What the Kermit/Miss Piggy Breakup Means for ‘The Muppets’ on ABC

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As many of you now know, love is dead.

This has been a particularly rough summer for couples who once thought their mortal commitments would last forever. Jennifer and Ben are on the outs, Blake and Miranda will never duet again, and Gwen and Gavin prove that the number 13 truly is unlucky. Now word from the Hollywood streets is that the reliably on-again off-again pair, Kermit and Miss Piggy, are — again — off.

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In a post to his official Facebook page, the Man in Green opened the door on reasons for the split:

After careful thought, thoughtful consideration and considerable squabbling, Miss Piggy made the difficult decision to terminate our romantic relationship. We will continue to work together on television (“The Muppets”/Tuesdays 8pm this fall on ABC) and in all media now known or hereafter devised, in perpetuity, throughout the universe. However, our personal lives are now distinct and separate, and we will be seeing other people, pigs, frogs, et al. This is our only comment on this private matter. Thank you for your understanding.

But, you might ask what this has to do with the debut season of their new ABC show THE MUPPETS. Luckily, the couple are able to work side-by-side on Miss Piggy’s new late night show, while allowing the cameras behind-the-scenes access to the process of putting together a talk show. If you think 30 ROCK was an enticing look, just you wait for the Muppet treatment.

This does beg the question as to whether or not Piggy and Kermit can work together on the daily. According to Executive Producer Bob Kushell, separating the tumultuous couple presents the perfect opportunity to document their possible reunion during the first season on THE MUPPETS.

“We wanted to do something special that the audience hadn’t seen before,” says Kushell. “We could really tap into their emotions. Over the many years The Muppets have become directed specifically toward children and I think we’re trying to bring it back — not to something that you can’t watch with your children but also to something that [adults] can watch on their own.”

“The pilot for THE MUPPET SHOW was called Sex and Drugs with The Muppets,” continues Kushell, “and just knowing the stories from Bill [Prady, Co-Creator] I think we are successfully going back to that.”

THE MUPPETS shoots documentary style, which gives the audience the chance to see our favorite characters awkwardly dance around their personal and professional lives.

“In every episode you’ll see snippets of ‘Up Late with Miss Piggy,'” adds Kushell. “Think ‘The Larry Sanders Show.’ It was behind the scenes at ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ and occasionally you’d see bands playing, but while the bands were playing things were happening in the background. And you’ll catch them with the documentary camera.”

In the end, working with the Muppets has its own freedoms that other shows don’t get off the bat.

“It’s really a balancing act,” says Kushell. “Bill and I want to hold true what people know about these characters and yet, at the same time, we don’t want to bore them with the same thing they’ve seen before over the last sixty years. It’s the 60th anniversary of The Muppets this year and we want to give them something new and special. Not just rely on their character or their archtype of what they are, but go deeper and learn new things about them week to week.”

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