Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Heathers Scrapped at Paramount

The network cites the current culture and school shootings

Tim Surette

The world may never see the Heathers reboot. Paramount has decided to not air the series, citing the show's content and the country's current culture following several deadly school shootings already this year, according to an interview in The Hollywood Reporter with Paramount president of development Kevin Cox. However, Paramount and Viacom are shopping the series in hopes to find it a home.

Heathers had already been delayed following the Parkland shooting in Florida, in which 17 people were killed by a gunman. Paramount rescheduled the show for the summer, but then the Santa Fe school shooting happened, bringing gun violence in school to the forefront of the country's attention again.

Heathers was an anthology, and Season 1 reworked the movie with new Heathers in a modern-day high school setting. (Season 2 was almost completely rewritten, and was in a much different setting from high school.) The series did feature violence in the high school, including a simulated school shooting as well as arming teachers with guns, but was doing so in the name of satire. That wasn't enough for Paramount, which is part of the youth-focused brand of parent company Viacom. Viacom's networks went dark earlier this year for 17 minutes as a tribute to the Parkland victims.

Heathers Isn't Trying to Be a "Responsible" Story About Bullying

"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," Cox, who admitted to living the show, told THR. "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. That would be in conflict."

There were even discussions to reshoot Season 1 out of high school, but it didn't service the show creatively.

"We couldn't take it out of high school. We looked at the episodes but the DNA, which makes it great ... We knew the show is polarizing, as the movie was," Cox said. "But we went through each episode and it would have butchered it to not have the ending. There's one episode where they're playing a video game and it's all done in jest with the teachers having guns. It's in the tone of the movie but tonally today, you run risk of, 'Are people seeing it for the satire or are they seeing it as insensitive?'"

Viacom confirmed to TV Guide that Paramount would not be airing the series, but did not have comment.