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ABC officially cancels "The Muppets"

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by JimAndFrank, May 12, 2016.

  1. jobi71

    jobi71 Active Member

    I apologize in advance for what I assume will be a lengthy and rambling comment. I have read through the pages of comments and some posters I want to hug, some I want to chide, some I want to correct and some I know are right even if I wish they were not.

    A few bold statements first. The Muppets was cancelled for two main reasons. ABC was clearing house with its change in hierarchy. This happens from time to time and some good shows go down with the bad. The Muppets cost more than a typical half hour sit-com. Like twice as much. Sometimes more. So it's ratings may have been better than Dr. Ken, but the return on investment was less.

    Is this the last we will see of the Muppets on a regular show on broadcast TV? Probably. But and it is a big BUT broadcast TV is going the same way as the phonograph. Five years minimum. Ten years maximum. Unless they change FCC rules your broadcast TV will consist of one channel for local news, weather, children's programming (a Federal requirement), local chat shows, and reruns and movies. It will be all moving to digital.

    Since I bulk read all the comments I apologize for not attributing thoughts and ideas to the original posters. Someone mentioned the ABC/ESPN connection. ESPN lost a lot a LOT of money last year. Online subscriptions took a chunk of their audience. So yes, ABC needs to balance that loss. It is show "business". On the other hand Disney (as a company - not the man) is a master of synergy, cross promotion and making money by offering and with holding content. Who else remembers their commercials of DVD's of Cinderella etc. with the tagline "They go back in the vault for 50 years."? They know how to drum up interest.

    The one commenter I will mention is JimandFrank who has posted very positive ways to look at this setback. And while his/her ideas will not (by his/her admission) bring the show back it will keep the Muppets at least in the corner of the eye of our online friends. Which I think is important. Because it is all going online soon. YouTube, Hulu, Netflix etc. That's where shows will grow and flourish. And if our sharing The Rhyming Song on Facebook has no effect whatsoever in how/when/why the Muppets reappear I will continue to post it every three months. (Please all stop watching and watch the video).

    Are the Muppets done for? Depends how you define done. Broadcast TV? Yes. Feature film? 97.6 yes. Elsewhere? 100% no. Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Bergeron all love the Muppets. I bet they would include them every chance they could. So I expect them to make the rounds. As bittersweet as it may be imagine Pepe explaining to the View how they were cancelled and how all 80,000 of his children will have no provider.

    You Tube. You tube was the channel invented for the Muppets. They have so much possibility here that I won't even go into specifics. But keep in mind Pigs in Space is coming no matter what ABC did.

    And my final (I hope not condescending) comment is for the younger visitors to this board. I saw some posts while reading and they were raw, angry and a bit uninformed of how the business of show works. I was all set to respond when a few posts later they said and I am paraphrasing I am just very upset right now. I could understand where the anger came from. Another poster who was very upset mentioned their age and I realized I am 3X their age. On the one hand congratulations, Mr. Henson. You have all generations as fans. And on the other don't worry younger fans, the Muppets come back in one way or another.

    Boy, don't I have a lot to say about a bunch of puppets?
     
  2. ploobis

    ploobis Well-Known Member

    Now that the show is cancelled, do any of you think that Chip will still be with the Muppet gang for future projects?

    I can definitely see Uncle Deadly and Yolanda still with the gang, but I hope Chip will still be there to. I know some people think of Chip as being too weird and creepy, but I think he's a hilarious character. I just love what Dave Goelz did with him in the series!

    I'm not too sure about us seeing Denise again. Doesn't look like that character was going anywhere, no offense to Julianne Buescher of course.

    I know that the Muppets are not gone for good, they'll be back! and hey, maybe we'll see Walter back with the gang in the next Muppet production! :fanatic:
     
  3. cahuenga

    cahuenga Active Member

    I think its time for Frank Oz to direct the next Muppet movie, and in my opinion, Walter shouldn´t be in it, Walter is a character movie, like clueless Morgan or Polly, they should remain there. I hope they release the Pigs in space videos anytime soon...
     
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  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    Those who refused to give the show a chance and said nothing but terrible things sank the show. While there were legitimate complaints, I can't stress enough that it was the first season of a show. First episode of a first season. I'm absolutely furious at those people because no matter how much we want to say "ABC is the devil" and "Disney never cared about the Muppets." The obnoxious casual fanbase that hasn't seen a Muppet project since maybe MCC when they were 8 got so disgusted that Disney didn't dare stroke their inner child by giving the audience something that is both a new concept for Muppets and something that fits on TV currently. But they weren't singing Mahnah Mahna with Elmo, so the nostalgia crybabies ruined the show for everyone else. And they couldn't be bothered when the show directly pandered to them. Granted, the show did get better when they pandered, but again...first season. Can anyone really tell me that Seinfeld wouldn't have sucked if the show was constantly the same quality as the first season? If that happened, we'd be seeing Friends be the "greatest sitcom of all time."

