The TV series reboot of the 80s cult classic Heathers was set to debut next week on Paramount Network, but in wake of the Parkland Shooting, the network, formerly known as Spike, has pulled it from the schedule.
It hasn’t given a new debut date, but the network insists that it will still air this year.
The network said in a statement, “Paramount Network’s original series Heathers is a satirical comedy that takes creative risks in dealing with many of society’s most challenging subjects ranging from personal identity to race and socio-economic status to gun violence. While we stand firmly behind the show, in light of the recent tragic events in Florida and out of respect for the victims, their families and loved ones, we feel the right thing to do is delay the premiere until later this year.”
The original film, starring Winona Ryder, Christian Slater and Shannen Doherty, followed 4 teenage girls — three of whom are wealthy and beautiful, and named Heather — in the most dominant clique at a fictional Ohio high school: the leader, Heather Chandler; the quiet, bookish and bulimic Heather Duke; and the weak-willed cheerleader Heather McNamara. Though they are the most popular students, the Heathers are both feared and hated. They invite 17-year-old Veronica Sawyer to join their group, by association making her a very popular girl as well. However, Veronica has had enough of their selfish behavior and longs to return to her old life and her nerdy friends.
A TV series adaptation has been in the works for years; in 2009, Fox TV and Sony studios teamed up to produce a “Heathers” series, which was to be a modernized version of the original story, and all characters from the film were expected to be scripted into the adaptation; in 2012, the Bravo network began developing a “Heathers” TV reboot, which wasn’t at all connected to the Fox/Sony project. Neither proposed series ever made it to broadcast.
Finally, earlier this year, March 2016, TV Land ordered a “Heathers” series as an anthology dark comedy set in the present day, with a very different but equally vicious group of Heathers. The series is written by Jason Micallef and Tom Rosenberg, and exec produced Gary Lucchesi will executive produce for Lakeshore Entertainment.
Since the pilot, it has moved from TV Land to Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV).
In a couple of twists on the original, one of the Heathers in the series will be a male who identifies as gender-queer, and another who is black and a lesbian. In the 1988 film, all the Heathers were played by young white actresses.
Of note, given this Shadow & Act’s s specific interests, newcomer Jasmine Matthews will play Heather McNamara, the weak-willed cheerleader who was played by Lisanne Falk in the original film.
Watch the red-band trailer for Heathers below: