NBC has ordered a pilot from Universal Television and creator Bryan Fuller that will reinvent 1960s comedy series “The Munsters” as a one-hour drama.
The early order wasn’t unexpected given that the script has been buzzed about since the previous development season, when it was first submitted. Project is said to reimagine the titular family of monsters in a world with a lighter tone akin to the one Fuller brought to life in ABC’s “Pushing Daisies,” which he exec produced.
“Munsters” marks NBC’s third drama pilot order at this still-early stage in development season. Last week, the network snapped up futuristic hour “Beautiful People” from Universal and ABC Studios. Its first pickup was “Blue Tilt,” a cop drama from Chris Brancato (“Law and Order: Criminal Intent”) with Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio attached (Universal TV Intl.).
NBC has also picked up a pair of comedy pilots: “Isabel,” an adaptation of Canadian series “Le Monde de Charlotte” from Universal TV, Kapital Entertainment and Sphere Media; and “Save Me,” about a woman who has an accident and subsequently believes that she has gained the ability to channel God, from Sony Pictures Television and Original Film.
Universal owns the intellectual property for “Munsters,” which got its start as a series on CBS in 1964, running for two seasons. The brand has spawned TV and movie spinoffs including a series revival in 1988, “The Munsters Today.”
Project confirms that networks haven’t been frightened off from franchise reboots despite the quick demise of “Charlie’s Angels” on ABC. CBS had better luck the previous season with the robust revival of “Hawaii 5-0.”
Reboots never fall too far out of favor because relying on so-called pre-sold titles makes for high awareness levels among consumers in the cluttered fall season.
Scripts under consideration for the 2012-13 season were filled with reimaginations of well-known titles of yore, from the potential CBS project based on “Bewitched” to serializations of more modern filmic properties including “Source Code” (CBS) and “The Lincoln Lawyer” (ABC).
NBC is no exception to the trend. Besides “Munsters,” the Peacock is mulling a revival of the 1967 cult classic “Valley of the Dolls” from Chernin Entertainment and the 1984 Michael Douglas-Kathleen Turner vehicle “Romancing the Stone.”
Fuller has shown a penchant for reviving known quantities elsewhere. NBC has also already picked up his drama pilot “Hannibal,” based on the Hannibal Lector character, from Universal TV and Gaumont Intl. On the feature side, he has “Pinocchio” in development with Dan Jinks at Warner Bros.
Fuller is repped by WME.