    And how freaking accurate was I? Hasbeen 90's TV sitcom star? Oh BOY Am I right about that. I was wrong about it being someone from Friends, though. Probably have something awful with Deborah Messing planned as well. While I did grow to enjoy Real O'Neals, I hope this rancid piece of garbage fails spectacularly.

    And I'd just like to reiterate, the show may not have been perfect, but it was trying. I try not to have a huge bug up my butt about things like this, but I kinda have a thing about media desperately trying to be something and falling short getting worse reception than something that's flat out terrible. Everyone has (at least) that one good movie they don't like because one or more of the concepts falls flat, yet loves a movie that's in every term possible absolutely idiotic. I'm not talking about that. What I am talking about is how there's pretty much a huge overlap in a Venn Diagram of those who thought this show was terrible, but tune into ABC's highly intelligent thinkpieces like "The Bachelor," "Shark Tank," and "America's Funniest Home Videos" which is still a thing despite the internet. I fail to see how The Muppets is the low quality show when a bunch of secretaries guzzle wine while watching pathetic bimbos who desperately want to be on television fight over some equally braindead hunk of meat who desperately wants to be on television. And the sad thing is, that show was on its way out years ago. Family Guy made reference to "what used to be a hit show" back when it was uncancelled. That was well over 10 years ago. But they pimped it out mercilessly on The View, and it became their staple. If this was the discriminating audience that made hits of actual quality shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men (among others), I would at least shrug and say "it wasn't meant to be." But we're talking about an audience that loves cheap garbage and watches reality TV to see people fail. Muppets noting that sex exists in their universe? Yuck! Send the Christian Right protestors in! Backstabbing, cheating, lying, and generally showing the worst in humanity for an audience of slack jawed yokels to laugh at? Wholesome, Quality entertainment.

    Here's the thing with me. I've been following these guys since I was a kid, and I've seen all the ups and downs and downer downs and huge periods of nothing followed by optimism, followed by that one crap project that sinks the franchise. If they can make the Muppets survive as a webshow, all right. I'll check that out gladly. If the best we can do is wait years for a minor, crummy, gimmicky project where some B to D list celebrity takes the lead role and the Muppets are relegated to barely being there, count me the heck out. I'm not feigning interest in "Muppets A Tale of Two Cities" or "It's yet another Muppet Christmas" anymore. MMW was exciting, but the general public either sat it out, waited for it to hit phones, or saw that overrated tweenpocalypse film instead (which, hilariously, the last chapter was a bomb, so HA HA to that). TM was exciting but the general audience has no time for a show to develop past the first episode. I certainly don't want to go back to being uber excited about appearances on grody talk shows or guest cameos in awful specials. I've had enough of the "Good Day Live" and "The Jessica and Nick Variety Show" and especially garbage reality competition appearances.

    I'm not saying personally that I'm cutting the Muppets out of my life. They remain a huge influence in (small personal rant) my not at all going anywhere cartooning career. I have very fond memories, but frankly, as soon as the show was in jeopardy halfway through, Sadness touched all my Muppet Memory orbs and made them blue (provided everyone's seen Inside Out and gets the reference). But as a franchise? I'm totally goatally over it. I might check out the YT videos if they ever happen, but other than that, I'm not going to be in my mid-40's, early 50's holding out hope that we'll see an actual project in 10-20 years. Not so much breaking up with the characters, but frankly, I've had my 3 strikes with this franchise. Probably will stick around to put around the General Discussion threads for a while, but I think it's time to put my forum days to an end. This was the last forum I've been in, the one I've been in the longest. I'm not sticking around for "How great was Great Muppet Caper" and "Hypothetical Frank Oz directed movie probably would have been a smash hit" discussions.
     
  5. MikaelaMuppet

    MikaelaMuppet Well-Known Member

    Save The Muppets!
     
    scooterfan360 likes this.
  6. jobi71

    jobi71 Active Member

    I don't see why Chip wouldn't be included. Dave Goelz has commented that he really enjoys the character. I guess it would depend on the form and format of their next project. I would also imagine Walter being around. He's Peter Linz's main character, so unless they really want to boost Droop's participation I imagine Walter is a possibility. Denise I think will be sent to a farm upstate. I doubt they could even redress the character as she was so distinctive. (Although she was in that youtube video where they did the theme a Capella, and I was happy to see her included with the whole gang as opposed to being an "other".
     
