NBC to Air Unsold Munsters Reboot Pilot

NBC has announced that it will broadcast the hour-long pilot to Mockingbird Lane on Friday, October 26th from 8-9PM. A full press release can be found at the futon critic.

The proposed reboot of the 1964-1966 CBS sitcom has been in development for a few years but it was reported earlier this month that the series was unlikely to go forward (see this Deadline.com article for details). Yesterday, an article in The Hollywood Reporter suggested that the $10-million pilot might become a Halloween special and that’s just what NBC has decided to do in an attempt to recoup some of the cost of the pilot.

Should the unthinkable happen and 15 million viewers watch, perhaps NBC will reconsider its decision not to order the pilot to series. That’s unlikely to happen making this, I believe, the first case of an actual unsold pilot airing on television in a few years. The most recent example might be Virtuality, a FOX pilot that was broadcast on June 26th, 2009 as a two-hour telefilm.

Interestingly, the picture used in The Hollywood Reporter article is from the Sunday, April 18th, 1965 “Munsters at Marineland” CBS special (aka “Marineland Carnival”) which has not been seen since it originally aired and may no longer exist. A 60-second promotional spot does and can be seen on YouTube.


1 Comment

  • DuMont says:

    I am very pleased with Mr. Robert Greenblatt’s decision to air the ‘Mockingbird Lane’ pilot on Friday October 26th as a lead-in to ‘Grimm’. Mr. Greenblatt is doing what wise network presidents did back in the ’60s and ’70s and that is broadcast-testing a pilot in the timeslot envisioned for the series.

    If ‘Mockingbird Lane’ can produce a decent lead-in to ‘Grimm’, I think it may get an additional episode order, perhaps seeing the Peacock give Mr. Bryan Singer an order for a spring short-flight series of four to six episodes.

    If it doesn’t work, well then Mr. Greenblatt and the NBC research team will have detailed ratings reports in addition to social media tracking to know which elements clicked with different parts of the audience for better (or worse) than others.

    This skedding of an unsold pilot could be establishing a new audience-testing strategy for NBC, and Mr. Greenblatt may yet test some other pilots sitting up on the shelf…my shortlist of recent unsold pilots for NBC to unspool would be Mr. David Kelley’s ‘Wonder Woman’, and Mr. Shaun Cassidy’s and Mr. Thomas Schlamme’s collaboration on ‘The Frontier’.

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