC’s booth.
The new Muppets series is set up more like “Modern Family” in that it breaks the fourth wall by having the characters interact with the camera via short asides, like a documentary. The comedy gives viewers a chance to revisit the characters they loved from the old series and films, but also has a modern take on where they are now and their relationships and spats.
The series will have some very familiar faces, including Topher Grace, Elizabeth Banks and others, but will focus on the stars we love, like Kermit, Gonzo, Fozzy and Piggy. You’ll also recognize The Big Bang Theory’s Bill Prady as one of the show’s writers and “Wilfred” director, Randall Einhorn behind the camera.
The Muppets premieres on ABC Tuesdays this fall, beginning September 22.