At some point in the last few years, The CW started gearing their programming beyond just the basic teen demographic, shifting their focus to more genre-heavy fare. It’s worked wonders for them thus far, and their current development season is a doozy, with the latest pilot order going to the bluntly-named Cheerleader Death Squad, which is being called an action-adventure mystery drama. It could be in 80% of Netflix categories one day.
How’s this for an overwhelmingly optimistic description? Cheerleader Death Squad is said to be “Heathers meets Alias,” according to Deadline. The plot will focus on a man who becomes a teacher at a prestigious prep school in Washington D.C. following his being disgraced out of a job at the CIA. Because this is how TV works, some of the guy’s students have personal connections to upper-level government figures, and so he trains them to serve as his link to that world, in an effort to make his way back into the CIA.
That description sounds a little less intense than anything that involves a death squad made out of cheerleaders. I wouldn’t be surprised if the spec script went by the name CIA+ or Untitled CIA School Mystery Drama. Still, there is that Heathers reference, and this is the network where The Flash and Arrow are always running around doing awesome shit. Cheerleader Dead Squad may very well pull off some hefty action sequences. Also, there's a relatively good chance at least one student in this school is a mutant who mixed up the application with Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
Cheerleader Death Squad is the latest project from the hit-making team of Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, Under the Dome showrunner Neal Baer and Blue Bloods executive producer Dan Truly. The trio wrote the script together, and all three will executive produce.
Marc Cherry has most recently been busy with the Lifetime comedic drama Devious Maids, and he’s developing a Phantom of the Opera modernization for ABC (that sounds WTF). Neal Baer, before his time at Under the Dome, was a writer and producer on shows like ER and Law & Order: SVU, and A Gifted Man. Dan Truly, who created Young Hercules after working on Hercules TV movies for years, also worked on SVU and A Gifted Man before working on Blue Bloods. It’s a cheer-worthy combination of talents.
The CW has completely upped its niche factor this pilot season, as they’ve already put in orders for Joe Hill’s Tales from the Darkside reboot, Tom Kapinos’ ghostly drama Dead People and Julie Plec’s mass epidemic drama Cordon. While the zany adventures of a former spy don’t necessarily sound like they belong in the same company, I’m hoping things get as extreme as the name Cheerleader Death Squad implies. Every show should live up to those expectations.