'Mockingbird Lane:' Does It Have a Pulse Now? (Poll)

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

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October 27th, 2012

NBC decided to pass on Mockingbird Lane after seeing the pilot, but having spent so much money on the pilot, decided to air it anyway. The premise being that by airing it they at least recover some of the millions they spent on the pilot. HitFix's Alan Sepinwall refers to the airings of passed-on pilots as "Busted Pilot Theater" which used to happen more frequently.

Regardless of anyone trying to spin it as a test run, the reasonable conclusion is it was "Busted Pilot Theater" and nothing more. But the preliminary 1.5 adults 18-49 rating for Mockingbird Lane outperformed originals of Blue Bloods and CSI: NY as well as the premiere of Kitchen Nightmares (which it aired directly against) and served as a decent lead-in to Grimm (which was up 27% from last week.).

For me, the reasonable conclusion still is "Busted Pilot Theater" and that its performance last night doesn't mean NBC will be scrambling to figure out how to start the series back up. But if nothing else this will add a log on the fire of "look, people want something different see 'The Walking Dead,' 'American Horror Story' and 'Grimm!'"

  • trevor

    Aside from Eddie Izzard, I thought the whole thing was rather lame.

  • Nick

    I think it should be a yearly Halloween special. It’s too expensive to be a weekly series.

    That’s not a option so I chose “maybe”.

  • Jass

    Idiots should have aired Day One

  • mayorofsmpleton

    It’s not that it’s ‘too expensive.’ That budget was because it was for a pilot. If the series continued beyond it would cost MUCH less per episode. If it were a “yearly special” it would cost 5-10 million per year for a single episode… that’s moronic.

    The perk of having sets built that you continually use is that you don’t have to rebuild them each and every summer for a single Halloween episode. ;)

  • Hadesa

    NBC made the right move not picking it up to series and they made the right move airing the pilot as a one off anyway.

    I thought it was awful.

  • Da Truth

    It definitely shouldn’t run as a series.

    It started out on the low end for an over promoted special. If they want to run yearly specials on it they can but avoid it as a series.

    NBC should develop more shows like Chicago Fire that are bringing in returning NBC viewers from year’s past.

  • joethehobo

    I liked it. I’m a huge Bryan Fuller fan, (Pushing Daisies is one of the greatest shows ever made) and I’ve been following the development of this series since its inception. I think the big mistake NBC made for this show was constantly promoting it as a Munsters remake. People like me who weren’t even alive during the original and reruns might feel too alienated to watch a show that is a remake. They should have just promoted it as a visually stunning and dark new series by Bryan Fuller BASED on the Munsters. While we still have Hannibal to look forward to from Mr. Fuller, it’s easy to say that this is closest thing to Pushing Daisies that we could have asked for and I’m sad to see that it probably won’t go on to air more episodes. I thought Jerry O’Connell and the rest of the cast were excellent and would have liked to have seen more.

    P.S. It was nice to have Jim Dooley come back and score the music!

  • Tyson


    For the average scripted show, I’d agree that Friday at 8 is a rough time slot. However, for a Munsters reboot, I stand by my statement that the Friday before Halloween was the perfect spot for it. Especially when paired with Grimm, which is going to be a Friday show for the rest of its run.

    NBC isn’t going to move Revolution. It’s the best-rated 10 p.m. show on broadcast TV. NBC won’t move Parenthood either. The show’s been in the same spot since it debuted. Maybe it should move but it won’t move.

    I could see Mockingbird Lane going to Thursday at 10 to replace Rock Center. If Chicago Fire fails, SVU will get the Wednesday 10 time slot. Too early to declare Chicago Fire a failure though.

  • Nick

    In my opinion, they should do 6 episode seasons and air it at the beginning of every season up until Halloween.

  • Heart of Mica

    I have to admit that I have absolutely no idea whatsoever what it is that Nielsen families like. In fact, I might even know *less* about what Nielsen families like than NBC does, and that’s kind of scary if you think about it.

    So I don’t know if Mockingbird Lane would do well if NBC had picked it up this season. I enjoyed it and would have watched more episodes, but that doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things: I’m not part of the Nielsen ratings. (And besides, I generally like Bryan Fuller’s work, which I don’t think is true of most of the world; also, I hated the original “Munsters” series, which also doesn’t seem to be true for most people.)

    But setting aside the question of whether it would find an audience seems easy to do, considering that the logistics of picking it up as a series *now* seem so impossible. The stars and writers have likely already started looking for new jobs (and probably found them), and the gap between airing the pilot and any new episodes would be so long that any momentum from the Oct. 26 premiere would be entirely lost. You’d need a new (expensive) marketing push just to try and remind some of that audience that they tuned in the first time.

    At this point the decision to let it go is a rung bell; it’s easier and cheaper to not even try to un-ring it. Besides, if NBC starts re-examining this decision, they might have to re-examine all of their other programming choices, and that would just depress everyone.

  • J.P.

    Mockingbird Lane was a disappointment. Eddie Izzard as Grandpa Munster was great and Portia De Rossi made a convincing Lily but Jerry O’Connell is wrong for the part of Herman. Was Brad Garrett too busy to play the role he was meant for?

  • Ralph

    It was a dog with fleas……..not funny, just stupid!

  • MS

    Loved it! Funny, smart and delightful. Eddie Izzard and Portia de Rossi are magic. I was shocked to read this morning that it was essentially cancelled before it even aired. Crossing my fingers that I have more Mockingbird/Grimm lineups to look forward to on Fridays.

  • Ellen

    Saw that NBC’s site now says about Mockingbird Lane, “Watch the Full Episode!” May be a case of overanalyzing, but…

  • GreenGreenGreenRed

    I watched the last 15 minutes of this while waiting for Grimm to come on. This show had so many continuity errors. And it was boring.

  • Katie Hart

    Wanted to like it, but didn’t. Too haphazard of a story, characters were weird without being endearingly weird. Glad this will probably stay a one-off.

  • Austin

    C’mon Mockingbird Lane! I want to see more! Just a question: Can another tv network order the show for a series even if it is a cable network like syfy?

  • Verus

    I had no idea what it was or that it was going to air. Looking at the show it reminded me of the Munsters. The show would make perfect sense together with Grimm.

    The show did look costly though with some nice cgi.

  • Nick

    Yes, it can. Networks have taken new shows from other networks before.

    Ever heard of a little show called The Walking Dead? Or Modern Family? Both shows NBC passed on that were picked up by other networks, and are now the 1st and 2nd highest-rated shows on the air. (I don’t know if they actually reached the pilot stage, but I wouldn’t be surprised)

  • KevinY

    I hated it. Free Eddie Izzard to get something much better!

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