We’ve talked about the hour-long drama reboot version of “The Munsters”- “1313 Mockingbird Lane”- that NBC is preparing in a pilot. Jerry O’Connell will be Herman- still not sure if I can picture that- and, according to TVWeek, the pilot will be told from Herman’s point of view.
TVWeek says that the chief of NBC Entertainment, Bob Greenblatt, suggested it (Hmmm- no wonder they’re jumping to do that- when the boss says “why don’t we do it this way?” –that’s what they tend to do!) Producer Brian Fuller says the whole thing is based on Herman’s realizing his son Eddie is taking after the “other” side of the family- meaning Grandpa’s(Eddie Izzard’s) vampire side, since in this version, Grandpa is a domineering type who holds Herman under his thumb. He says it’s all relationship based- Herman is constantly decaying, while his wife Lily (Portia De Rossi- that casting I can definitely see), as a vampire, never ages. They will play on all the insecurities Herman feels.
Perhaps the biggest news, though, is that Fuller really wants to incorporate lots of the other classic Universal monsters into the show- the Wolf Man, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and even the Phantom of the Opera. (That’s not such a new concept-I’m sure you remember that, on the original sitcom, “Uncle Gilbert” showed up to visit- and he was the Gill Man from “Black Lagoon”!) Fuller is comparing it to ABC/Disney’s “Once Upon a Time” that utilizes all the fairy tale characters in the Disney stable to populate its show. He said that the Universal monsters were more or less HIS fairy tales when he was growing up, he loved not only the Munsters, but, Wolf man, Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mole People- and- (ahem)- I quote “the Metaluna Monster from “Silent Earth”! (Okay- did he get it wrong, or did the TVWeek reporter hear him say “This Island Earth” and think he was saying “The Silent Earth”?!) Regardless , he stated he wants to bring in all the characters from those stories (I hope he realizes- he has Dracula in Grandpa and the Frankenstein Monster in Herman himself…)- and even wants to pull in “The Cat People and those types of things…”
So- will the Mole People be living in the Munster basement- or in the subway system? Is the Metaluna mutant an escapee from his home planet, that blew up at the end of “This Island Earth”, and now is a castaway like Gilligan? Does the “Deadly Mantis” happen upon the Munsters’ backyard garden to pick off any harmful insects that might infest it?
They keep saying this is a drama, but, I hope it has the same tongue-in-cheek quality that the “Pushing Daisies” series did- I would think it almost has to. Meanwhile, the producers are trying to negotiate the use of another element that would tie this production in more with the original sitcom- they want to use the original theme song for the show , written by composer Jack Marshall, as the theme for this version. Undoubtedly, they would do a new arrangement, I’d bet- the twangy ‘60s guitar certainly might not be compatible with the new attitude of this show. The negotiations press on- we’ll let you know if we hear more about it.
Fuller says that he should know by sometime in August whether the show will go to series-so, to pass the time, he’s coming up with new stories that involve some of those Universal monsters. Hmmm- I wonder if there’ll be any call for a Svengoolie cameo?