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Paramount Network Pulls Plug On Heathers' Reboot

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Paramount Network Pulls Plug On Heathers' Reboot

Paramount Network Pulls Plug On Heathers' Reboot

Paramount Network's Heathers reboot will not see the light of day on a Viacom-owned cabler or platform.

The satirical reboot of the 1980s cult hit film has been scrapped at the former Spike TV as Viacom aggressively searches for a new home for the anthology.

The decision comes four months after Paramount Network opted to push the anthology from its planned March 7 premiere to a launch later this year in a move originally designed to be respectful to the victims, families and loved ones following the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.

A new premiere date was never set.

(Sources say Paramount Network considered an early July return for Heathers but then the Santa Fe shooting happened.) "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.

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," said Keith Cox, Paramount Network president of development and production.

Cox, who spoke at length with The Hollywood Reporter about the decision (full interview below), developed the show originally for TV Land and brought it with him to corporate sibling Paramount Network once the cable network was rebranded as Viacom's general entertainment hub.

Sources say Paramount Network believed so strongly in the creative that the cabler nearly renewed the series for a second season weeks after Parkland.

"The combination of a high school show with these very dark moments didn't feel right," Cox said.

The decision to pull the plug on the anthology — which was poised to feature a largely new cast in its second season — came after multiple meetings internally with Paramount Network president Kevin Kay, Cox and senior vp development Brad Gardner as well as Viacom corproate execs including CEO Bob Bakish.

Ultimately, the decision to not air Heathers on any Viacom platform was made after the youth-focused conglomerate supported the movement that sprang out of Parkland by going dark across all of its brands for 17 minutes in a show of support for the victims in the Florida high school shooting.

Those connected with the series were informed of the decision Friday afternoon.

Sources say multiple cast members are relieved that the series will not currently air.

Meanwhile, Cox and company are actively trying to find a new home the drama, which follows a new set of popular-yet-evil Heathers as the outcast become high school royalty as Paramount Network executives strongly believe in the Heathers reboot.

The original TV Land pilot was filmed in November 2016 — as Cox says, "before the climate changed."

(Heathers was originally envisioned as a half-hour comedy but expanded to an hour after the pilot came in at 44 minutes and network executives decided to make it TV Land's first hourlong show.)


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