The television reboot of Heathers won’t air on Paramount Network after a pair of real-life school shootings postponed the series’ premiere.
Production on the series’ 10-episode first season had already wrapped, and the writers’ room was already working on Season 2, the Hollywood Reporter writes.
The reboot of the 1988 cult teen black comedy – which starred Winona Ryder, Christian Slater and Shannon Doherty – was originally scheduled to debut on March 7th, but the premiere was delayed due to the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. A second attempt to reschedule the first episode for July was thwarted by the recent shooting at a Santa Fe, Texas high school.
Ultimately, given the content of the series – the first season concluded with the high school blowing up – Paramount Network decided to scrap the reboot entirely.
“This is a high school show, we’re blowing up the school, there are guns in the school, it’s a satire and there are moments of teachers having guns. It’s hitting on so many hot topics,” Paramount Network president of production and development Keith Cox told THR.
“This company can’t be speaking out of both sides of its mouth, saying the youth movement is important for us and we’ve done all these wonderful things to support that and at the same time, we’re putting on a show that we’re not comfortable with.” After the Parkland shooting, all Viacom networks went dark for 17 minutes to support the March for Our Lives movement.
Cox added, “The combination of a high school show with these very dark moments didn’t feel right.”
Viacom, which owns Paramount Network and produced the Heathers reboot, will now attempt to sell the series to another network or streaming service; Heathers had previously been at Fox, Bravo and TV Land before landing at Paramount Network. The reboot, one of Rolling Stone‘s 30 Most Anticipated Shows of 2018, featured Doherty in a guest role and took a contemporary approach to the classic black comedy.