Seemingly proving that Disney+ still has little interest in letting live-action series starring the Muppets last longer than a single season, the streaming service has announced that they've pulled the plug on The Muppets Mayhem. The series, which premiered on May 10, 2023, ran for 10 episodes and revolved around Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, the rock band consisting of Animal, Floyd, Janice, Zoot and Lips.
Although the band made their debut in the pilot episode of The Muppet Show and had memorable appearances in subsequent Muppet projects (although arguably none so memorable as their performance of "Can You Picture That?" in The Muppet Movie), The Muppets Mayhem, developed by Adam F. Goldberg, Bill Barretta, and Jeff Yorkes, was the first time the band had ever taken the spotlight.
The series revolves around Dr. Teeth and the members of the Electric Mayhem as Nora Singh (Lilly Singh), an up-and-coming A&R rep at Wax Town Records, takes the band under her wing and desperately tries to get them to belatedly fulfill their contract to the label and finally record their debut album.
Each of the 10 episodes shares its title with a classic song or album, including "True Colors," Exile on Main Street, "The Times They Are A-Changin'," "Eight Days a Week," and "Virtual Insanity," to name a few, and the various episodes included a plethora of guest stars from the world of music, including Billy Corgan, "Weird Al Yankovic", Paula Abdul, Ziggy Marley, Charlamagne Tha God, deadmau5, Tommy Lee, and Susanna Hoffs. Additional guests include Cheech & Chong, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Smith, Danny Trejo... There's even an appearance by Peter Jackson, and just as soon as you think the height of humor is going to be Animal calling him "Precious," Jackson makes a reference to Meet the Feebles, for heaven's sake!
Even if Disney+ didn’t seem to appreciate what they had, it’s clear that others did. The soundtrack to The Muppets Mayhem, which featured a combination of cover songs and original songs penned by Linda Perry, topped the Billboard Kid Albums chart, an accomplishment never before achieved by any previous Muppets album.
In addition, the series was nominated for six Children’s and Family Emmy Awards, including Best Children’s or Family Viewing Series, Best Puppetry Performance, Best Directing for a Single Camera Program, Best Casting for a Live Action Program, Best Editing for a Single Camera Live Action Program, and Best Puppet Design and Styling.
While The Muppets Mayhem may not be continuing, that doesn't mean there aren't additional Muppets projects in the pipeline...or at least it certainly sounds that way.
Co-developer Goldberg took to Twitter after news of the series' cancellation had broken. "Huge thanks to the critic and fan love that got us 6 Emmy noms and a #1 Billboard album," he wrote. "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 Bill Barretta and Jeff Yorkes! IT'S HAPPENING!"
Shortly thereafter, Goldberg further added, "I wanted to give sincere thanks to the brilliant cast and crew of Muppets Mayhem. This will forever be the show I’m most proud of start to finish. Praying that 6 Emmy noms, a #1 Billboard album, and 86%/95% on Rotten Tomatoes means that Disney finally begins the epic Muppet-verse!!"
From your Twitter account to the Disney+ executives' ears, Mr. Goldberg, that's what we say.
Until then, even if viewers didn't get the ending of The Muppets Mayhem that they deserved, at least they can rock on with the 10 wonderful episodes of that they did get...provided they don't suddenly get pulled, that is.*
*Look, we really wanted to end this on an uplifting note, but given the way things have been going with streaming services lately, until there's a Blu-ray release, we've got to be realistic.