The Muppets are coming back to television this fall on ABC. But before the network was willing to commit to the new series, show runners Bill Prady, Bob Kushell and Randall Einhorn were given just one month to put together a pilot presentation. The 10-minute pitch video aired during Comic-Con on July 11th, receiving standing ovation from a crowd known for staying in its seats. After weeks of fans’ clamoring, ABC finally acquiesced and released the video online.
The pilot sets the groundwork for what will become ABC’s The Muppets, in which the old gang gets back together to put on Up Late with Miss Piggy, a fictional talk show airing after Jimmy Kimmel Live. Kermit is the show-running executive producer; Fozzie is the Chuy to Piggy’s Chelsea Handler; Gonzo, Pepe, and Rizzo make up the writers’ room; Scooter coordinates talent; Sam Eagle heads broadcast standards; Bobo the bear is stage manager; and craft services is of course run by Swedish Chef. The cast and crew spend their after hours across the street from the studio at Rowlf’s piano bar.
As Prady explained it to the Comic-Con crowd, “The trick of the show, if it works, is to show the Muppets in our world. There’s no barrier between the world they’re in and the world we’re in.”
Shot in hand-held documentary style a lá The Office, the show delves into the Muppets’ personal lives for a more “adult-themed” program. Guests in the pilot include Elizabeth Banks and Topher Grace, amongst many others. Watch it below now: