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James Hibberd
June 04, 2012 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Yes, you read that headline right: Jerry O’Connell has landed the starring role in NBC’s Munsters reboot Mockingbird Lane.

This was a very tough role to cast, as you might imagine. But The Defenders and Piranha star has nabbed the role of Munsters family patriarch in Bryan Fuller’s dramatic re-imagining of the classic TV series.

In Mockingbird Lane, the Frankenstein-inspired Herman is a mishmash of parts from other people and in a constant state of decay. The show’s pilot script has a subplot about Herman desperately needing a new heart — which involves finding a living “donor” for a replacement. Eddie Izzard was previously cast in the role of the vampire Grandpa.

“We want this show to be an American Harry Potter,” writer-producer Fuller recently told EW. “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.”

On the subject of Herman, Fuller noted the character is “essentially a zombie in a constant state of decay — and he’s married to a woman who doesn’t age [Lily], there’s something very poignant there.”

More from Fuller on Mockingbird Lane, including cool concept photos of the house and costumes, here.

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