The month of May isn’t just about how many high-profile indie films get sold to the highest bidder. This month is also an important battleground for the television landscape, as the networks get together to decide what gets renewed, what gets canceled, and what gets picked up to series in an annual event called the TV Upfronts.
Yesterday in particular was an eventful day for such occurrences and unfortunately, one such beloved show to our website didn’t make the cut.
As officially confirmed by Deadline and elsewhere, ABC has canceled The Muppets after one season on the air.
While I feel that there will be much speculation as to the root cause of the cancellation, I think it can be cut down to two factors. One, the show just wasn’t getting the traction it needed (or what everyone expected from a property like Muppets). The season finale only drew a sagging 2.7 million viewers, compared to the 9 million viewers it attracted during the season premiere. Two, it was no secret that the show was constantly plagued by a number of creative problems. Those problems were supposedly bad enough to where the show was given a creative ‘reboot’ in order to draw in viewers who wanted to see a more traditional Muppets show. But as the ratings would attest to that simply wasn’t enough.
That being said, The Muppets wasn’t the only show that was run through the chopping block. ABC has enacted a number of cancellations yesterday in order to clean house and make room for other new shows. One of them is the live-action/CGI hybrid comedy that we reported on in October of last year. That show is now titled Imaginary Mary.
A co-production from Sony TV, ABC Studios, and Happy Madison, Imaginary Mary hails from animator and writer/executive producer Patrick Osbourne (Feast) and The Goldbergs team of creator Adam F. Goldberg and executive producer David Guarascio. Both of them are also executive producers on Imaginary Mary with Happy Madison’s Doug Robinson.
The show centers on Alice (Jenna Elfman), an independent career woman who’s life gets thrown for a loop when she falls in love with a divorced man and father of three kids. Things get even more wacky when Mary, a slightly unhinged imaginary friend that Alice created as a child, reappears to help her navigate her transition from single girl to a family person.
Starring in the show alongside Elfman is Stephen Schneider, Nicholas Coombe, Matreya Scarrwener, Erica Trembay, and Ratchel Dratch as the voice of Mary. Mary, the CGI figure in the show, was designed by Osbourne.
After receiving a pilot order last fall, said pilot was re-jigged with a female protagonist (as opposed to the original pitch, which centered on a ‘thirty-something bachelor man’). The project started to gain further traction when the filmed pilot started receiving strong praise from ABC execs, with high marks given for its seamless blend of live-action and CGI. This made Imaginary Mary one of the frontrunners of ABC’s new crop of comedies.
Here’s the short teaser below:
What do you think? Any thoughts on The Muppets‘ cancellation? Are you looking forward to Imaginary Mary?
Edited by: Kelly Conley