Munsters to be rebooted as Mockingbird Lane, created by Brian "Pushing Daisies" Fuller

NBC is rebooting The Munsters as a new series called Mockingbird Lane, created by Bryan Fuller (Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies), and incorporating Universal's stable of classic monsters. JoBlo's Alex Maidy has some information from Fuller on his vision for the series, and it sounds pretty swell to me:

According to Fuller "The Munsters actually do what monsters do. They eat people and they have to live with the ramifications of being monstrous. It's like grounding it in a reality because the half-hour was a sitcom, we saw the monsters: they were monsters on the outside and weren't monsters on the inside. For us, they're monsters outside and inside, and we get to double our story."

Sounds good to me. Fuller also says "Everything is a metaphor for something that you can identify with in a relationship. The fact that Herman is in a constant state of decay and he's married to someone who doesn't age. We get to play with all those insecurities. The fact that he was made by his father-in-law and then has to live up to those standards; he's always trying to find his own identity."

NBC's Munsters reboot Mockingbird Lane to capitalize on the Universal Monsters characters (via Super Punch)


  1. So, the whole point of the original series was these people LOOKED so different but were really just same as the rest of us.  Quite a radical idea in the sixties.  Now the idea is they look normal but are really awful.  Not quite so radical.  I suspect, not quite so funny as well.

    1. I think the idea is that you never know when your neighbor is a terrorist. The hidden horrors among us, discovering secrets, and that idle suspicion is something to be rewarded.

      1. So a total reversal of the spirit of the original’s inclusiveness by flipping it to ‘BE AFRAID! BE AFRAID OF EVERYONE!’

        A Pox on this I say!I’d rather Grampa Munster be a batty old kook from the old world. Sure he’s a vampire but he had this bumbling charm about him.

        1. I’d rather Grampa Munster be a batty old kook from the old world.

          Sounds like Eddie Izzard to me.

        2. There was a wonderful PBS interview with Grandpa Munster who was a veteran yiddish vaudeville burlesque guy.  He actually had a horse drawn medicine show wagon in the Depression, and traveled from town to town in places like Oklahoma.  There he was, the little New York Jew there to con them, and they knew he was there to con them, it was all understood.  So if he failed to entertain the meanest rednecks in town and make them happy to be scammed out of a scarce dollar, they would lynch him.

      2. What’s he building in there?
        What the hell is he building In there?
        He has subscriptions to those Magazines…
        He never Waves when he goes by
        He’s hiding something from the rest of us…
        He’s all To himself…
        I think I know Why…
        He took down the Tire swing from the Peppertree
        He has no children of his Own you see…
        What’s he building in there?
        We have a right to know…

    2. I suspect, not quite so funny as well.

      No accounting for taste.  “Neighbors go out at night and fucking eat people” sounds a LOT funnier to me than “Generic schlocky sitcom with more makeup.”

  2. A couple of transcription mistakes in that article. “We have universal monsters” should be “We have (the) Universal Monsters”;, “Metaluna monster from ‘Silent Earth'” should be “Metaluna monster from ‘This Island Earth'”.

  3. Let’s hope grandpa drives a coffin car. It would also be cool if these new Munsters came home to find The Standells playing for a bunch of beatniks in the living room.

    1. Are you kidding? It’s going to be product placements for Priuses and One Dimension boy bands.

  4. Well, calling the Addams Family “normal looking” is a bit of stretch, but point taken.

    It sounds like they are aiming for something along the lines of Dexter. I’ll give it a fair viewing, but, well, NBC.

  5. The Munsters was just a corny ripoff of The Addams Family,  which was based on the wonderful New Yorker cartoons of Charles Addams.  So now we’re yet another generation away from originality.  Awesome.

    We can at least hope for the laughter of the dead.

    1. I wouldn’t be quick to dismiss Bryan Fuller.  Pushing Daisies was one of the most original shows on television as was Wonderfalls.

      1. Yeah, I have respect for him, but this idea is stupid. Oh well, in a bad economy you can’t really pick and choose. I don’t bear a grudge towards him for this.

    2. If you re-watch them, The Munsters holds up better than The Addams Family. The actors have better chemistry with each other.

      1. I agree that The Munsters is much easier on the brain.  But Morticia is much easier on the eyes.

      2. >>>The Munsters holds up better than The Addams Family.

        Well that’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone say that. But Fred Gwynne  had a lot of talent.

  6. Consider me skeptical. Sure the Munsters were corny, but dagnabbit it was Funny.

    As for being a bad adams family ripoff? Nah. The adams family were honestly monsterous/creepy where the Munsters all looked so completely not-human that they were terrifying people left and right wher they acted like some of the nicest folks you could ever want for neighbors (their sense of decorating and yard upkeep on the other hand…)

    1.  Was _that_ what was supposed to be going on?  Perhaps I just wasn’t the right age, but The Munsters was so appallingly cornball that I couldn’t sit through a whole episode of it, while Addams Family worked for me, in a snarky pre-teen way. 

    2. The Addams Family was a pretty well developed concept from the single panel cartoons of Charles Addams,  which were like if Edward Gorey drew The Family Circus.

        1. Well in this economy take what you can get I guess. Still. He’ll have a sense of style about him.

  7. I don’t think I can live in a world where Lindsay Bluth is banging that kid from Sliders.

  8. Everything is dour… Serious… Nonsense…

    This is not The Munsters! This is $%#&ing Dark Shadows with Children… Screw this!

  9. No Grandpa flapping his wings? No Herman in a lady’s wig? No hats flying off heads when people see the Munsters for the first time? Darn, darn, darn! Count me out!

  10. I probably won’t watch this but I think it has a chance to be decent. The aesthetic in these promo shots is surprisingly non-cliched, and I really can’t see how anyone could think it’s a bad idea to bring back the Universal monsters (and the This Island Earth aliens? you do know that movie is in the MST3K movie right? this is an amazing choice of monster to bring back). So long as they keep it humorous and a little bit campy, while being dark, it should be pretty interesting. Eddie Izzard pretty much guarantees that it will be humorous and campy.

    I watched a lot of reruns of The Munsters as a kid; never got into The Addams Family because the movie remakes came out when I was a kid and they looked ridiculously stupid. Apparently that movie came out in 1991, when I was 5 years old… and I already knew it was stupid. I think it was also one of my earliest hipster moments, because everybody my age loved that movie and quoted it all the time for years. So I purposefully never saw it. The Munsters was a lot of fun though, and one of the most memorable of those old shows. I still regularly am reminded of scenes and plot points from The Munsters and Leave It To Beaver in everyday life, it’s good stuff.

    Anyway, also I did watch Sliders when it originally aired, and recently watched a few episodes on Netflix – my brother watched the entire series a couple months ago. Never did like that guy who plays the main character. Worth watching for John Rhys-Davies and the cute geeky girl though.

  11. I hear this strange, metallic screeching sound, like something  sliding off rails…

    1. Or just reboot IDOG with Major Nelson as a closeted gay astronaut who is completely baffled by having a blonde slave girl who keeps offering to do “anything you wish Master” until he realizes he can can turn her into David Beckhamm, but there has to be some hitch like she has to hold her breath so she can only do it for like a minute at a time.

      1. Or The Beverly Hillbillies, only with real people. Oh, wait. That’s already half the primetime schedule.

  12. Since we are rehashing the past—why not new detective show -“Charlie Chan”-? Only this time Charlie is a real Chinese-American and it’s actually filmed in San Francisco and not LA or Vancouver. And hire witty British writers for Horus sake.

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