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Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by dwmckim, Feb 18, 2016.
I will get to it! Don't rush me!
The Simpsons was trying to do what only The Flintstones and Bullwinkle did before it. But they really weren't sure of their own audience at the time. Was it for kids, was it for adults, was it for both? They didn't even have Hank Azaria as a main cast member yet. Heck, Moe and Mr. Burns were originally the guy who played Cobra Commander! Plus, well...the animation was goofy and the background characters didn't start looking professional until midway through the second season. But hey, that's what a first season does. Futurama was advertised in Nickelodeon magazine and even they didn't know how adult to make the series until a couple episodes in.
I actually was psyched for it until I heard "from the creators of Glee." Then I threw my arms in the air and said "nuh uh!" and didn't bother. I find Glee to be overrated and only respect it as a counterpoint to the even more obnoxious High School Musicals (though they at least gave us Ashley Tisdale who was far better in Phineas and Ferb among others). Plus, I still hate what they did to Rocky Horror Picture Show (the new remake couldn't possibly be any worse by comparison) and the fact the actor on the show that was nominated for a "Best Actor in a Comedy" Emmy was the character who was never seen smiling or saying anything remotely comedic, managing to make a comedy ghetto out of a comedy award (but he didn't win it, so that's something). Oh, and "The New Normal." Yeah. Just straight up plagiarize your own darn characters for that lame series. You're clearly Osamu Tetzuka and can get away with it.
Sorry... I haaaaate Glee. And that's one of the points I like to bring up. it was popular when it first began and couldn't keep up its quality and popularity in subsequent seasons until even the most die hard fan didn't shed a tear when it finally got axed. Same deal with Heroes. When a show starts off popular, it's a double edged sword. It can't keep it up.
Now, it's not that I mind Scream Queens getting renewed, but it wasn't exactly a ratings darling either. It probably has a cult following and got a ton of online views, but the TV ratings weren't great. And frankly, if it was on the same network or had the same cult love, I'd see The Muppets getting renewed even if it was to save face. And I really hope that's at least in consideration.
A lot of shows that struggled in their first seasons (some of which were even on the verge of cancelation) ended up going on to become some of the most long-running and culturally significant shows in TV history, including M*A*S*H (11 seasons, 1972-1983), CHEERS (11 seasons, 1982-1993), and SEINFELD (9 seasons, 1989-1998). Then there's the odd case of THE ODD COUPLE, which literally got canceled every year due to poor ratings during the initial run, but those ratings would pick up enough during the summer reruns that the network would renew it - and that literally happened every year the whole time it was on the air. Heck, executives were sure I LOVE LUCY would flop in the beginning, mostly because they didn't like the idea of Lucy being married to Desi on screen as well and figured his Cuban accent would be hard for people to understand and they wouldn't watch, and that became television's first successful and enduring sitcom and made both Lucy and Desi television powerhouses.
I haven't seen the show, I'm just saying it was a huge flop in the ratings, and it was supposed to be a big hit.
I feel the retooling was pointless, and was unneccesary sucking up to the people who hated the show, because it ruined their childhood or something, and they weren't going to come back anyways. Also, the show hit it's stride by "Pig's in a Blackout", so why did we need to change the show, the unnecesary long break also destroyed it's already modest ratings to flop territory, so I really wish they changed, they co would have given the show maybe 18 episodes aired from January to March, and if the ratings were okay renewed it for a season 2 and then if they wanted it to change then they could have retooled it.
Yeah. I own the first season on DVD and there's a marked difference the further along the show went. And now - actually decades ago - it surpassed the Flintstones as the longest running prime time animated series.
Don't forget that the creators of Glee also created American Horror Story and American Crime Story, both of which are now Emmy and Golden Globe winners AND do very well in the ratings. There were episodes of Glee that I thought were done well, but yeah, I'm a little old to be watching High School Musical the series.
You're right with the double-edged sword - as D'Snowth pointed out, many of our classic television shows that went on to break records, weren't considered great hits until much later. My roommate is a huge M*A*S*H fan and even he admitted that the first season wasn't great; I think what turned the show was the death of Henry Blake, which was a first in TV really.
