NBC‘s Mockingbird Lane pilot is coming to primetime earlier and in a different form than originally planned. The hourlong pilot, written by Bryan Fuller and directed by Bryan Singer, will air as a Halloween special on Friday, October 26, at 8 PM, leading into a Halloween-themed episode of supernatural drama Grimm. NBC’s Friday 8 PM slot became vacant when the network this week decided to hold back comedies Community and Whitney. “This exciting new take on a memorable series will definitely blow out conventional wisdom and create its own legacy,” said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. “Teaming this new show with a terrifying episode of Grimm makes the perfect pre-Halloween fright-fest.”
NBC brass decided to air the pilot as a special in lieu of giving the Munsters reboot a series pickup. The big-budget pilot stars Jerry O’Connell as family patriarch Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi as his wife Lily, and Eddie Izzard as Grandpa. It has been lauded for its visual style but the overall consensus was that it didn’t quite pull off the high-concept premise of a contemporary hourlong show about a family of “monsters” based on the 1960s sitcom. The project had been in the works at NBC for a couple of seasons, originally developed by the previous regime during the 2010-11 development cycle. Fuller’s script was one of very few Bob Greenblatt kept in play when he took over the network in January 2011. It was redeveloped and, in November 2011, ordered to pilot around the same time another Fuller-written drama, Hannibal, landed a script-to-series deal at NBC.