  7. scooterfan360

    scooterfan360 Well-Known Member

    well I guess I will look at movies on encore , and continue with my fan fics. I still feel a little awful, about what I said when I was skeptical about the show, I gave it a chance and everything that I said was going to happen, happened. I knew that it was going to happen, when I read the plot in the beginning.
     
  8. jobi71

    jobi71 Active Member

    I don't think you should feel awful or bad for being skeptical or even disliking the show. 98% percent of the "negative" comments here in this forum I believe were from Muppet fans who either believed the show could be better or that it just did not connect with them. My friends on social media were supportive to non-committed on the show. Only two expressed a dislike and I recommended they look at the Mindy Kaling episode and one said "OK I see they are on the right track" and one said "I'll still pass". They did not cancel the show because of comments here. The ratings were just barely good enough to warrant at least a mid-season limited renewal but the cost of the show was high and therefore those ratings were not enough.
     
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  9. scooterfan360

    scooterfan360 Well-Known Member

    oh well, what's done is done.
     
  10. Schfifty

    Schfifty Well-Known Member

    All I can say about this devastating news is that I hope the Muppets can stay relevant, and I hope this doesn't mark the end. Now honestly, I'm not really heartbroken or angry about the cancellation, because I didn't watch the show, and not because I don't care the Muppets anymore. It's very disappointing, but I personally hardly watch television as a whole nowadays, mainly because of how much broadcasting/marketing/promoting has changed in the last few years. Nearly everything's going online or mobile or social now, and I struggle to accept that change.

    Some people here have hit a few nails on the head, including Drtooth and his fantastic comments. I think that definitely the low ratings and the backlash stemming from the tone shift from family-friendly to more adult sitcom-ish were big factors. And to me, this is almost just like the 1990s again with Muppets Tonight. Both shows had short runs and garnered low ratings, which I presume is because they couldn't capture a good enough audience. Maybe people just didn't care about the Muppets being on TV anymore after TMS, which is sad.

    I'll keep my faith in the Muppets, however. I've loved them since I was a little kid, and would absolutely hate to see a wonderful franchise end.
     
    MikaelaMuppet and scooterfan360 like this.
  11. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Ugh, that's basically what we'll be getting for muppet material. Kermit, how are things with Miss Piggy? Wer're not married!, Insert dumb frog pun. Everything was in their cards this time, the critics loved it, it was fresh and apealed to the modern day audience, but no it was too "adult", but I don't hear anyone saying TMM was too adult despite gun violence and Kermit drinking at a bar. If this couldn't work then I don't know what can, they had to jump the gun with the stupid "reboot" just when the show was getting so hilarious and entertainng, we went from Gonzo doing a cannon stunt and Scooter taking charge of the show leading to hilarious muppety mayhem to Miss Piggy whining about how she has no friends, yup great reboot totally worth the 2 month wait. It's sad to see the state of the franchise and how we're basically back in the 2000s again.
     
  12. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    When i initially heard people reporting on "rumors" about Netflix picking it up, i also wanted to know if they were from credible sources or just fans' wishing...after doing some investigating, i do have it on good authority that Netflix (who as you may remember the series was originally being shopped to before ABC scooped it up) are still in the picture.

    I STRONGLY urge anyone who (a) was involved with #RenewTheMuppets (b) is upset about the cancellation news and wants to use that energy to DO something about it and/or (c) cares about the future of the franchise (which should be anyone who frequents these boards!) to Tweet/Email/Call/Write/Etc. Netflix about picking up The Muppets. They need to hear from a healthy number of fans.

    reed.hastings@netflix.com
     
  13. LaRanaRene

    LaRanaRene Well-Known Member

    I don't mean to sound rude, but what investigating did you do to figure that out? I don't want to get my hopes up for nothing again.
     
  14. Reevz1977

    Reevz1977 Well-Known Member

    I'll put a million dollars that we have absolutely nothing to worry about with the future of the Muppets! Though this isn't great news for that series, I'm very(!!!) confident the future's bright!!
     