Lucy & Desi are a great example, especially seeing as they went on to not only create two spin offs of their show (which were also long running), but created a mega studio that produced hit shows like I Love Lucy, the Danny THomas Show, the Untouchables, and something called Star Trek.
And part of the problem too, as with a lot of shows in their earlier seasons, is that network scrutiny was so heavy - the network wanted to make sure people watching knew M*A*S*H was a sitcom, while the producers and writers wanted the show to have a level of seriousness from the get-go, which is why the earlier seasons were much more lighthearted and silly at times. That, and the producers admitted they had way too many minor/recurring characters the first season and got rid of just about all of them but Klinger and Father Mulcahy - both of whom ended up becoming regulars.
I saw a show Desi had produced a while back called THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW, which lasted only a couple of seasons . . . it was an interesting concept, and I think it could have worked, but admittedly, it was already a formulaic show to begin with, so I can see why it didn't last too long. That, and because it had the same writers from I LOVE LUCY, it was essentially as if Fred and Ethel had a daughter who married Little Ricky and Lucy and Ethel are always meddling in their lives and annoying Ricky and Fred in the process -- that's the best way I can describe the show and it's characters (though just to throw this out, TMS guest Kaye Ballard was one of the mothers-in-law). Also, even though it came out in the 60s, when single camera laugh track sitcoms were still prelevant, THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW was a multi camera audience sitcom, so it felt out of place for that period, despite that's the filming setup that Desi pioneered for I LOVE LUCY - it just didn't catch on again until the 70s.
A lot of what the retool was supposed to be about was stuff they were doing all along by the time it went on hiatus. I liked the idea of the branding guru, but I don't think it was used properly. I'd mind the forced break up of Kermit and Denise a lot more if this show was guaranteed a second season, but if this is the only season we get, at least we won't be left hanging. And the introduction of more musical numbers and sketches (something they had been trying to do since the episode with Reese Witherspoon) was a strong improvement that even those who liked the show as is were wanting. I felt that since the Witherspoon ep, the show was solidly improving with only the Chelsea Handler episode being an unfortunate setback (but still better than episodes before Pigs in a Blackout). I like the idea of a Muppet actually dating a human celebrity, especially one that isn't a main 5 character, but it was done better with Bobo in MT. Plus, not a fan of Chelsea. The Muppets have swooned over lousy guests in the past, though.
My concern is that telegraphing the "reboot" and giving that so much press also kinda hurt them. It all but said that they know the show wasn't working, and I doubt it was going to be anything more than a laughing stock after that. And "Hiatus" was a strong word since all it meant was a normal, seasonal break.
At the risk of giving this show excuses, I'm sure the primary coverage did kind of hack into the audience. ABC hasn't had a strong Tuesday since the primaries started, not even with moderately successful SHIELD. I'd say that's a factor, even if a small one.
So looking at the primetime schedule from fall 2015, I agree with the poster who noted that putting the Muppets on Tuesdays is a horrible slot and really was doomed to fail - it's up against three top shows - NCIS, The Voice, and The Flash and it doesn't have a good lead in at all.
IF there's a season 2, the show has to move to not only a new night, but a new time. I think either Wednesdays or Fridays would be the better choice; the Muppets would make a better lead in to Modern Fam on Wednesday and would do far better against Survivor than the Voice and NCIS; Fridays it would do, I think well between Last Man Standing and Shark Tank.
Here's another thought - Sunday nights. As it looked in 2015 (and probably still is), it looks like ABC (and most primetime) are all dramas, with Madam Secretary, The Good Wife, and CSI: Some Different Edition on CBS. However, the Muppets could do decent after OUAT, which IS labeled as a family show and would be perfect in getting families to watch and would put together it's Disney lineup.
Slight downside is it would be up against Family Guy, depending on ratings, that might be the only thing that could hold against FG and FG is not a family show in any means. AND if Seth McFarlane is trying to get FG to die a worthy death, having it slip against the Muppets could work.
I also think a better caliber of guests would be helpful. TBH, the guests so far have been, well adult guest stars, as in most adults know who they are or enjoy their humor (like Key & Peele), but kids don't (maybe Liam Hemsworth, but only if they love Hunger Games and don't think of him as Thor's brother); I am of course not at all saying we need to get some Disney kid in there, but to my knowledge, all of the guests have never worked with the Muppets before; maybe we need to cross promote from Sesame Street or the movies?
