By Benjamin Wright | The Playlist June 13, 2012 at 12:47PM
Television news is running rampant as networks are locking down their pilot orders and getting their returning series in shape before the fall, so let’s see if we can nail these down, shall we?
First, after word broke just a few weeks ago that “Piranha” actor Jerry O’Connell would be taking over the role of Herman Munster in the pilot for producers Bryan Singer and Bryan Fuller’s “The Munsters” reboot “Mockingbird Lane,” it now looks as if the show is about to get Funke-ified. That’s right, Portia De Rossi – probably known best to fans of the small screen as Lindsay Bluth Funke on “Arrested Development” – is taking over Yvonne De Carlo’s role as the Munster family matriarch Lily Munster. She’s the wife of O’Connell’s Herman Munster, and the offspring of actor Eddie Izzard’s character, Grandpa Munster, with Mason Cook filling the shoes left vacant by Butch Patrick as Lily and Herman's werewolf son, Eddie. The fresh faced Charity Wakefield will play cousin Marilyn, the infamously oddball member of the Munster clan, a blonde-haired bombshell in a family of monsters. De Rossi is a nice choice, and now that the main family is all cast, we’re actually hoping to see the highly stylized pilot for this to get underway soon.
Now that NBC’s spy comedy “Chuck” has has ended its run, leads Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski are on the prowl for work to occupy their newly free schedules. Levi wasted little time, securing a role in the superhero blockbuster “Thor 2” (where he’ll be replacing actor Josh Dallas), and now Strahovski is proving she’s no slouch herself. Showtime seems pretty proud that Strahovski will be joining their beloved serial killer series “Dexter” as a “strong, independent women” in a multi-episode arc this season. She’ll be a character who assists Dexter in a few old cases – but may not be letting on to everything she knows. Strahovski will probably be murdered off at the hand’s of Michael C. Hall’s Dexter at some point (seriously, that’s how all of these guest roles are), but it should be fun to watch the talented Strahovski nonetheless.
Finally, the lesser (but still talented) of the Fiennes brothers, Joseph Fiennes, shows that he shares his brother Ralph’s penchant for creepy and tortured characters as he is in negotiations to join the second season of FX’s “American Horror Story” as the head of the institution for the criminally insane where star Jessica Lange now works (since the series has changed locales for its second season), and will also serve as her romantic foil for the season. Fiennes will be joining another stellar cast for the series that includes Lange, James Cromwell, Chloë Sevigny, Zachary Quinto, Adam Levine, Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson, and Evan Peters. Spooky! [THR/Vulture/EW]