I was devastated when I read the news on Thursday: The Muppets won’t be returning to ABC for a second season.
Sure, the ratings were in the crapper. And it wasn’t the best iteration of The Muppets. But it still doesn’t seem right that we’re losing them so soon. No matter how much money it was or wasn’t making, it was The Muppets, and I feel like the show deserved another season to find its voice and footing.
Of course, we’re not actually losing the Muppets. A quick walk around Hollywood Studios proves it: There are construction walls up all over the back half of the Park, and they’re very clearly refurbishing everything but Muppet Vision 3D and the Muppet Courtyard. And the Stage One store is once-again stocking oodles of Muppets merch and playing songs from the Muppet Babies soundtrack. And a CM, who spoke confidentially, promised me that the Muppets aren’t leaving Hollywood Studios.
So I take some comfort in that, and in the fact that the classic Muppets humor is still celebrated in the Parks, especially in these Muppety construction signs:
And these hilarious NY-style Post No Bills riffs:
And with all of the construction going on in the old Pizza Planet building … maybe we’re getting a Swedish Chef Smorgasbord? And maybe they’ll serve Aunt Amy’s Custard Pie and Doc’s French Fried Frog Legs. (These are some classic Muppet jokes, people).
So. Yea. I am bummed that the Muppets won’t be on television anymore. But I don’t really believe that they’re gone for good. The property is too quirky, too rich and too beloved to stay gone for too long. And even if the only Muppet love we get is in the Parks, for now, I can live with that.
Because ultimately, I think this “failure” is a very necessary lesson that the modern Disney Company needed to learn. Next time they think about bringing the Muppets back to the screen (big or small) , maybe they’ll make sure that they have a solid plan in place first. I’m sure it’s nearly impossibly hard to blend smart, funny satire with childish slapstick and just the right amount of warmth, but that’s what the Muppets are and that’s what people want and expect from them. (And don’t look to creatives from ratings-losers like Galavant or least-common-denominator sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory to get you there …)
On the bright side, at least there’s no more Denise. Or weird jokes about Scooter’s mom. Or Lew Zealand (fuck that guy).
How do you feel about the cancellation of the Muppets? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!