Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Scooter and the gang are all back with not one show but two. Of course, one of those shows is The Muppets that debuts on ABC on September 22. The other show is the show within a show that sees Piggy as the host of an ABC late-night program on after Jimmy Kimmel – with ex-boyfriend Kermit as the executive producer. Unfortunately, as my video review above says, the return of the iconic puppets to the small screen slumps where it should soar with the fun never really arriving.

Deadline Review Badge Dominic PattenIn trying to update the variety show format and vaudeville theatre of The Muppet Show that ran on TV decades ago, the new Muppets shows way too many of its strings. What little drama can be milked from the tension between Kermit and Miss Piggy — both with new partners, so to speak — is exhausted quickly.

Like the old Muppets, the new Muppets has seemingly the entire gang back and a few new additions. Like the old Muppets, the new Muppets has guest stars on the show within the show. However, where the Debbie Harrys and John Denver got in there amid the Jim Henson created-puppets, the likes of a very game Elizabeth Banks and Josh Groban are little more than warm props. And the appearance of Dancing With The Stars host Tom Bergeron on the highly hyped series produced by Bill Prady and Bob Kushel is just heavy-handed cross-promotion.

With too many elements of the mockdocu style from The Office and the backstage chaos that Aaron Sorkin’s short-lived Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip unsuccessfully tried to pull off, The Muppets feels like a collection of missed opportunities – or, to quote the show, “prison sushi.”

Take a look at my video review and tell us what you think. Will you be reliving a part of your childhood on September 22?