|The Muppets Mayhem|
|Based on||Characters created|
by Jim Henson
|Music by||Mick Giacchino|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Original release||May 10, 2023|
|Muppets Now (2020)|
The Muppets Mayhem is a comedy musical series based on 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. Streaming service Disney+ released all ten episodes of The Muppets Mayhem on May 10, 2023.
The series received generally positive reviews with praise for its music, humor, characters, puppetry and the series fleshing out The Electric Mayhem more but criticism for the human characters and emphasis on social media.
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 platinum album.
|No.||Title ||Directed by||Written by ||Original release date |
|1||"Track 1: Can You Picture That"||Matt Sohn||Bill Barretta & Adam F. Goldberg & Jeff Yorkes||May 10, 2023|
|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 Sohn||Bill Barretta & Jeff Yorkes||May 10, 2023|
|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 Sohn||Donielle Muransky||May 10, 2023|
|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 Sohn||Crystal Shaw||May 10, 2023|
|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 Cohen||Julie Bean||May 10, 2023|
|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 Gatewood||Hannah Friedman||May 10, 2023|
|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 Sohn||Jeff Yorkes||May 10, 2023|
|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 Gatewood||Hans Rodionoff & Gabriela Rodriguez||May 10, 2023|
|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 Gatewood||Donielle Muransky & Crystal Shaw||May 10, 2023|
|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 Cohen||Bill Barretta & Adam F. Goldberg & Jeff Yorkes||May 10, 2023|
|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.|
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. 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". While Yorkes originally pitched the idea to Goldberg as a feature film, he instead suggested developing it as a series. The three eventually began working together on combining their ideas onto a single series.
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. 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. The series was greenlit shortly before its announcement, after finalizing deals with the Muppet performers. 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.
Writers for the series include Julie Bean, Hannah Friedman, Crystal Shaw, Hans Rodionoff, Gabrielle Rodriguez, and Danielle Maransky. According to executive producer Kris Eber, the filmmakers approached the series as if it was a 5-hour-long feature film. 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.
The series will have 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". 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". 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. 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.
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. 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. On April 5, 2022, it was confirmed that Tahj Mowry joined the cast. On June 9, 2022, Saara Chaudry and Anders Holm joined the cast.
Production for The Muppets Mayhem began April 25, 2022, and ended August 5, 2022. Craig Kief serves as director of photography. Matt Sohn and Kimmy Gatewood will direct episodes. 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.
Main article: The Muppets Mayhem (soundtrack)
Walt Disney Records released a series soundtrack album digitally and on streaming on May 10, 2023, alongside a vinyl LP debut album titled The Electric Mayhem that featured the first fourteen tracks of the full soundtrack. It featured the original songs written by Linda Perry, and cover versions of popular songs. The soundtrack topped the Billboard Kid Albums chart, the first ever Muppets album to do so.
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. On Metacritic, the series has a weighted average score of 70 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
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."