It seemed like a sure thing. People like Muppets, right? It had a great nerdy lead-out in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Muppets themselves have a long history of fan service and fun that should have made it appointment television weekly. So why did it fail? Why did it fold after one season? How can you screw up a slam dunk like The Muppets? Easy, according to Frank Oz, if you don’t respect the material, or the people that deliver it, that’s how you fail. At least that’s the assessment Oz has to offer, and he should know because he’s been a Muppet!
Well, not literally. But Oz has done the voice for, and performed characters like Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle, and Animal, he’s even directed Muppets in The Muppets Take Manhattan, so he’s about as close to an expert you can get sans the late, great Jim Henson himself. In a new interview with Variety, Oz said he gave up on ABC‘s The Muppets in the first 15 minutes, and it’s because the trust between the writers and the performers wasn’t there.
“My brothers, my sisters, were in there [as the puppeteers],” said Oz. “They did the very best they could. But essentially, they were working with scripts that other people wrote. They had to do it the way it was. If it was given more air and they trusted the performers, as we had air, it would have come alive more. Those abilities, to riff and be smart enough, weren’t appreciated.”
On top of that, Oz says the Muppets magic wasn’t there. Perhaps understandable given the fact that the characters aren’t played by their originators anymore, but Oz seems to imply that some of that had to do with format as well. “I felt the show wasn’t true to the characters,” he said. “There was a purity in each character that was vital. I felt that purity was being moved around to areas that didn’t feel right.”
It seems that the TV watching public agreed.
Source: Cinema Blend