TV execs are nothing if not persistent. Despite this season's failed reboot of Charlie's Angels — not to mention countless TV remakes before it — NBC is resurrecting The Munsters with a twist. The classic '60s sitcom centered on Herman Munster, a Frankenstein's monster engineered by Grandpa Sam Dracula for his vampire daughter Lily. Bryan Fuller, the visionary creator of ABC's innovative series Pushing Daisies (which was canceled in 2009 after two seasons) will mastermind the new pilot, which he says will be an hour-long re-imagination of the sitcom with a darker, less campy feel. Should viewers be optimistic about an "edgy" take on The Munsters?
This could work: Of all the planned remakes in the pipeline, The Munsters seems the most promising, says Diadem Pambid at the International Business Times. Fuller's pilot for Pushing Daisies, about a piemaker who can bring the dead back to life, was one of the finest, most imaginative in years, even winning the Emmy for Best Directing in 2008. Should he imbue The Munsters with the same artistic detail and whimsy, "there might just be hope for The Munsters." Also in the reboot's favor: The Munsters' cult status. Passionate fans may, at the very least, check it out.
"Remake ordered by NBC for The Munsters"
It's doomed: As with countless other failed reboots, this is a lose-lose situation, says Michael Arbeiter at Hollywood. Viewers of the original series (a group that, thanks to Nick at Nite, spans generations) have a nostalgic, personal connection to The Munsters. A complete creative retooling, even if it yields a quality pilot, will seem like "a defamation and a different show entirely." But if the remake is too straightforward, "we'll be bored by it" and wonder what the point was in the first place.
"NBC officially picks up Bryan Fuller's The Munsters reboot"
The Munsters have spooky competition: Just because The Munsters is being ordered to pilot doesn't mean it's guaranteed a spot on NBC's fall schedule, says James Hibberd at Entertainment Weekly. The network has several similar projects that could determine the Munster clan's fate. NBC has a take on Frankenstein in the works, while Fuller is working on "another monstrous project" — a series based on Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter novels. If that latter turns out to be "a crime procedural," it has the "best odds for success" out of this bunch.
"Munsters remake pilot ordered by NBC"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Yes, Republicans can impeach President Obama
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Why Texas' abortion rates aren't falling as quickly as everyone expected
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- The NFL is terrified of the culture war
Subscribe to the Week