The Muppets Mayhem
Genre
Based onCharacters created
by Jim Henson
Developed by
Starring
Music byMick Giacchino
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10
Production
Executive producers
  • Adam F. Goldberg
  • Bill Barretta
  • Michael Bostick
  • Kris Eber
  • David Lightbody
  • Leigh Slaughter
Producer
  • Matt Sohn
Production companies
Original release
NetworkDisney+
ReleaseMay 10, 2023 (2023-05-10)
Related
Muppets Now (2020)

The Muppets Mayhem is a musical comedy featuring the Muppet musical group Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. The series was developed by Adam F. Goldberg, Bill Barretta, and Jeff Yorkes, for ABC Signature and The Muppets Studio. The series stars Lilly Singh, Tahj Mowry, Saara Chaudry, Anders Holm and Muppet performers Barretta, Dave Goelz, Eric Jacobson, Peter Linz, David Rudman, and Matt Vogel. The streaming service Disney+ released all ten episodes of The Muppets Mayhem on May 10, 2023.[1][2] It received generally positive reviews from critics.

In November 2023, it was announced the series was cancelled after one season.[3]

Premise

Junior A&R executive Nora must deal with the madness caused by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, who come face-to-face with the modern musical business as they try to record their first-ever album with which to go platinum.[1]

Cast and characters

Main

Supporting

David Bizzaro and Stephanie D'Abruzzo perform Dr. Teeth's controlling dentist parents, Gerald and Tina Teeth. Other supporting Muppet performers include Jordan Brownlee, Alice Dinnean, Bradley Freeman, Jr., Donna Kimball, Tim Lagasse, Bruce Lanoil, Drew Massey, Sarah Sarang Oh, Michael Oosterom, Nicolettte Santino, Stoph Scheer, Michelan Sisti, Art Vega and Alex Villa.

Guest

Paula Abdul, Steve Aoki, Karamo Brown, Sofia Carson, Charlamagne Tha God, Tommy Chong, Billy Corgan, deadmau5, Desiigner, Morgan Freeman, Susanna Hoffs, Peter Jackson, Kesha, Tommy Lee, Lil Nas X, Cheech Marin, Ziggy Marley, Ryan Seacrest, Kevin Smith, Chris Stapleton, Danny Trejo, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Zedd play themselves. Archival footage is shown from episodes of The Muppet Show featuring Muppet performers Jim Henson as Teeth, Frank Oz as Animal, Jerry Nelson as Floyd and Richard Hunt as Janice, as well as Elton John as himself.

