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The Muppets: Kermit, Miss Piggy talk new show, breakup: Interview

‘Moi is an open book’

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Michael Desmond/ABC

It’s a classic story — frog meets pig, frog dates pig for 40 years, frog breaks up with pig and sparks outrage from the entire Internet.

Now, you’re about to find out why Kermit and Miss Piggy — the aforementioned frog and pig, respectively/obviously — called it quits over the summer. The series premiere of ABC’s docu-style sitcom The Muppets debuts Tuesday, and with it comes the big reveal of why and how the world’s most famous puppets ended their relationship (and moved on to other pursuits).

But that’s not the only reason to tune in to the great Muppet revival. As Kermit and Piggy venture off into their own spheres of dating, they’ll continue to work together on Up Late with Miss Piggy, Piggy’s new twilight talker that’ll keep the rest of the Muppets employed. Fozzie’s courting a human, Gonzo’s trying to date online, and Rowlf keeps everything slightly lubricated with his tavern across the street. This isn’t the Muppets you’ve known before, and EW’s recent visit to the set proved it.

In anticipation of the big series debut, EW spoke with Kermit and Piggy to get their take on the commotion surrounding their split and the more adult approach to the Muppet from the past.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why were you willing to allow cameras into your personal lives for the first time?

KERMIT: Today’s audience doesn’t just want to see what you do, they want to know how you do it, why you do it, and who’s doing what with whom. Our show will answer all those questions – and probably raise a lot of peculiar questions you never thought about before.

PIGGY: When they approached me to do this show, I, of course, said no. Every big star says no first — it makes them want you more. But then they told me I wouldn’t have to rehearse or learn lines, that I could just be myself. I thought, I can do this. I’ve been myself for years. This is truly the role I was born to play.

Have the documentary-style interviews allowed you to open up?

PIGGY: I have always been known for saying whatever is on my mind. With the interviews, I get to do what I’ve always done … and get a very nice check at the end of the week. It’s win-win!

KERMIT: It’s allowed me – and all of the Muppets – to open up about what we do and how we feel about each other. It’s all very therapeutic … at least until the other Muppets see what you said and then things tend to get dicey, fast.

The show is decidedly more adult — where will we most notice that change?

PIGGY: I have always been extremely “adult” … except, of course, when I was a child. So naturally the show will be “adult.” This new show simply gives you a more in-depth look at the real me — who I am, who I like, who I don’t like, who I’m dating, who I’ll be dating next, and most important of all, who I’m wearing.

Anything we can’t see? Anything off-limits?

KERMIT: Not really. I’ve worked naked for years, so I have nothing to hide.

PIGGY: Moi is an open book. Or, to be more accurate, an international bestseller.

What are the working conditions on Up Late with Miss Piggy like?

KERMIT: Like other late-night shows, Up Late with Miss Piggy puts on a new show every single night. That means there’s no time to polish and perfect what you see on air. Of course, when you think Muppets, you don’t think “polished” or “perfect,” you think “what the heck was that?” And I can confidently say, we get that reaction to every single show.

PIGGY: Up Late with Miss Piggy is totally different. First of all, my name is in the title – which is absolutely priceless and assures maximum viewer interest.

What is the overall consensus among the Muppets about the move to late night?

KERMIT: They love it. None of us are early risers, so everybody is really happy they can sleep in.

News of your breakup went viral. What’s the nation’s appetite for Kermit and Piggy news?

KERMIT: Well, we’ve been together a long time. Come to think of it, longer than how old Miss Piggy claims to be. Naturally folks are concerned about what went wrong, so they can avoid the same pitfalls should they find themselves dating a pig or frog.

PIGGY: Any news about moi whets an insatiable public appetite. Who can blame them? Even I’m ravenous to read every tidbit about myself. That’s usually how I find out where I was and what I did. So when the event is something as important as the breakup between moi and … you-know-who, absolutely everyone wants to know everything!

How do the Muppets fit into 2015?

PIGGY: I have always been au courant, so I naturally fit in anywhere at anytime.

Whose personal life are you most excited to see that you’re still unaware of, even after all these years?

KERMIT: The Swedish Chef. I’m really hoping that he’ll be closed-captioned so I can finally figure out what he’s saying.

Fall TV preview

Want more? EW’s Fall TV Preview mega-issue has the scoop on 115 shows! Pick up your copy on newsstands now, or buy it here.

The Muppets premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.