'Heathers' Reboot Delayed Following Parkland Shooting

A month after rebranding from Spike TV, Paramount Network is delaying one of its first original series.

The Viacom-owned cable network has decided to push its reboot of 1980s cult classic Heathers from its March 7 premiere to a launch later this year. A new release date has not been announced.

The decision to push the series, The Hollywood Reporter writes, comes as the cable networks decided releasing the show would be disrespectful to the victims and families following the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that claimed the lives of 17 people.

"Paramount Network's original series Heathers is a satirical comedy that takes creative risks in dealing with many of society's most challenging subjects ranging from personal identity to race and socio-economic status to gun violence," Paramount Network said in a statement Wednesday. "While we stand firmly behind the show, in light of the recent tragic events in Florida and out of respect for the victims, their families and loved ones, we feel the right thing to do is delay the premiere until later this year."

The Parkland shooting has inspired a massive response from American companies. The survivors of the shooting have been on TV calling for legislative action to prevent gun violence and are organizing a March 24 March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C.

Their efforts have inspired big action, including companies like Dick's Sporting Goods deciding to stop selling assault rifles, and many companies severing business relationships with the NRA.

The original Heathers, written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann, centered on Veronica (Winona Ryder) and her rebel boyfriend (Christian Slater) and their trials dealing with high school's social order. The updated series, set in present times, features a new set of popular, evil Heathers — but the outcasts are now school royalty.

Heather McNamara (originally played by Lisanne Falk) will be portrayed by Jasmine Mathews; Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty in the film) is a male who identifies as gender-queer whose real name is Heath (Brendan Scannell); and Heather Chandler (originally Kim Walker) has a body like Martha Dumptruck and will be played by Melanie Field.


Newcomers James Scully and Grace Victoria Cox star as J.D. and Veronica, respectively. Original Heathers star Doherty guest stars in the pilot, which was directed by Leslye Headland and written by showrunner Jason Micallef.

Heathers, first developed for TV Land, was poised to become Paramount Network's second scripted original following miniseries Waco.