The Munsters

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The Munsters is a 1960s American family television sitcom depicting the home life of a family of monsters. It starred Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster and Yvonne De Carlo as his wife, Lily Munster. The series was a satire of both traditional monster movies and popular family entertainment of the era, such as Leave It to Beaver.[2] [3] It ran concurrently with The Addams Family. Although the Addamses were well-to-do, the Munsters were a more blue-collar family.[4]

The idea of a family of comical monsters was first suggested to Universal Studios in the late 1940s by animator Bob Clampett, who wanted to do a series of cartoons. The project didn't see development until the early 1960s, when a treatment or 'format' for a similar idea was submitted to Universal Studios by Rocky & Bullwinkle writers Allan Burns and Chris Hayward. This format was later handed to writers Norm Liebman and Ed Haas, who wrote a pilot script, Love Thy Monster. For some time, there were executives who believed the series should be made as a cartoon and others who wanted to see it made using live-action. Finally, a presentation was filmed by MCA Television for CBS, using live-action.

The series aired at night once a week in black-and-white on the CBS Television Network from September 24, 1964 to May 12, 1966, for 70 episodes. It was canceled after ratings dropped to an all-time low due to the premiere of ABC's Batman, which was in full color. Though ratings were low during its initial two-year run, The Munsters grew in popularity during decades of syndication. This popularity warranted a spin-off series, as well as several films, including one with a theatrical release.[5]


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