ABC has cancelled comedy series “The Muppets.” The show will not be picked up for a second season.
The decision to pull the plug on the show came after a midseason show runner change failed to turn around disappointing ratings. The show underperformed following a massive marketing campaign around its launch. Critics derided the series as not family-friendly enough and out of step with the history of the characters, created by the late Jim Henson.
“The Muppets” started hot as might be expected but had a quick fade, finishing with a 1.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 5 million viewers overall in Nielsen’s “live plus-7” estimates. ABC has been faring a little better of late in its Tuesday timeslot with “The Real O’Neals.”
Still, ABC had until recently been leaning toward a renewal for the series based in part on the franchise’s overall value to corporate parent the Walt Disney Co.
Bill Prady and Bob Kushell served as the original showrunners for the series, but Kushell departed in November amid reports of clashes with Prady. Kristin Newman was then brought in to take over as showrunner for the ABC Studios show.
The cancellation came amid a flurry of programming activity for ABC. The network on Thursday renewed fellow freshman comedy “The Real O’Neals” and gave series orders to two new comedies, “Downward Dog” and “Second Fattest Housewife,” with the latter set for a title change.