Episodes

No.Title [4]Directed byWritten by [5]Original release date [6]
1"Track 1: Can You Picture That"Matt SohnBill Barretta & Adam F. Goldberg & Jeff YorkesMay 10, 2023 (2023-05-10)
Nora Singh is an assistant at Wax Town Records and is disheartened to learn that her boss is shutting down the company. Going through files while shredding them, she learns that Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem owes the label an album. She convinces the band to come to Los Angeles to record but finds it difficult to manage their impulses and lack of direction. Things only get more difficult when Dr. Teeth is revealed to be a former lover of Nora's boss, Penny.
2"Track 2: True Colors"Matt SohnBill Barretta & Jeff YorkesMay 10, 2023 (2023-05-10)
Nora tries to get the band to work on the album and superfan Moog agrees to help. The band gets to work on song ideas by throwing a party while Nora tries to convince Penny not to sell Wax Town's music catalog to their former assistant, JJ, now a wealthy app developer. Janice's allergy to lies complicates matters so Nora tries to convince Zedd to produce the Mayhem's album.
3"Track 3: Exile on Main Street"Matt SohnDonielle MuranskyMay 10, 2023 (2023-05-10)
Zedd offers to produce the Mayhem's album in his studio but just uses samples of them to mix a song through AI. Animal feels angry when he thinks the band no longer needs him so he looks for a regular job. While the band searches for their drummer, Nora gets into an argument with her sister, Hannah, and moves out.
4"Track 4: The Times They Are A-Changin'"Matt SohnCrystal ShawMay 10, 2023 (2023-05-10)
Nora, Moog and the Mayhem discover a recording studio (and Cheech & Chong) in the basement of the Shack and decide to self-record their album. However, Moog and Nora clash over what direction to take with the album. Meanwhile, Janice takes it upon herself to make peace between Nora and Hannah.
5"Track 5: Break on Through"Robert CohenJulie BeanMay 10, 2023 (2023-05-10)
The Mayhem continues to struggle with writing new material for the album so Nora takes them on a retreat to the desert. Events take a turn for the weird when Nora and the band eat a bag of marshmallows that expired 30 years ago and start hallucinating while Moog tries to keep everyone under control.
6"Track 6: Fortunate Son"Kimmy GatewoodHannah FriedmanMay 10, 2023 (2023-05-10)
Nora, Moog and the Mayhem are unpleasantly surprised by a visit from Dr. Teeth's estranged parents, who want him to come home and take over the family dental practice, and Nora tries to help get him back on track. Meanwhile, Animal tries to give Moog an important message about Nora.
7"Track 7: Eight Days a Week"Matt SohnJeff YorkesMay 10, 2023 (2023-05-10)
Nora tries to help build hype for the album by getting Kevin Smith to film a documentary about their recording sessions in eight days. Various issues, mostly the growing love triangle between Moog, Nora and JJ, heightens the tensions between the band members and causes the filming to descend into chaos.
8"Track 8: Virtual Insanity"Kimmy GatewoodHans Rodionoff & Gabriela RodriguezMay 10, 2023 (2023-05-10)
Nora and JJ try to publicize the album by introducing The Mayhem to the internet and autocorrect turns the Mayhem's tweet into a public relations nightmare. JJ uses the media frenzy to book a virtual concert inside Minecraft, much to Moog's displeasure. Meanwhile, JJ tries to convince Nora to move in with him and resume their romantic relationship.
9"Track 9: Drift Away"Kimmy GatewoodDonielle Muransky & Crystal ShawMay 10, 2023 (2023-05-10)
The album is complete and the Mayhem have been invited to play the Hollywood Bowl. Unfortunately, the band have gotten caught up in their new solo pursuits online. This leads to the Mayhem announcing their split live during a podcast with Charlamagne tha God. Meanwhile, Moog is upset with Nora over the band's distractions and her relationship with JJ.
10"Track 10: We Will Rock You"Robert CohenBill Barretta & Adam F. Goldberg & Jeff YorkesMay 10, 2023 (2023-05-10)
Nora and Moog embark on a mission to reunite the Mayhem in time for the Hollywood Bowl concert. After they turn her down, however, Nora grows despondent and leaves, prompting Animal to take action to save his family.

Production

Development

Following a performance at the 2016 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Muppet performer and writer Bill Barretta developed a pitch for a series based on Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.[7] At the same time, Muppet fan Adam F. Goldberg and partner Jeff Yorkes began developing their own project based on the characters; they were interested in a project about the band because he felt their lack of popularity compared to other characters allowed them to "do anything with these guys, because people just know them enough".[7] While Yorkes originally pitched the idea to Goldberg as a feature film, he instead suggested developing it as a series.[8] The three eventually began working together on combining their ideas onto a single series.[9]

On February 7, 2022, ABC Signature and The Muppets Studio announced developing a 10-episode series for Disney+ based on The Muppets. Written by Barretta, Goldberg, and Yorkes, The Muppets Mayhem is the first series developed by Goldberg for ABC following his deal with the studio in 2019.[2] The decision to develop a series based on Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem came from the success of a series of music videos on the Muppets' YouTube channel.[10] The series was greenlit shortly before its announcement, after finalizing deals with the Muppet performers.[1] Goldberg and Barretta also executive-produce alongside Michael Bostick, Kris Eber, and The Muppets Studio executives David Lightbody and Leigh Slaughter, while Yorkes is a co-executive-producer.[1]

