ESPN's Creative Content Unit has developed a special holiday presentation for Monday Night Football tonight, December 21st at 8:00 PM ET, featuring Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fozzie Bear and more!
- Each week, ESPN’s Creative Content Unit (CCU) welcomes fans into Monday Night Football (MNF) with imaginative opens. The CCU works with MNF sport leaders, Steve Ackels, Phil Dean and Jimmy Platt, who have trusted them with creative freedom to take some big swings. This season, in partnership with senior director Joelle Downes and her Synergy team, the CCU has developed several memorable themes, including themes based on The Mandalorian and Marvel.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers and host Cincinnati Bengals are the main event, but The Muppets are also on the Monday Night Football marquee. Led by Vice President Craig Lazarus and Julie McGlone, senior coordinating producer, the CCU will continue to outdo themselves tonight as they have prepared a very special holiday presentation with another Disney partner: the Muppets.
- Senior associate producer Bryan Rourke came up with the idea to title some elements “Muppet Night Football,” and senior managing producer Aimee Stokes suggested the team ask for more on-air real estate to create two unique pieces before the game begins. From there, the project blossomed into a full holiday-themed takeover of the night where there will be elements from the Muppets several times throughout the game.
- Starting at the top of the telecast (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will make their debut in the broadcast booth while Fozzie Bear reports from the field, Statler and Waldorf join from the stands, and Animal comes in with the drums. Then, right before kickoff, the Muppets will return for a Carol of the Bells music video.
- It all started in October when the CCU MNF creative team wanted to do something special for MNF’s holiday game and bring some joy and laughter to the viewers.
- This is the third consecutive year ESPN’s Creative Content Unit has developed a special holiday presentation for MNF. Previous opens featured Scrooge (2018) and an adaptation of the story ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (2019).
What They’re Saying:
- Julie McGlone, senior coordinating producer: “I think [my team is] the best in the business. To bring the Muppets to life in a pandemic was a huge challenge. Who's not a fan of the Muppets? I think they transcend generations. Looking at the faces on the first Muppets/CCU Zoom call, everybody was smiling and laughing. I was like, ‘This is what we want for our viewers!’ We want the whole family to be enjoying it.”