Miss Piggy takes on re­al­ity TV

The kooky and crazy Mup­pets are back on the smallscreen for more laugh­ter and may­hem.

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Af­ter be­ing off TV screens since 1998, The Mup­pets (2015- cur­rent) re­turn and this time Jim Hen­son’s world-fa­mous felt creations have a mod­ern, up­dated look. The new show is filmed in an upbeat mock­u­men­tary style with com­men­tary from the char­ac­ters about their daily lives and their be­hind-the-scenes chal­lenges while making the fic­tional late-night talk­show Up Late With Miss Piggy. Think The Of­fice (2005-2013) meets Mod­ern Fam­ily (2009- cur­rent), but with pup­pets and jokes for the en­tire fam­ily.

THE BIG BREAK-UP

There’s even a sto­ry­line. Says ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Bill Prady, “What we really want to do is tell peo­ple sto­ries. We want to talk about what it’s like to be at work with some­body where the sit­u­a­tion is a lit­tle rough. We want to tell re­la­tion­ship sto­ries with The Mup­pets.”

And as re­la­tion­ships go, they don’t come big­ger than Miss Piggy and Ker­mit (voiced by Eric Ja­cob­son and Steve Whit­mire) who’ve bro­ken up. The once-in­sep­a­ra­ble couple have called it quits af­ter 40 years to­gether – well, Ker­mit did the dump­ing, leav­ing high-main­te­nance diva Miss Piggy heart-bro­ken as we see in episode 1. While Miss Piggy’s sin­gle, seems that Ker­mit’s got a thing for pigs as he’s now dat­ing new char­ac­ter Denise (Ju­lianne Buescher), who’s the head of mar­ket­ing for net­work ABC. With Ker­mit be­ing the ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of Up Late With Miss Piggy, things are awk­ward and tense (but hi­lar­i­ously so) at the of­fice.

A-LIST GUEST STARS

The show has roped in some fa­mous guests – in the first two episodes alone there’s mu­si­cian Josh Groban, for­mer talk­show heavy­weight Jay Leno and ac­tors Lau-rence Fish­burne (Hannibal’s Jack Craw­ford from 2013-2015) and El­iz­a­beth Banks in a hi­lar­i­ous homage to her fa­mous roles on Hunger Games (2012- cur­rent) as Effie Trin­ket and Pitch Per­fect (2012 and 2015) as Gail Aber­nathy-McK-ad­den – watch for her to feud with Miss Piggy in the first episode.

Plus, play­ing them­selves, are the likes of Os­car win­ner Reese Wither­spoon and film star Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games movies), who helps Up Late With Miss Piggy head­writer Gonzo (Dave Goelz) try on­line dat­ing in episode 5 (30 De­cem­ber).

NO STRINGS AT­TACHED

But the show’s real stars aren’t the guests – it’s the Mup­pets them­selves, char­ac­ters who’ve been around in some cases since the ’50s. Along with Ker­mit and Miss Piggy, there’s show an­nouncer Fozzie Bear (voiced by Eric Ja­cob­son) who meets his hu­man girl­friend Becky’s (Riki Lind­home) par­ents for the first time in episode 1, staff writer Rizzo The Rat (Steve Whit­mire), stage man­ager Bobo The Bear (Bill Bar­retta), re­cep­tion­ist Big Mean Carl (Bill Bar­retta), au­di­ence heck­lers Statler and Wal­dorf (Steve Whit­mire and Dave Goelz) and loads more. Says Bill, “The per­cep­tion of the Mup­pets has changed and the en­vi­ron­ment has changed. The abil­ity to bring th­ese char­ac­ters to a mod­ern world is re­mark­able.” And funny too, Bill – don’t forget funny…

From left: Gonzo, Miss Piggy,

Ker­mit and Fozzie Bear.

Rizzo The Rat.

Liam Hemsworth.

Reese Wither­spoon.

Lau­rence Fish­burne.

Big Mean

Carl.

Ker­mit’s new babe Denise.

Becky.

Jay Leno.

Josh Groban.

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