On November 21, 2023, it was announced the series would not be picked up for another season.[3]

Writing

Writers for the series include Julie Bean, Hannah Friedman, Crystal Shaw, Hans Rodionoff, Gabrielle Rodriguez, and Danielle Maransky.[11] According to executive producer Kris Eber, the filmmakers approached the series as if it was a 5-hour-long feature film.[11] The series explores the backstory of Electric Mayhem, which has not been depicted in previous projects; the writers worked closely with the Muppet performers to ensure their ideas stayed faithful to the characters.[8]

The series aimed for a more grounded setting than most Muppet productions, lacking elements such as "talking fruit", with Goldberg saying the show would "[tell] a regular story in the real world with Muppets".[7] Goldberg said this was because he wanted to portray the band as being "like real people, real, breathing entities that can be in the real world".[8] The number of Muppet elements and characters present in the series were determined according to how natural they were integrated in the story, such as the appearance of Muppet bunnies, which Barretta described as "something that Animal's always had". While appearances from characters such as Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy were considered, they were discarded early during development in order to keep the series focused on Electric Mayhem.[8] Yorkes said the series' comedy would derive from how the band only do whatever they want while Nora tries to lead them in making their album.[7]

Casting

Along with the series' announcement, it was reported that Lilly Singh would portray Nora, a junior executive struggling with the chaos caused by The Electric Mayhem.[1] Muppet performers Barretta, Dave Goelz, Eric Jacobson, Matt Vogel, David Rudman, and Peter Linz reprised their roles as Electric Mayhem members Dr. Teeth, Zoot, Animal, Floyd Pepper, Janice, and Lips, respectively.[1] On April 5, 2022, it was confirmed that Tahj Mowry joined the cast.[12] On June 9, 2022, Saara Chaudry and Anders Holm joined the cast.[13]

Filming

Production for The Muppets Mayhem began April 25, 2022, and ended August 5, 2022.[14] Craig Kief serves as director of photography.[2][15][16][17] Matt Sohn and Kimmy Gatewood will direct episodes.[17][18] On July 2, 2022, it was reported that an accident took place in which a crew truck crashed into a tree on the edge of a cliff near the Griffith Observatory.[19]

Soundtrack

Main article: The Muppets Mayhem (soundtrack)

Walt Disney Records released a series soundtrack album digitally and on streaming on May 10, 2023,[20] alongside a vinyl LP debut album titled The Electric Mayhem that featured the first fourteen tracks of the full soundtrack.[21] It featured the original songs written by Linda Perry, and cover versions of popular songs.[22] The soundtrack topped the Billboard Kid Albums chart, the first ever Muppets album to do so.[23]

Reception

Audience viewership

On May 4, 2023, according to Jordan Williams of Screen Rant, "The anticipation for The Muppets Mayhem clearly extends beyond its core child fanbase, as the series has generated remarkable buzz with over 1.3 million online interactions, becoming the ninth-most hyped May release on Facebook."[24]

Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 83% based on 23 reviews with an average rating of 7.2/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "The Muppets Mayhem might be too slight to find the Rainbow Connection, but its ragtag band of plucky puppets and plethora of showbiz gags make for a solid addition to the franchise.[25] On Metacritic, the series has a weighted average score of 70 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[26]

Accolades

Award Date of ceremony Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Golden Trailer Awards June 29, 2023 Best Animation/Family Poster for a TV/Streaming Series The Muppets Mayhem Won [27][28]
Children's and Family Emmy Awards December 16–17, 2023 Outstanding Children's or Family Viewing Series Pending [29]
Outstanding Puppeteer Performance Eric Jacobson Pending
Outstanding Directing for a Single Camera Program Robert Cohen, Kimmy Gatewood and Matt Sohn Pending
Outstanding Casting for a Live-Action Program Collin Daniel, Brett Greenstein and Alexa Pereira Pending
Outstanding Editing for a Single Camera Program Robert Cohen, Kimmy Gatewood and Matt Sohn Pending