Tina Fey, NPH (whose Neil's Puppet Dreams are hysterical), Whoopi (OMG, why has Whoopi not been on this show!? The View is even ON ABC!) Ellen (I know, Count, you object, but some of us like Ellen ) ABC has a plethora of stars that could and should be utilized on the show.
IMHO, I don't think ABC gave the show the love it should have; it started out well, with the ComiCon panel and the YouTube videos, even the breakup heard round the world, but as someone who gets the scope about shows from the Internets, I literally only know about things because of this forum. Even the promos for the next episode I can only see here, as a Google search turns up nothing.
I can literally look up "OUAT 5x14" an hour after the previous episode premiere and I'll have several different videos to choose from, with ABC's own promo at the top of the pile, along with promos for their other shows. Except the Muppets. Even Hulu clips don't show (and troubling, the show also never appears in Hulu's popular show list or trending list, OR popular episodes).
Whoopi, unfortunately, isn't a big draw anymore like she was 20 years ago when she used to be an A-lister, despite her long history with both the Classic Muppets and SST. And please, no more NPH - enough of him, please.
Um, no way Muppets, a show that flopped is suddenly moving to Wednesdays before Modern Family, The Goldbergs does double the ratings I'm sorry but that's not possible. Wednesdays at 9:30 if ABC is willing to give it a second chance is a good slot, maybe Blackish moves to Tuesdays, and Muppets airs 13 episodes after Modern Family, and see how the ratings go.
That's because OUAT is a drama, and a promo for the next episode airs after the episode finishes, and Muppets got tons of love from the network until it flopped after the retooling.
The Mothers In-Law is so bad. I saw a few episodes when they were on MeTV two years ago and I was astonished it even lasted one season, let alone two. Apparently there were a lot of backstage issues with the cast which led to one of the husbands getting dumped in between seasons.
Yeah, I believe one of the husbands was a druggie off camera, and it lead to him being replaced by the guy who played Fred Rutherford on LEAVE IT TO BEAVER ("Ward, ol' boy!") and Mel Cooley on THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. Like I said, really, my main problem with the show was it had a formulaic premise from the get-go, and because Desi had the same writers, it felt like watching I LOVE LUCY with different actors in all of the roles. I'll tell ya what, the one thing I found interesting about the show? All of the characters were Danzas to their actors.
That's pretty amazing, would they really repeat episodes of cancelled shows, times sure have changed, the execs just won't let a show find it's footing.
Well remember, back then, networks actually gave shows a chance in the beginning: they'd typically air the entire season and wait to see by the end of the season if the numbers/ratings were good enough to warrant renewing for another season. As opposed to today, where if networks feel a show isn't getting strong enough numbers, they'll go ahead and yank it off the air after like two episodes.
Okay so I thought The Muppets being renewed was a longshot when it aired it's finale, but now really ABC. Fresh off the Boat, The Real O' Neals, Once Upon a Time, Marvel's Agents of Shield, and Quantico all hit basically the same numbers give or take a tenth, and almost all those shows got renewed, and all those shows are likely going to sink below Muppet numbers, seriously ABC please just give The Muppets a renewal.
The Muppets really has to be renewed, It would be a crime against humanity if they weren't.
It would be great if they announced a Season 2 pick-up today, so the reaction would be half wondering if it's a cruel April Fools Day joke. It would feel somewhat muppety to me that if there is a Season 2, they'd announce it today
Yeah, same. It would be really great to see the show get a second season - especially as it will give many of the minor characters a chance to gain some personality and recognition from the mainstream public.
I thought about that, but changed my mind.
I had a few things in mind for an April Fools Thread for the second season. In fact, long before I knew that the first season would just have 16 episodes and end before this day, I had some plans for later in the season, if not the season finale. I wanted to say that Frank Oz was going to guest star in the season finale. I also considered saying that Frank Oz was announced to direct and perform in six episodes, alternating with Eric Jacobson on select characters. On a similar note, I wanted to say that both Kevin Clash and Joey Mazzarino have joined the show as well.
But I decided not to make that among my April Fools threads for this year.
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