Paramount scraps Heathers TV series in response to real world violence

Last Updated on August 5, 2021


The television series Heathers, a show inspired by the 1988 cult classic film of the same title, was supposed to debut on the Paramount Network back on March 7th, but its premiere was delayed after the school shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida on February 14th. Since then, the frequency of these real world violent acts has made the network decide that they're not going be airing the series at all. 

Created by Jason A. Micallef, the show was set to tell a reworked version of the film's story over the course of its 10 episode first season. That story centered on a high school student named 

Veronica as she navigates a clique of mean girls — all named Heather — and rebels after meeting J.D., the new guy at school. Soon, the Heathers start "accidentally" dying at the hands of Veronica and J.D., who cover up the deaths by faking them as suicides.

Jasmine Mathews, Brendan Scannell, and Melanie Field were cast as the show's Heathers, with Grace Victoria Cox and James Scully as Veronica and J.D. Original HEATHERS star Shannen Doherty had a three-episode arc in the season, her first appearance being in the very first scene of the first episode.

The Paramount Network was proud of how the season was coming together, and was even close to renewing it for a second season already. If Heathers continued, the plan was that it would be an anthology series, with each season being about a different group of Heathers. A writers room has already nearly completed work on the scripts for the second season, and rumor has it that the setting would have been in the 1700s, with Marie Antoinette as the lead character.

Keith Cox, the president of development and production at Paramount Network, had this to say about the decision not to air the series: 

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."

Cast members are said to be relieved that the series won't be airing at this time.

This may not be the end for Heathers, though, as Paramount's owner Viacom is currently trying hard to find the series a new home. It just won't be airing on any Viacom platforms.

Source: THR

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.