Potential future projects

Goldberg has expressed interest in developing a "Muppetverse" similar to Marvel Studios and Star Wars stating, "it was like, we're just doing a show about the band; let's focus on this one very specific corner of the Muppet Universe... And from there, let's now kind of branch out and do even more. So that was always our idea. In fact, we were kind of more excited about introducing new Muppet characters. That was always a goal for us."[8] Following the show's cancellation, Goldberg revealed on social media that plans for a Muppetverse were still happening.[30]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Andreeva, Nellie (March 7, 2022). "'The Muppets Mayhem' Comedy Series Ordered By Disney+; Lilly Singh Stars, Adam F. Goldberg EPs". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Goldberg, Lesley (March 7, 2022). "'Muppets Mayhem' Series a Go at Disney+". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Swift, Andy (November 21, 2023). "The Muppets Mayhem Cancelled at Disney+ After One Season". TVLine. Retrieved November 21, 2023.
  4. ^ "Images". Disney Plus Press.
  5. ^ "The Muppets Mayhem". Writers Guild of America West. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
  6. ^ "Shows A-Z – muppets mayhem, the on disney plus". The Futon Critic. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d Lenker, Maureen Lee (March 27, 2023). "'The Muppets Mayhem' is ready to jam in first look at new Disney + series". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 28, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c d e "The Muppets Mayhem Creators on Blending Heart, Humor, and Rock n' Roll". Gizmodo. May 9, 2023. Retrieved May 9, 2023.
  9. ^ The Muppets Mayhem Panel at New York Comic Con 2022
  10. ^ "Syndicated Comics". The Beat. October 9, 2022. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
  11. ^ a b The Barretta Brothers episode 53 2354 on YouTube
  12. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (April 5, 2022). "'The Muppets Mayhem': Tahj Mowry Joins Lilly Singh For Disney+ Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  13. ^ Cordero, Rosy (June 9, 2022). "'The Muppets Mayhem': Saara Chaudry & Anders Holm Join Disney+ Series". Deadline Hollywood.
  14. ^ @JeffYorks on Twitter August 5, 2022
  15. ^ @JeffYorks on Twitter April 24, 2022
  16. ^ "Matt Vogel". Facebook.
  17. ^ a b @craigkief_asc on Instagram April 25, 2022
  18. ^ @kimmygatewood on Instagram May 31, 2022
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 2, 2022). "'The Muppets Mayhem' Crew Involved In Accident During Filming Of Disney+ Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  20. ^ "Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem". presave.umusic.com. Retrieved April 18, 2023.
  21. ^ "@MickGiacchino". Twitter. Retrieved April 18, 2023.
  22. ^ "Disney+'s 'The Muppets Mayhem' to Feature Original Music by Linda Perry | Film Music Reporter". Retrieved April 18, 2023.
  23. ^ Zellner, Xander (May 24, 2023). "Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem Hit No. 1 on a Billboard Chart for the First Time". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2023.
  24. ^ Williams, Jordan (May 4, 2023). "The 20 Most Anticipated New Releases of May 2023". Screen Rant. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  25. ^ "The Muppets Mayhem". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  26. ^ "The Muppets Mayhem Reviews". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved May 10, 2023.
  27. ^ Pedersen, Erik (June 30, 2023). "Golden Trailer Awards: 'Cocaine Bear', 'Only Murders In The Building' & 'Oppenheimer' Among Top Winners – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  28. ^ Prusakowski, Steven (June 30, 2023). "Winners Announced for The 2023 Golden Trailer Awards". AwardsRadar.com. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  29. ^ Coates, Tyler. "Children's & Family Emmy Awards: Disney Dominates Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 26, 2023.
  30. ^ @adamfgoldberg (November 21, 2023). "Huge thanks to the critic & fan love that got us 6 Emmy noms and a #1 Billboard album. Mayhem was truly the most joyful and collaborative experience of my career. From day one all I've cared about is creating a Muppet-verse and YES I am already cooking up more Muppets with @billbarretta & @JeffYorkes! IT'S HAPPENING!!!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.