TCAs: Defiance gets premiere date; NBC not done with the Munsters; Revolution gets analyzed and adjusted
The Television Critics Association’s winter press tour is going on, and NBCUniversal made a bunch of presentations today. Some news from the relevant presentations from yesterday and today…
Syfy’s Defiance will premiere on Monday, April 15th, at 9/8c with a two-hour premiere, and run for a total of 12 episodes (the premiere being two hours long presumably can be split to account for 13 hours/episodes.)
NBC may not be done with The Munsters – despite the network having officially stuck a stake in their Mockingbird Lane reboot, Bob Greenblatt, the head of NBC, said, “I won’t say we won’t do another version of The Munsters again.” Apparently despite the pilot (retooled as a Halloween special) doing OK ratings-wise, the network just wasn’t impressed with the prospect of the show as a series, and Greenblatt admits that the mistake was likely trying to make it more of a dramedy than sitcom. “It’s hard to calibrate how much weirdness vs. supernatural vs. family story. I just think we didn’t get the mix right.”
And as for NBC’s Revolution, which did well before heading in to a four-month-long hiatus, which have critics thinking the show could lose its audience. But producers J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke aren’t afraid, and actually welcomed the break – which isn’t as unusual for shows on its cable sibling, Syfy, but it quite unusual for broadcast network fare.
The two cited Lost as precedence for having such a break, but Lost didn’t endure a “mega-break” until between Seasons 3 and 4 – and then it was between “seasons” (Lost switched to a shorter Winter-through-Spring run from Season 4 on.)
Anyways, they are using the break to “really analyze it, and make adjustments,” according to Kripke.
Executive Producer Bryan Fuller tweeted yesterday evening:
I tweet with a heavy heart. NBC not moving forward with #MockingbirdLane. From producers and cast, thank you all for enthusiasm and support.
So this seems to be the end of Mockingbird Lane‘s long journey. It didn’t look good when NBC decided to turn the pilot into a Halloween special, but it still had a chance like a backdoor pilot, depending on audience reaction. Apparently the reaction wasn’t good enough for the network, with moderate ratings and some attempts to rework the concept.
Don’t forget – NBC has a special Halloween lineup tonight: At 8/7c, a one-hour special Mockingbird Lane, a reboot of The Munsters, starring Jerry O’Connell (The Defenders) as Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi (Arrested Development) as his wife Lily, Eddie Izzard (United States of Tara, The Riches) as Grandpa, Mason Cook (Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D) as Eddie and Charity Wakefield (The Raven) as Marilyn. (This was a pilot for a series, but the option was not picked up).
Following that at 9/8c is a special Halloween episode of Grimm, “The Legend of La Llorona”, where a mysterious ghostly woman kidnaps children with the intention of drowning them.
The NBC Munsters reboot Mockingbird Lane may not be made into a series (or at least has very very small odds of it), but we’ll still get to see the pilot as a one-off special for Halloween, airing on NBC on Friday, October 26th at 8/7c. Catch the preview below, and also check out the official Tumblr page!
Well, as previously thought, the NBC Munsters reboot Mockingbird Lane is dead. At least mostly dead.
NBC has decided to air the already-produced pilot, however, as one-hour TV special ob Friday, October 26th, at 8/7c, as a lead-in to a Halloween-themed episode of Grimm.
The pilot, produced by Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies), stars Jerry O’Connell (Herman Munster), Portia de Rossi (Lily Munster) and Eddie Izzard (Grandpa), and reportedly cost $10 million to make. A series is still possible but is considered a huge longshot, and would depend on massive ratings – and if the network wants that, they’d better start pushing the publicity bandwagon.
We haven’t heard much about this planned reboot of the classic monster comedy The Munsters, to be titled Mockingbird Lane (after the street on which the Munsters lived) being produced by Bryan Fuller and Bryan Singer (with the former also writing and the latter directing) since hearing about it in November, other than it was still on the slate in January. Apparently the pilot has been pushed back to June due to casting difficulties, but now they’ve found one of their stars: British actor/comedian Eddie Izzard, who most recently was seen in the U.S. on The United States of Tara.
Eddie will play Grandpa, the family vampire patriarch, originally played by Al Lewis. Izzard’s version is described as “a powerful, ancient vampire with an irrepressible twinkle in his eye. He can shapeshift into rats, wolves, and other creatures at will, but he’s also dapper and charming in a fedora; he is a Don Juan-type womanized with penchant for flashy, sexy outfits.” Eddie’s not been known to shy away from being flamboyant – he often cross-dresses during his performances – so it appears that he could be a good fit, and in such a way that they aren’t just trying to clone Al Lewis.
Still, this show might have an uphill battle.
NBC released a few details on pilots and pick-ups late Friday, and of the five pilots they mentioned, four of them have a science fiction/fantasy elements (some may have been announced earlier but are re-affirmed):
The Munsters: A re-invention of the classic TV series, from executive producers Brian Fuller (Heroes), Bryan Singer (House M.D., X-Men: First Class), and John Wirth (Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles). We first caught wind of this in November. Universal Television is producing.
Isabel: Based Le Monde du Charlotte, a French Canadian series, is a comedy about a pretty typical middle-class family, with middle-class issues – except their young girl turns out to be magical as well. Marcia Gay Harden (Damages) has recently joined the cast, likely as the mother, while Isabel will be played by relatively-new Sophia Schloss (Grimm). Howard Busgang and Tom Nursall (Single White Spenny) are the writers and exec producers, with Todd Holland (Malcolm in the Middle) directing/exec producing, and Karey Burke (Free Agents), Aaron Kaplan (Terra Nova) and original series producer Jocelyn Deschenes all joining as executive producers. Universal Television, Kapital Entertainment and Sphere Media are producing.
Beautiful People: An ensemble “what if” drama set “10 minutes in the future” (shades of Max Headroom?) “where families of mechanical human beings exist to service the human population — until some of the mechanicals begin to “awaken.”” Sounds a little like a Cylon backstory? Anyways, they describe it as “low tech, high drama” which might keep the special effects budget down. James Murray (Primeval, Chaos) will play an attorney fighting for android rights, while Patrick Heusinger (Black Swan) plays an android who suddenly finds emotions. Michael McDonald (Cougar Town) is the writer/executive producer; Robert M. Sertner (Revenge) will exec produce and Stephen Hopkins (Californication) will direct. Universal Television and ABC Studios is producing.
Save Me: A religious-tinged single-camera comedy about a woman who believes she has begun channeling God after suffering an accident, comes from Sony Television and Original Films. John Scot Shepherd (Life or Something Like It) is writing/exec producing, with Scott Winant (Breaking Bad) directing/exec producing, plus executive producers Neal Moritz and Vivian Cannon (The Big C).