Jerry O'Connell of "Sliders" fame is set to play family patriarch Herman Munster in NBC's "Mockingbird Lane," a reboot of the 1960s horror-themed sitcom "The Munsters," an NBC spokesperson confirmed to OnTheRedCarpet.com.
The project was announced in 2010 and is being produced by Bryan Fuller, creator of the series "Pushing Daisies." O'Connell's casting as Herman, who resembles Frankenstein's monster, was reported on Monday by Deadline.com, which also said reported in March that Eddie Izzard was in talks to portray Grandpa. An NBC spokesperson confirmed O'Connell's and Izzard's roles and said the pilot is set to begin shooting next week.
The original "Munsters" sitcom aired on CBS between 1964 and 1966 and depicted the lives of friendly monsters that live in a Victorian home at 1313 Mockingbird Lane in the fictional neighborhood Mockingbird Heights, and like the family in "The Addams Family," another popular 1960s series that was made into a movie series, interact with more conventional humans. The original "Munsters" starred Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick and Pat Priest.
A premiere date for "Mockingbird Lane" has not been announced.
"We want this show to be an American 'Harry Potter. To have that sense of a magical world that you get to go to with your family and find stories told in a fantastical way that are instantly relatable. It's an 'American Horror Story' that the whole family can watch," Fuller told Entertainment Weekly in April, referencing a popular FX supernatural series that debuted in 2011.
"I always loved the original and was much more a 'Munsters' child than an 'Addams Family' child," he added. "The Munsters were the more relatable family. The Addams family looked normal but they acted weird and were sort of mal-socialized in a way. The Munsters were a more functional, sane family unit, they just looked different."
O'Connell, 38, rose to fame as a child star, playing chubby Vern in the 1986 cult film "Stand By Me." He dropped the pounds to become a teen hearthrob and star of the sci-fi series "My Secret Identity" and the comedy show "Camp Wilder."
He later played hunky scientist Quinn Mallory in the 1990s sci-fi series "Sliders" and also starred in the shows "Las Vegas," "Crossing Jordan" and "The Defenders," which ended in 2011 after one season. He has also appeared in movies such as "Can't Hardly Wait," "Scream 2," "Tomcats," "Kangaroo Jack" and the 2010 film "Piranha 3D." In 2011, he starred in the Broadway play "Seminar."
Izzard is a 50-year-old British comedian who often dresses up like a woman on stage. He has appeared in movies such as "Ocean's Twelve," "Ocean's Thirteen," "Across The Universe" and "Valkyrie" and on shows such as "The Riches" and Showtime's "United States of Tara."
"Mockingbird Lane" was originally touted as a mashup of the ABC sitcom "Modern Family" and HBO's adult supernatural series "True Blood."
Mariana Klaveno, 32, played Lorena Krasiki, an evil vampire lover of Stephen Moyer's character Bill, on "True Blood" between 2008 and 2010. Deadline.com said she may play Herman's wife, Lily, on "Mockingbird Lane," if she is released from another project she has been working on - a new ABC pilot called "Devious Maids." The network has not commented.