'Mockingbird Lane' Has Its Herman: Jerry O'Connell

'Mockingbird Lane' Has Its Herman: Jerry O'Connell Well, it is a new take on "The Munsters," so that means somebody eventually must step into the late Fred Gywnne's massive boots.

Not too many probably saw this coming, though.

NBC's ordered pilot "Mockingbird Lane" will feature Jerry O'Connell as Munster family patriarch Herman, Deadline reports. For those so tragically deprived as to have never seen a one of the 70 1964-1966 episodes of the original CBS sitcom, Herman is a most affable-looking wife of a vampire named Lily and father of a werewolf named Eddie (don't ask.) He's joined living in the towering mansion at 1313 Mockingbird Lane with vampire Grandpa Munster and curiously "plain" blonde-beauty niece Marilyn.

You know something? Go ahead and deem me insane, but there's something about this new take that actually sounds encouraging. For starters, O'Connell has that same certain natural affability that Gwynne brought to gentle-giant Herman. That's, after all, what makes Herman so enjoyable to watch: it's a Frankenstein's-Monster-looking wife and father who isn't always exactly aware how fearsome he is at first glance.

Then there's Eddie Izzard playing Grandpa. Izzard has charism to spare and the kind of comic timing one could only possess after working with contemporaries like Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

Best of all, look who's leading this project. Bryan Singer is set to direct the pilot, surely bringing with him his horse-sense for adapting intellectual properties. Most importantly, it's being written by Bryan Fuller. He's got a knack for visually imaginative storytelling that the early demise of "Pushing Daisies" proved some people just don't get, and others adore immediately.

On paper, if one team could make this thing work, it just might be this one.

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