The first Muppet characters appeared in Sam and Friends, a Washington, D.C.–based show which was broadcast from 1955 to 1961. Kermit the Frog was one of the show's regulars, and thus was one of Henson's first Muppet creations. The characters became a household name after their appearance in the children's television program Sesame Street. Henson was initially reluctant to become involved with Sesame Street because he feared being pigeon-holed as a children's performer, but agreed to work on the show to further his social goals.:5 The characters created for that series are now owned by the Sesame Workshop, the producers of Sesame Street, and are now considered a separate franchise.
A pragmatic frog who is the straight man protagonist and de facto leader of the Muppets. Created by Jim Henson and introduced in 1955 on Sam and Friends, Kermit quickly became the de facto face of the early franchise, including regularly appearing on Sesame Street, sometimes as a reporter. He starred on The Muppet Show, as the showrunner, responsible for managing the show's production, and has appeared in every Muppet-branded production since.
A temperamental diva pig who is the Muppets' break-out and "authentic superstar".:28 Until 2015, she was the romantic significant other of Kermit's. Authors Maryanne Fisher and Anthony Cox call Piggy "uniquely strong and feminine", but "domineering and demanding." She was designed and built by Bonnie Erickson. Debuted in a 1974 Herb Alpert television special, where she was performed by Jerry Nelson. She is Oz's most well-known character.:103