Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NBC Greenlights "The Munsters"

Still smarting from the cancellation of "The Playboy Club", NBC has opted to develop another 1960's icon , ordering a prime-time pilot from executive producer Bryan Fuller ("Pushing Daisies)" based on the classic TV comedy "The Munsters".

Fuller promises that his Munsters will have a darker and 'less campy feel' than the black-and-white original, or "...'Modern Family' meets 'True Blood'..."

The original 1960's sitcom depicting the home life of a family of Universal Studio monsters, was created by Allan Burns and Chris Hayward, starring actor Fred Gwynne as 'Herman Munster' and Yvonne De Carlo as his wife, 'Lily'.

The idea of a family of comical monsters was first suggested to Universal Studios in the late 1940's by animator Bob Clampett ("Merrie Melodies", "Beany and Cecil") who wanted to produce a series of cartoons.

The project didn't see development until the early 1960's, when a treatment for a similar idea was submitted to Universal Studios by "Rocky & Bullwinkle" writers Burns and Hayward. This format was later handed to writers Norm Liebman and Ed Haas, who wrote the pilot script, "Love Thy Monster", retitled as "My Fair Munster".

A live-action presentation was filmed by MCA Television for CBS and the new series, was greenlit for 70 episodes, airing once a week in black-and-white on CBS, from September 24, 1964 to May 12, 1966. "The Munsters" grew in popularity during decades of syndication, warranting a spin-off series, several TV films and a theatrical release.

The twist to the series was that The Munsters family, consisting of Frankenstein Herman, vampire Lily, Wolfman son 'Eddie' (Butch Patrick), 'Dracula Grandpa' (Al Lewis) and normal 'Marilyn' (Beverley Owen and Pat Priest), considered themselves typical working-class Americans of the era, with nothing unusual about their look or gothic house, situated at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek the rare, unaired 1960's TV pilot for "The Munsters"...