Matthew Belloni wrote:UPDATED: The network had been trying to figure out a way to salvage its $10 million investment in the pilot.
America is going to get a chance to see NBC's rebooted Munsters pilot Mockingbird Lane after all.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the network has decided to air the pricey $10 million pilot, which has been in development for two years, as a Halloween special. Mockingbird Lane will air Friday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. before Grimm (Oct. 31 is a Wednesday).
NBC declined to comment.
Based on the goofy 1964-66 CBS comedy series about a Frankenstein-ish dad and his monstrous relatives, NBC's new version is from writer-producer Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) and director Bryan Singer (the X-Men movies, House) with a cast including Jerry O'Connell as Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi as Lily Munster and Eddie Izzard as the Dracula-esque Grandpa.
As THR has detailed, Mockingbird Lane has endured a long, tortured history at NBC, and the network was considering whether to scrap the project altogether. The reboot was originally launched before current chariman Bob Greenblatt came on board in early 2011, but Greenblatt redeveloped it extensively.
Yet Fuller and Singer are said to have had differing opinions about the style of the pilot, and the final version is said to have come in below the network's expectations. With Fuller now busy shooting NBC's 13-episode Hannibal series, he's not able to work on Mockingbird. So NBC has been considering all options to salvage the property.
NELLIE ANDREEVA wrote:There wasn’t a Friday miracle last night with the premiere of NBC‘s pilot/special Mockingbird Lane, but it didn’t tank either. The hourlong program drew a 1.5/5 in adults 18-49 and 5.4 million viewers at 8 PM. In 18-49, that was only marginally better than the last scripted series premiere in the slot, the now-defunct CBS drama A Gifted Man (1.4 last fall). Mockingbird Lane did manage to finish No.3 for the night in the demo behind NBC’s Grimm and ABC’s Shark Tank, posting NBC’s best 18-49 rating in the hour with non-sports programming in two years.
NELLIE ANDREEVA wrote:As for Mockingbird Lane, there are some extra scripts written, so there conceivably could be more episodes, which would amortize the big price tag on the pilot, said to be approaching $10 million. The ratings performance for the pilot does not automatically warrant that, and NBC brass are said to be lukewarm at best on the show’s creative direction, but the special did not crash and burn, and a big DVR boost could help its chances. With NBC’s ratings gains extending to 10 PM where Dateline (1.5/5) was up 15% from last week to top the hour, the network won the night in 18-49, its first outright demo win on Friday with non-sports programming since Dec. 16 last year.
Brendon Connelly wrote:Having spent $10 million on their pilot for Mockingbird Lane, a reboot of The Munsters by writer Bryan Fuller and director Bryan Singer, NBC have decided to screen it as a Halloween special rather than just toss it on the fire. They certainly haven’t decided to commission a full series, however.
But Fuller still holds out hope. Speaking to TV Guide, he says:If we get a huge number, all the cast are in line to be picked up and to go to series. And that was one of the things that NBC wanted to make sure, that they had all of the cast deals in line — so that if we did get a big number and audiences proved their appetite for this type of show, that they could move very quickly…. But the thing that gives me a lot of hope is that first, I think show is wonderful, I think the cast is great. But also that NBC is putting it on the air. They don’t have to do that.
He also notes that NBC were also considering a run of 5 or 6 episodes for the Spring – so perhaps the Network haven’t been trying to drown these Munsters outright and just can’t find themselves able to commit to an expensive run.
Fuller does have several more episodes planned out already, and he’s been teasing what they would-stroke-might contain:There’s a great neighborhood watch episode. There’s what happens when the Creature from the Black Lagoon shows up and puts challenges on Herman’s and Lily’s relationship. That’s a tremendous amount of fun… Lily is going through this huge arc of, “I was living my life a certain way because I thought my child was a certain way. Now that my child has changed, do I change?” So she’s having an identity crisis. It’s all about your identity and family. So each of those individual episodes are all family stories about characters trying to find their place within the larger group.
Being cuckolded by the Creature from the Black Lagoon would be one mother of a burn.
Should the magic happen and the figures go through the roof, Fuller thinks that production could get underway again come the Summer:The idea would be, in success, to start at the beginning of July to go to series. I would complete my work on Hannibal in mid-February and then segue immediately to Mockingbird Laneto get things ready to start shooting by July, should we be so fortunate to go to series.
NELLIE ANDREEVA wrote:Just 10 days ago NBC passed on its Munsters reboot Mockingbird Lane, which had been in the works at NBC for two years under two regimes. But the network is not closing the door to bringing the family of monsters from the classic sitcom back. “I won’t say we won’t do another version of The Muensters again,” NBC chief Bob Greenblatt said after the network’s executive session at TCA. He addressed the reasons for the decision not to proceed with Bryan Fuller’s Mockingbird Lane despite the pilot, which carried a reported $10-million price tag, doing decent ratings business when it aired as a Halloween special in October.
“We just decided that it didn’t hold together well enough to yield a series,” Greenblatt said. “It looked beautiful and original and creative, but it just all ultimately didn’t come together…, it just didn’t ultimately creatively all work.” The pilot featured a cast led by Jerry O’Connell as family patriarch Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi as his wife Lily, Eddie Izzard as Grandpa, and Charity Wakefield as cousin Marilyn. “We felt great about that cast,” Greenblatt said. “But we tried to make it not just a sitcom. We tried to make it an hour, which ultimately has more dramatic weight than a half-hour. It’s hard to calibrate how much weirdness vs. supernatural vs. family story. I just think we didn’t get the mix right.”
Ray Richmond contributed to this report.
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