Late-night host Seth Meyers is working on a reboot of classic 1960s monster-themed sitcom The Munsters. Set in a spooky mansion at the fictional suburban California address of 1313 Mockingbird Lane in Mockingbird Heights, The Munsters was a sitcom staple for CBS-TV viewers for three seasons from 1964-1967, and repeats have run in recent years in syndication.
Broadcast in black and white, the show featured the bumbling exploits of Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne), a gentle giant patterned after the looks of Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein’s monster. But Herman wasn’t the only monstrous entity in the household: Herman’s wife, Lily (Yvonne DeCarlo), was a vampire, as was her father, Grandpa (Al Lewis); while Herman and Lily’s son, Eddie (Butch Patrick), was a wolf-boy. The only member of the Munsters’ household who was human was Lily’s niece Marilyn (Pat Priest).
While there have been attempts over the years to revive the series — most recently in Bryan Fuller’s big-budget pilot-turned-NBC special Mockingbird Lane in 2012 — The Munsters has remained in TV’s graveyard. Now, it appears that the promise NBC’s chief Bob Greenblatt made in 2013 to bring The Munsters back is finally happening.
According to Deadline, Meyers, formerly of Saturday Night Live and currently of Late Night with Seth Meyers, is executive producing The Munsters reboot for NBC through his production company Sethmaker Shoemeyers Productions. The company’s Mike Shoemaker is also executive producing the project, along with Odd Mom Out creator Jill Kargman.
Currently in development, The Munsters reboot is said to be inspired by the original series, but will relocate the setting of the show from California to Brooklyn, New York, where the oddball family will try to fit in among hipsters. Unlike the original series, which shot in a multi-camera format, the reboot will be single-camera. The series’ episodes will be a half hour long.
Since NBC is owned by Universal, hopefully the network will dictate that The Munsters take on their original forms, instead of trying to reinterpret the likes of Herman Munster for modern audiences. Perhaps one of the reasons the original show is still endearing to audiences is that, while the show is a comedy, it reminds them of Universal’s classic monster movies like Frankenstein and Dracula. The network simply needs to capture the nostalgia to draw in viewers of the genre to help build the show’s audience.
For the time being, the idea of going with the classic designs of the monsters — which the studio owns the rights to — seems to be lost on the creatives of Universal Pictures’ Dark Universe, where not only The Mummy’s classic look was thrown out the window, the film was set in the modern day. And while the “hipster” angle clearly dictates that The Munsters‘ reboot is going to have a modern day setting as well, there’s no reason the likes of Myers shouldn’t revive the classic looks of the characters as they bring the time-honored franchise back to life.
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