Former Heroes co-showrunner and Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller is currently pulling together a Hannibal TV show for NBC. Just yesterday, it was announced that Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) will be playing the series’ namesake.
Fuller also has another television project in the works for NBC: Mockingbird Lane, a rebooted take on the Munsters TV show from the 1960s. The latter show is tentatively expected to premiere during the Summer 2013 TV season.
Fuller’s pilot script for Mockingbird Lane reportedly offers a darkly twisted take on the concept for the original Munsters, which was a squeaky-clean sitcom about a lovably kooky family of monsters. Emmy-winner Eddie Izzard (United States of Tara) is locked to appear in the reboot as Grandpa Munster – here, a 600-year old shapeshifter rather than a vampire. However, the Munster clan’s young son, Eddie (Spy Kids 4‘s Mason Cook), will still be a werewolf, like in the original show.
THR has confirmed that the patriarch of the Munsters clan in Mockingbird Lane, Herman Munster, will be portrayed by Jerry O’Connell. An alum of shows like Sliders and Crossing Jordan, O’Connell was recently seen on the small screen opposite Jim Belushi in The Defenders – and memorably lost a certain part of his anatomy during his last appearance on the big screen, in Piranha 3D.
However, when Fuller previously spoke about his plans for Mockingbird Lane, he suggested the show’s version of Herman will be a far cry from the Frankenstein monster, played by Fred Gwynne in the original Munsters. Specifically, Fuller said his show will offer “a blinged-out representation of what monsters would be doing if they lived in our society today… Our wardrobe is heavily influenced by Alexander McQueen and his use of animal textures.”
Similar to how the pilot for Fuller’s Hannibal has secured a high-profile director in David Slade (Eclipse), the first episode of Mockingbird Lane will be overseen by X-Men franchise staple Bryan Singer. As far as small-screen fare goes, Singer’s record is small, but solid – including the unusually-cinematic pilot for House, M.D.
Fuller has managed to secure some noteworthy talent to work on both sides of the camera for his Munsters reboot, which is encouraging, but that doesn’t guarantee the show will be a hit. NBC has earned a reputation for being prone to either cancel acclaimed TV series before they reach their ratings prime (see: Awake) – or mess with the personnel that made a show successful in the first place, as happened recently when Dan Harmon was fired as the showrunner on Community.
It doesn’t help that Fuller has a sordid reputation of his own: his previous TV show creations (Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies) have all been cult hits, but failed to draw in a large-enough audience to stay alive for more than a couple half-seasons. Hopefully, both Hannibal and Mockingbird Lane can buck that trend by being good and successful in terms of ratings.
We will continue to keep you updated on the status of Mockingbird Lane as more information is released.