TV Review: ABC’s ‘The Muppets’

The Muppets return to primetime Tuesday

The Muppets return in this documentary-styled comedy that follows the production of late night talk show ‘Up Late with Miss Piggy,’ which has proven to be a challenge since Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy broke up. ‘The Muppets’ premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

"For now, odds are that affection will tide viewers over when the jokes fall flat or the plots go south. (Fozzie dating is amusing; Fozzie getting star struck, not so much.) But this is a series with a lot of promotional push and expectations. And shows like that generally can't make do on 'pleasant' or 'mildly amusing' for long."
—Robert Bianco, USA Today

“The Kermit/Piggy break-up is an enormous problem, not because their relationship is sacred Henson canon and should never be messed with, but because the separation makes both characters meaner. Piggy's always been abrasive and even cruel, but her feelings for Kermit softened her just enough to make the diva behavior amusing; when she's nice to no one, she's just intolerable(*).”
—Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

"The first two episodes of The Muppets, which has its debut on Tuesday, are sometimes funny and have flashes of the original’s charm. But they also reflect a definition of 'adult' that could stand to grow up."
—James Poniewozik, New York Times

"While the original Muppet Show was filled with slapstick that could easily hold children’s attention, the comedy in this new version is clever but subtle and less broad. (My 5-year-old grew antsy watching The Muppets, but the adults in the house found it to be a hoot.)"
—Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"The bad news about The Muppets is that the show doesn’t hit the ground running—which is understandable for characters whose legs are so rarely visible. In format and logotype, the show mimics The Office, but the NBC sitcom of recent vintage it most readily resembles is 30 Rock."
—Erik Adams, A.V. Club