Heathers TV reboot officially cancelled by network

The release of a television remake of cult classic Heathers has officially been abandoned by its network.

The Paramount Network show Heathers was an attempt to update the 1989 film – in which murderous teens wreak havoc in their high school social circle – for 2018.

However, following a large backlash and an unprecedented level of school shootings in 2018, the show was reportedly cancelled by the network.

In March, the show’s planned release was postponed in the wake of the Parkland school shooting and was not given an alternative release date.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, there were plans to release the show in July, which were then shelved following the Santa Fe school shooting on May 18.

(Paramount Network)

On Friday (June 1), Keith Cox, Paramount Network president of development and production told The Hollywood Reporter that the network had now officially stepped back from the reboot.

Related: ABC cancels Roseanne after ‘abhorrent’ and ‘repugnant’ tweets

Cox directly linked the recent spate of school shootings with the cancellation, stating: “The combination of a high school show with these very dark moments didn’t feel right.

(Paramount Network)

“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.”

Cox went on to reference Viacom – the parent company of the Paramount Network – and their recent support for the #NeverAgain movement sparked by the Parkland shooting.

He said: “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.”

(Paramount Network)

However, this may not be the last we see of the controversial reboot.

As well as the finished first season of 10 episodes, the second season of Heathers has reportedly already been written.

The reboot is now looking for another network to broadcast on, with Cox stating that he is in talks with other platforms, including Netflix.

(Paramount Network)

The TV reboot updates the original Heathers trio for the modern age – with genderqueer character Heather Duke played by actor Brendan Scannell, while Jasmine Mathews plays Heather McNamara, who tells everyone she’s a lesbian, but is actually heterosexual.

Early reviews had been extremely negative about the swipes at the online social justice movement. One reviewer branded the show a “Trumpian, LGBT-Bashing Nightmare” that portrayed queer people as “bullies”, while another said it was an “insult to teens in 2018”.

The trailer for the show, originally posted to YouTube on the Paramount Network channel in January, now appears to have been deleted.