NBC Officially Kills ‘Munsters’ Remake: Producer

The original 'Munsters': Fred Gwynne (top), l-r: Yvonne De Carlo, Butch Patrick, Al Lewis and Pat Priest (CBS)

NBC drove a stake into the heart of its much-ballyooed “Munsters” remake, killing a project that had been in various stages of development for two years.

NBC’s decision not to go forward with its reconceived “Munsters” project — which had been renamed “Mockingbird Lane” — is being reported all over the place on various show biz Web sites, including Deadline.com here.

But the stories all seemed to stem from a Tweet issued by executive producer Bryan Fuller, who spread the news on Twitter this way: “I tweet with a heavy heart. NBC not moving forward with #MockingbirdLane. From producers and cast, thank you all for enthusiasm and support.”

The Deadline story gives a pretty complete summary of this project’s nearly two-year odyssey. It did finally come to the air, though — in the form of a TV movie that aired around Halloween. And it was widely believed even then that it was unlikely NBC would say yes to a full-blown series, but apparently, producer Fuller didn’t get the official word on that ’til this week. For the record, the TV movie drew 5.4 million viewers.

This new “Munsters,” whose title was taken from the address of the famed family of TV ghouls — 1313 Mockingbird Lane — starred Jerry O’Connell as Herman, Portia De Rossi as Lily and Eddie Izzard as Grandpa.

Our take: No one should mourn the premature death of this new “Munsters.” Sure, many of us old enough to have seen it remember the original “Munsters” (1964-66, CBS) with childlike affection, but the truth is, that show was one of the silliest sitcoms that has ever aired on network television. We never thought it was worthy of a remake. Come to think of it, it’s also possible that NBC decided the time wasn’t right to redo this show because that particular fad — the one in which all manner of old TV shows were getting revamped for movies and TV — seems to have subsided for the time being. Rest in peace, “Munsters.”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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