Between Scream's violent murders, The Vampire Diaries' blood-lusting vampires and The Following's serial killers, Kevin Williamson has become synonymous with horrifying tales that will most likely end in tragedy. Although his new CBS drama Stalkergoes down a similarly dark route in the show's pilot, the executive producer promises this is a very different show from his past work, in particular the bloody and often gruesome Following.
"In my mind, it's apples and oranges," Williamson told reporters at the Television Critics Association's fall previews on Thursday. "'We have one that's a violent thriller. It's meant to be this little horror movie every week... it has that violent stabby-stab element to it. This is a crime drama. This is a procedural. It follows the lives of these detectives that investigate the violent crime of stalking on a weekly basis."
Played by Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q, those detectives handle stalking incidents for the Threat Management Unit of the LAPD. Williamson initially came up with the idea of telling this story after encountering an "overzealous fan" after the success of Scream 2. But unlike the weekly grisly deaths of The Following, Stalker takes on the hot-button issue and slow burn of stalking, for which Williamson hopes to raise awareness.
"I'm writing for the moment after the scary," Williamson said. "It has a lurk in the dark quality... I'm hoping that this show is a drama, it's a character piece. There may be some aspects of violence... but I'm trying to be different and express myself in a different way. I'm hoping for a very dramatic compelling story week to week."
Though real-life stalking cases tend to involve more women than men, Williamson promises to find a balance. "I'm very attentive to that because I don't want to become a show that's violence against women," he says. "Everyone can be a stalker, everyone can be a victim."
Stalker premieres Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 10/9c on CBS. Will you watch?
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