Paramount Network has postponed the scheduled premiere of “Heathers,” a TV series based on the hit 1988 movie, citing sensitivity to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The series, which was scheduled to premiere March 7, focuses – as the movie did – on the caste system within a high school, and includes several acts of violence perpetrated by students. There is not a specific shooting incident within the first several episodes of the program.
In a statement, Paramount described the darkly comedic show as “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. 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.”
“Heathers” is only the latest TV show to have its debut impacted by a mass shooting. In October, Netflix decided to withdraw a planned preview of “The Punisher,” based on the Marvel comic about a gun-wielding vigilante, from the lineup at New York Comic-Con after the tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas.
The basic cable channel was recently rebranded as the Paramount Network, having previously been known as SpikeTV. “Heathers” is the second major original series scheduled to make its debut on the network, following the limited series “Waco.”
Only a few early reviews of “Heathers” have posted, but both the Hollywood Reporter and Slant magazine panned the show, with the latter saying that it “seems to despise the very demographic it’s trying to attract.”