The Top 5 New Shows to Keep an Eye on During Pilot Season

1 – The Muppets: Bill Prady is probably best known for developing ‘The Big Bang Theory’ with Chuck Lorre as well as working on a lot of Lorre’s shows over the years. What he’s probably not well known for is working on Jim Henson’s shows before Henson’s untimely death in 1990 as well as several Muppets projects through the 90’s. Which is why I was happy to see that Prady was the one bringing the Muppets back to life on the small screen!

The new iteration of the Muppets has them working on a late night talk show that Miss Piggy hosts. While this is different than the original Muppets scenario, I feel it’s adapted quite well to the modern times. What I wasn’t expecting from this show was the mature tone that it would take! This version of the Muppets is most certainly aimed at the people who grew up with the Henson version of the characters.

Using ‘The Office’ style, Prady has adapted the Muppets to today’s audiences, offering them jokes and storylines that line up both with nostalgia as well as more mature sensibilities. This becomes very apparent when one of the band members mistakes a board meeting for ‘that kind of’ meeting and Fozzy’s online profile as a ‘passionate bear looking for love’ well, just watch below…

No, this isn’t the Muppets you grew up with. I couldn’t even recommend you watch these Muppets with your kids. This is a show for those people who grew up with them, loved them and wanted more. Some people thinks this misses the point of The Muppets. I think these are the Muppets we not only need, but we deserve.

Special Mention – The Grinder 

This is probably not the venue to talk about network sitcoms in and yet I’m totally going to launch right into talking about the best comedy I’ve come across so far this year. When TV lawyer Dean (Rob Lowe) concludes his run as ‘The Grinder’ on his popular show, his mid-life crisis drives him to team up with his real life lawyer brother, Stewart (Fred Savage). What Dean longs for is the family that long suffering Stewart has and loves dearly. Of course, Stewart can’t turn his loving brother away, no matter how much he desperately wants to… and tries.

This is definitely a play on the classic ‘odd couple’ scenario, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t tell you it’s hilarious. There was just something about Rob Lowe’s rampant egoistical actor, paired against Fred Savage’s not respected, hard working civil lawyer that worked really well, especially since everyone else in the show dotes on and Lowe’s Dean.

This is definitely not groundbreaking, nor do I think it’s going to be breakout hit of the year. What I think it’s going to do is replace a portion of the hole in my heart that Parks and Rec left when it ended last year. This pilot is definitely worth checking out and I look forward to see where the show is going.