Paramount Network not moving forward with Heathers reboot


Paramount Network has decided not to move forward with its Heathers reboot series.

Heathers, based on the original 1988 film written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann, was originally set to air on March 7 of this year but the premiere was delayed in respect for the victims of the Parkland school shooting.

Paramount Network felt it would have been insensitive to air the series given its violent nature and set in a high school. The premiere was rescheduled for July 10, but it seems Paramount Network has had yet another change of heart.

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With a premiere date already set, it’s hard to say what exactly changed their minds, but Deadline reports that Paramount has decided that they “didn’t feel comfortable” airing the series in the current social/political climate. And I can’t say I blame them.

From what I saw of the pilot, the series isn’t exactly thoughtful about how it uses its narrative about bullying and violence. It comes off as flippant and tone-deaf, certainly not the kind of material used to start a dialogue on issues like school shootings, gun control, and mental health.

I’ve theorized previously that Paramount pulled Heathers exactly because they knew the material was tasteless and sent the wrong message. And what exactly is the right time to premiere a show like that in a climate like this? The answer, Paramount decided, is never.

Heathers was intended to be an anthology series, although I’m not sure how that would have worked. Creator Jason Micallef wrote the pilot episode and would have been executive producer alongside Leslye Headland, Tom Rosenberg, and Gary Lucchesi.

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One loss from Paramount’s decision to cancel Heathers is losing the cast of talented young actors set to play the Heathers, Veronica, and JD.

Grace Victoria Cox, Melanie Field, Brendan Scannell, Jasmine Mathews, and James Scully all seem like promising young stars and bear watching in the future.