Nearly three months after it was originally supposed to debut, the Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV) has pulled the plug on their new Heathers TV show. The anthology series had been bumped from its original March 7 premiere date in late February, out of respect for the victims of the deadly Parkland school shooting that claimed 17 lives and sparked a national movement by a group of survivors to pass new gun legislation. Paramount never issued an updated premiere date, and now the show is looking for a new home, although it isn't clear if there is a front runner to pick up the show yet or not.
After the March 7 date was scrapped due to the Parkland shooting, sources claim the Paramount Network was considering a July premiere, but that plan was shelved after the Santa Fe, Texas high school shooting happened, which left 10 dead. Keith Cox, president of production and development for Paramount Network, revealed in an interview that they still do believe in the show, which is why they're trying to sell it to another network or streaming service, but they didn't feel right airing this show on such a youth-centric network in the aftermath of these school shootings.
"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. The combination of a high school show with these very dark moments didn't feel right."
Sources added that Paramount Network believed in the series so much that they almost issued a Season Two renewal for Heathers, just weeks after the Parkland shooting. The series was designed to be an anthology, with completely different characters in the second season, but after multiple meetings with the Paramount Network's top brass, including Cox, network president Kevin Kay, and senior vp development Brad Gardner, plus Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, the decision was made to pull the plug on the show, which has already filmed its entire first season, which is comprised of 10 episodes.
The decision to scrap the show came down today, with those involved in the show informed of the network's decision this afternoon. Sources also claim that several of the show's cast members were "relieved" that the show would not air. The writers room had also opened months ago, with writers working on the second season of the anthology series, which would have brought the main cast members back, including James Scully (J.D.) and Grace Victoria Cox (Veronica), plus Jasmine Mathews, Brendan Scannell and Melanie Field, who starred as the three Heathers, all playing completely different characters. Sources claimed the second season would be set in the 1700s and center on Marie-Antoinette. You can head over to The Hollywood Reporter for their full report and interview with Paramount Network president Keith Cox.