The Paramount Network has announced that it will not air the small-screen adaptation of the 1988 film Heathers, after all. The network's decision comes nearly two months after it pushed back the premiere date for the series. It was initially set to arrive in early March.
In an interview with THR, Keith Cox, The Paramount Network's president of development and production, said he is not scrapping the series. Instead he's working to shop it to another network. Meaning the show is not necessarily dead, but is in limbo. If another network bites, they will have a complete season at their disposal. The debut season of Heathers contains 10 hour-long episodes. That time probably includes commercials, which could put the episodes clocking in at the 45 to 50-minute range.
Envisioned as an anthology, Heathers should also have a beginning, middle, and end. This is a format that plenty of networks centered around binge-watching should consider appealing. The cast of the TV show does not feature original Heathers leads Winona Ryder or Christian Slater. However, Shannon Doherty, who starred as Heather Duke in the movie, has a role in the pilot. In another teen movie touchstone, Cruel Intentions' Selma Blair plays Heather Duke's step-mother in the series.
While the Heathers TV show is seeking a new home, time will tell if it ever airs on broadcast television, or in this case -- cable. The show's best chance at this point is arguably a streaming platform. In general, streaming networks have tended to take more risks with their content. Look at Netflix and 13 Reasons Why. No stranger to controversy, the second season followed suit with its first by becoming embroiled in another one.
Given that The Paramount Network does not feel at ease airing Heathers, it will be interesting to see if another network will take the gamble. If it does end up streaming, it would require Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or maybe even Apple, to take a leap two networks did not. For whatever reason, Hulu seems the most likely candidate. Unlike other series, Heathers' predicament is different than other shows that have sought a new home.
Among the Heathers' subject matter is the portrayal of suicides and a high school shooting, which EW says turns out to be a video game. With Paramount Network deciding to shop the series, it would have to arrive on a third network. It is a seemingly unprecedented move for an already filmed series to have to make. Like American Woman, which was originally supposed to air on TV Land, Heathers also moved to The Paramount Network. Unlike American Woman, Heathers will not be staying there.