Much as The Muppet Movie is a movie-within-a-movie about how the Muppets received The Standard Rich & Famous Contract and became stars (including towards its end the newly-famous Muppets filming an origins film), The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Great Muppet Caper and all the other Muppet films should be seen as the other films the now-famous Muppet actors are making within the universe of the first film. In other words, the first film is a story about the "real" Muppets becoming actors, and the rest are the films those actors have made -- with Fozzie Bear playing a character named "Fozzie Bear," etc. It explains, for example, how the "Kermit" and "Miss Piggy" characters can marry (in a musical within a movie, but for "real") at the end of Manhattan yet this marriage isn't acknowledged in subsequent films. These are the movies which Lew Lord of Worldwide Pictures signed them to make.The Muppets creator Bill Prady, talking to Sepinwall:
One of the things we're saying is that in the movies, they were playing versions of themselves. So we're seeing them off screen for the first time. I'm trying to think of an example, but like Hope and Crosby used to play themselves in all the movies or the Marx brothers or something, but then they also lived in Beverly Hills and had real lives (outside the movies). I always imagined that after they finished doing "The Muppet Show," there was a bar across the street from the Muppet Show Theater where they'd go sit down and Kermit would have a drink and Fozzie would come over and say, "Well, it wasn't our worst." And I always wanted to be at that bar. So that's where this show is, it's in as close to the real world and the real personal life.Alan is not a fan; like others, he sees a Miss Piggy unleavened by her love of Kermit as being intolerably mean. And, really, do we want to be thinking about Muppets having sex?
[But we're all going to watch, right? Can't be worse than Clifford, the Crunchy Rasta Muppet.]