Portia de Rossi to play Lily Munster in 'Mockingbird Lane'
Portia de Rossi of "Arrested Development" fame is set to play family matriarch Lily Munster in NBC's "Mockingbird Lane," a reboot of the 1960s horror-themed sitcom "The Munsters."
The project was announced in 2010 and is being produced by Bryan Fuller, creator of the series "Pushing Daisies." De Rossi's casting as Lily, who resembles the bride of Frankenstein's monster, was reported on June 12 by The Hollywood Reporter.
Earlier in the month, it was announced that "Sliders" star Jerry O'Connell was cast to portray Herman Munster while Eddie Izzard would portray Grandpa. An NBC spokesperson confirmed O'Connell's and Izzard's roles and said the pilot is set to begin shooting this 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."
De Rossi rose to fame on the Fox series, "Ally McBeal," portraying Nelle Porter. She is perhaps best known for her role as Lindsay Bluth Funke on the popular comedy series, "Arrested Development." She also appeared on "Nip/Tuck" and "Better Off Ted."
The 39-year-old actress married talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in August 2008, at a time when same-sex marriages were made legal in California for several months before a majority of voters approved the Proposition 8 ballot initiative to ban them.
It was announced in October that de Rossi and DeGeneres had a comedy pilot picked up by ABC which would see a "brilliant" woman working for her "less-brainy" sister. De Rossi was slated to star but the series was passed over by the network in May.
"Mockingbird Lane" was originally touted as a mash-up of the ABC sitcom "Modern Family" and HBO's adult supernatural series "True Blood."
"True Blood" alumni Mariana Klaveno was originally tied to the role of Lily Munster, but could not be released from her contract in Marc Cherry's ABC pilot, "Devious Maids." The network did not pick up the series, but it is reportedly being shopped at Lifetime, according to Yahoo.