Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘The Munsters’: The 80s Reboot Everyone Forgot

‘The Munsters’: The 80s Reboot Everyone Forgot

The Munsters is a beloved 60s-era spooky sitcom family. However, they had an 80s reboot that lasted longer than the original show. The Munsters and The Addams Family both premiered in 1966 and aired for two seasons. They each had memorable theme songs and gained enough popularity in reruns to spawn franchises that have spanned generations.

The Munsters was not only a hit TV series, but it also spawned an animated special and five made-for-TV movie follow-ups. Among these movies, three showcased the original cast members, while the remaining two introduced a new cast and were released in the 1990s. Of course, last year Rob Zombie also directed a film reboot that served as a prequel to the original series.

‘The Munsters Today’

The Munsters Today aimed to reboot the original show to the changing landscape of the 1980s. A new cast portrayed the family, who had been put into a deep sleep by one of Grandpa’s inventions in the 1960s. They woke up two decades later, stepping into a significantly changed world. The new show kept the original theme music but added lyrics detailing the premise.

The color revival featured a talented new cast attempting to fill the shoes of the original 60s lineup. Lee Meriwether, who played Catwoman in 1966’s Batman film, starred as Lily. McMillan & Wife alum John Schuck played Herman, while comedian Howard Morton does his best Al Lewis as Grandpa. Hilary Van Dyke and Jason Marsden fill out the cast as Marilyn and Eddie.

This version aired 73 episodes from October 8, 1988, to May 25, 1991, surpassing the original series in terms of first-run episodes. The show still has its fans, despite not being available on any streaming services or rerun on network TV. In a 2018 podcast, Jason Marsden even recalled Jerry Seinfeld visiting the set at Universal Studios.

More Recent ‘The Munsters’ TV Reboots

In October 2012, NBC aired a Halloween special called Mockingbird Lane as a pilot for another The Munsters reboot series. Directed by Bryan Singer, the cast included Jerry O’Connell, Portia de Rossi, and Eddie Izzard as Herman, Lily, and Grandpa. The show featured many of the same elements as the original and was developed by Bryan Fuller, the future creator of Hannibal. Though the characters remained monsters, they sported much more mundane appearances in this version. Despite the creative team’s pedigree, the concept never went beyond the pilot.

In 2017, NBC attempted to reboot The Munsters again with Seth Meyers as an executive producer. The reported scenario of placing the Munster family in “hipster Brooklyn” received criticism from fans. However, NBC ultimately abandoned the project, and no further updates have been reported.