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    To me, the problem with the 00's is that Henson was completely directionless since the 90's, but things rapidly turned around, if on a smaller scale. Sure, the 90's were actually better than we remember with Disney helping them out. 2 movies and a TV show weren't too shabby. One of those films being the vastly overrated, but much beloved MCC that probably made a crapton of money as VHS and DVD releases. Things fell apart after the Disney deal with Sony, though a LOT of the Muppet show was released on DVD. We all know which movie I'm referring too, and that's the fault of both Henson and Sony, and I swear a certain movie making rule that I swear was the reason Brian couldn't take the project over (please don't make me look it up. I forget the movie and don't want to scour TV Tropes for it). While it took The Muppets'11 to bring the characters back to the big screen, we did get VMX out of it, which was a ratings smash. And a crapload of merchandise that we were actually picky about. Remember when we were really really picky about that stuff? And frankly there was a lot of hope and excitement when they announced a new DTV/Telefilm project and hopes of a new TV show were floating. You know where this is going, because I'm saying it. While dozens of far better scripts were being pitched around (some can be found Here), they picked an obvious concept with a cynical script (hundreds of times more cynical than this show ever could be accused of), and while it was made under Henson and a deal with Fox (explaining why it's basically an 80 minute advertisement for a certain Fox show), Disney released it as their first project. And it was met with bad ratings and lousy reviews. Thus dooming the Muppets at Disney before it started.

    Then they got off their butts, made a Christmas special and then a comic book and things actually started happening. And yes, while the restocking of Muppet merchandise at Disney Stores, the new Diamond action figure Line, and the Muppet Courtyard sounded like good omens, in the end the show was killed by ratings too bad to take a second chance on. Though it's also one of the many things that were sacrificed because of (and forgive my cartoonish language here) *&%^$&*&*%&ing ESPN! I'd understand a simple "the Muppets just didn't get the ratings it should have," but we're talking about 2 Marvel shows (Civil War is on the doorstep of a Billion, BTW), I'm guessing some of their cartoon shows (7D is the latest casualty, but that's on them for the show's poor treatment) and killing the award winning series Disney Infinity as well. They are not screwing around in keeping the share holders happy.

    I really really want to believe this and be optimistic. I did read that fans of the Marvel TV shows want to resurrect Carter and Most Wanted as series. I mean Daredevil and Jessica Jones are supposedly doing well. Frankly if Netflix picks the series up, I'd want to see it just be Late Night with Miss Piggy (could be cheaper that way) so no more of this "raping my childhood" nonsense from the detractors. But frankly, I really think that if Disney really wants to do something with The Muppets again, bring back Muppet Babies as a Disney Jr. show. It can be done. Gone is the unfortunateness of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ruining characters to be Dora clones. Ever see The Lion Guard? It's actually amazing. It's a better Lion King series than Timon and Pumbaa was, and I love Timon and Pumbaa. I can see a high quality Muppet Babies series as well as a line of Muppet Babies baby needs and Preschool friendly toys. The way they treat their preschool programs (except 7D) is something that would be encouraging.
     
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  16. tedbear

    tedbear New Member

    Ah crap. Incredibly late to this but this has brought down what has been a pretty good day for me. In fact, just earlier when I was going shopping, I spotted some muppet plushies in the disney store, and even the second series box set, that made me hopeful for the show getting renewed. Then I come home, and I am greeted with this.
     
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  17. GuySmileyfan

    GuySmileyfan Active Member

    Looks like we'll never see the muppets for a looooooooooong time.
     
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  18. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

  19. JimAndFrank

    JimAndFrank Well-Known Member

    Just to extend my response to this on Twitter:

    Again, I completely agree with you. As much say as the executives and the shareholders have, any future Muppet projects should stay creatively in the hands of those who are constantly there and usually have to deal with the backlash. It's perfectly okay to bring new people in to keep the material fresh, but when you have a franchise with such a dense history, newcomers should be placed in the backseat until they have enough experience with the characters and the people who perform them.

    We're never going to get Frank Oz back, but Dave Goelz and Steve Whitmire aren't going anywhere anytime soon. I'm not sure about Dave, but I know Steve said on ToughPigs that he really doesn't consider himself a writer. Even if that's not an option, why not give him and Dave a lot more creative influence other than the usual collaboration on set or in the writers room. They both have over 30 years experience and from listening to Integral Naked, Steve has done so much of his own research into the Muppets and what makes them sentient characters even though in reality they are not real. Along with Bill Barretta's wonderful directing, Dave's experience and Steve's extended knowledge into the characters, surely something great could come out of it.

    If you include Jim Lewis and Kirk Thatcher, I think something like a TV show could actually work. Yes, bring in the new blood, but gradually and slowly. I could be dead wrong, but this is just my opinion.
     
  20. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    I just don't understand how some Muppet projects work and some are flops and to me there doesn't seem to be much difference between them. Like "The Muppets" Movie and "Muppets Most Wanted". Viewers must be a picky bunch!
    On social media, Kermit seems to be hinting that something is next.
     
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