ABC’s upcoming Muppets series is called, very simply, The Muppets. Perhaps such a straightforward title is the result of this iteration not feeling like it needs to give the famous felt puppets an outlandish locational gimmick — there’s no Treasure Island, no Space — given that they already have the gimmick of being famous felt puppets. Rather, as the first ongoing Muppet series since 1996’s Muppets Tonight, it focuses more on their day-to-day lives, and a series of new promos showcases the minor dramas they face.
The breakup of Kermit and Miss Piggy, for example, which NPR announced with the headline “love is dead,” showed that the Muppets trust their audiences enough — and that audiences care about the Muppets enough — to let their personal hardships take center stage. While the appeal here might be slightly bolstered by the presence of celebrities in each of the promos, the stars are interacting with the Muppets very much within the realm of real(ish… sort of), adult(ish… sort of) experience.
Kerry Washington poses with Kermit and Miss Piggy, but when the photoshoot deteriorates due to bubbling disdain between the felted ex-lovers, she tries to use selfies to change Kermit’s mood. Patricia Heaton, meanwhile, questions the incomprehensible Swedish Chef about organics, and Nathan Fillion’s butt distracts Miss Piggy.
The known premise of the series is that it does take place at the ABC studio, where Miss Piggy hosts a talk show. It premieres September 22.
Watch the promos (via EW):