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tv news

Munsters remake Mockingbird Lane to be broadcast October 26

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Friday, October 12, 2012

Even though the network hasn't decided to pick it up as a series, NBC has made the announcement that it will broadcast the pilot of Mockingbird Lane on October 26. A reimagining of the classic 1960s series The Munsters, which centered on a family of monsters that lived in a creepy suburban neighborhood home, Mockingbird Lane will air before a new episode of Grimm on the peacock network that night.

It's extremely rare for any television network to air a pilot for a proposed television series and let the public see what they made. Even more rare, it's highly unusual for networks to make a decision after the airing of these pilots to take them to series. Just because NBC has decided to show us Mockingbird Lane, it doesn't mean that its chances of going to series is any higher than it would have been before such a move.

Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) developed this new take on The Munsters which is described as having a "darker edge". The concept is still the same -- a family of monsters trying to fit in with regular folk -- but gone are the makeup trappings from the original show which made each Munster character look like a classic monster. For example, in Mockingbird Lane the Herman Munster character looks human and not like Fred Gwynne's traditional Universal Pictures' Frankenstein makeup version.

Starring in Mockingbird Lane are Jerry O'Connell as the new Herman Munster; Portia de Rossi (Ally McBeal) as his vampire wife Lily; Eddie Izzard as Grampa; Mason Cook as Eddie (their wolf-son); and Charity Wakefield as Marilyn, the beautiful blonde daughter. Since the Mockingbird Lane family doesn't resemble traditional monsters anymore it will be interesting to see if the show's Marilyn has any new characteristics that separate her from her '60s counterpart.

Here's how NBC is describing the pilot episode's plot:

"In Mockingbird Lane, sweet little Eddie Munster (Cook) is a normal kid about to enter the horrors of puberty. Truth is, he’s about to discover that for him becoming a teenager means growing hair in truly unexpected places -- as in all over his body -- every time the moon is full! Eddie’s got it pretty good though. His loving, supportive, run-of-the-mill family includes his mom Lily (de Rossi), the daughter of Dracula; his dad Herman (O’Connell), who brings new meaning to'“Frankenstein'; and Grandpa (Izzard), who would give Dracula a run for his money if he weren’t actually Dracula! Of course then there’s creepy cousin Marilyn (Wakefield), who’s really the odd one because she’s so completely normal.

"Buying a house these days is a nightmare, so Herman and Lily are shocked that no one scooped up the rambling Victorian mansion at 1313 Mockingbird Lane that was the site of a series of grisly hobo murders. Settling into their new place, they’re quickly onto the mission at hand: to gently ease Eddie into the reality of his werewolf adolescence. But it’s not always so easy to accept that your child is a little “different” from the rest of the kids. Meanwhile, Herman, who works as a funeral director, is suffering from a heart condition. Since he’s made up mostly of spare parts, he knew his makeshift heart would eventually give out. No worries though, because Grandpa, who is pretty good at procuring body parts, is on the case. All Herman cares about is finding a new heart with the same capacity to love Lily as much as he has for so many decades."

It's likely that NBC's execs are merely seeing this as a seasonal opportunity to burn-off one of its assets and make a Halloween-themed block of programming that they can fill. However, let's just imagine what happens if the ratings for the one-time showing of Mockingbird Lane are strong: would NBC take the show to series? Even if they did so there aren't any further episodes ready to air, which means that it would be months before the network could write and shoot new ones.

-NBC.

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