Heathers (TV series)
Heathers is an American black comedy television series, created by Jason Micallef, that is set to premiere on October 25, 2018, on Paramount Network. Its first season, a modern-day reboot of the 1989 film of the same name written by Daniel Waters, follows high school student Veronica Sawyer (played by Grace Victoria Cox) and her conflicts with a self-titled clique consisting of three fellow students who share the name Heather. The series has been intended to be an anthology, with each season taking place in an entirely different setting.
|Created by||Jason Micallef|
by Daniel Waters
|Composer(s)||Chris Alan Lee|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||32–42 minutes|
|Original network||Paramount Network|
The series was originally in development for TV Land, but it was moved to the 2018 launch slate for its re-branded sister network Paramount Network, with a premiere scheduled for March 2018. In the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and the program's subject matter, Paramount Network delayed the premiere to July 2018. However, on June 1, 2018, Paramount Network's parent company Viacom dropped Heathers entirely due to continued concern for its content. While the series has yet to premiere domestically, it has been sold and aired internationally.
On October 4, 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere on October 25, 2018 on Paramount Network over the course of five nights. The series was edited for content by the network resulting in numerous cuts and the number of episodes being reduced from 10 to 9, with the original final two episodes being combined into one.
Cast and charactersEdit
- Grace Victoria Cox as Veronica Sawyer, a self described "good person" with questionable morals and a part of the most popular clique in her high school. Maisie de Krassel portrays a young Veronica in a recurring role.
- Melanie Field as Heather Chandler, the heavyset leader of the most popular and powerful clique at Westerburg High known as "The Heathers". Emma Shannon portrays a young Heather in a guest appearance in the episode "Reindeer Games".
- James Scully as Jason "JD" Dean, Veronica's love interest and a new student at Westerburg High with the tendency to wax poetic about the high-school hierarchy. Maverick Thompson portrays a young JD in a guest appearance in the pilot episode.
- Brendan Scannell as Heather "Heath" Duke, a member of "The Heathers" who identifies as gender-queer and who secretly envies Heather Chandler's power. Jack R. Lewis portrays a young Heather in a guest appearance in the episode "Do I Look Like Mother Theresa?".
- Jasmine Mathews as Heather McNamara, a biracial lesbian who is the most naive and timid member of "The Heathers".
- Jeremy Culhane as Dylen Lutz, a lovable loser who is picked on by most of the student body.
- Jesse Leigh as Peter Dawson, Class President of Westerburg High School, a gossip, and a member of the "Gay Nerds".
- Romel De Silva as Kyle, one of Peter’s best friends who is obsessed with "The Heathers" and is a member of the "Gay Nerds".
- Drew Droege as Maurice Dennis, Westerburg's art teacher.
- Deanna Cheng as Pauline Fleming, Westerburg's driven guidance counselor.
- Adwin Brown as Seth, one of Peter's best friends who likes to gossip and is also a member of the "Gay Nerds".
- Annalisa Cochrane as Shelby Dunnstock, a cheerleader and one of Betty Finn's friends who is constantly bullied by "The Heathers".
- Brett Cooper as Brianna "Trailer" Parker, a poverty-stricken student at Westerburg High who is bullied because she lives in a trailer.
- Cameron Gellman as Kurt Kelly, the gay quarterback of the Westerburg High School football team, who is secretly dating Heather Duke.
- Mandy June Turpin as Mrs. Sawyer, Veronica's mother.
- Allyn Morse as Annie, a Westerburg student.
- Paige Weldon as Lily, a Westerburg student.
- Nikki SooHoo as Betty Finn, Veronica's childhood friend, who secretly wants to be just as popular as "The Heathers". Ella Gross portrays a young Betty in a recurring role.
- Kurt Fuller as Principal Gowan, the principal of Westerburg High School.
- Wallace Langham as Mr. Sawyer, Veronica's father.
- Travis Schuldt as coach Cox, Westerburg's coach.
- Selma Blair as Jade Duke, Heather Duke's step-mother, a stripper and menthol smoker who's biding her time until her 82-year-old husband dies.
- Jamie Kaler as Big Bud Dean, JD's father and the owner of Big Bud Oil and Gas, an oil and gas company.
- Rebecca Wisocky as Martha Chandler, Heather Chandler's mother and a former stage actress who does not believe that her daughter has talent.
- Karen Maruyama as Mrs. Finn, Betty's mother.
- Matthew Rocheleau as David Waters, a Westerburg teacher who has an affair with Heather McNamara.
- Cayden Boyd as Ram Sweeney, the best friend of Kurt Kelly and another member of the Westerburg High School football team.
- Sophia Grosso as Driffany Tompkins, a Westerburg student.
- Joel Spence as Mr. Chandler, Heather Chandler's father.
- Christina Burdette as Jesus Julie, a religious student who is friends with Betty and Shelby.
- Jen Zaborowski as Mrs. Zaborowski, a Westerburg teacher.
- Shannen Doherty as JD's mom, who committed suicide when JD was just a child. She also appears as Dr. Destiny during an hallucination in the episode "Reindeer Games".
- Lilli Birdsell as Mrs. McNamara, Heather McNamara's mother.
- Phil LaMarr as Mr. McNamara, Heather McNamara's father.
- Birgundi Baker as Lizzy, a new student at Westerburg High, who was raised in the foster care system and is eager to learn the ways of Heather Chandler.
- Vic Chao as Mr. Finn, Betty's father.
- Salma Khan as Amita, an influencer.
- April Bowlby as Teyna, Big Bud Dean's girlfriend.
- Reece Caddell as Lucy McCord, a childhood friend of Veronica and Betty who was murdered with a croquet mallet.
- Casey Wilson as Lexi Anne, a news anchor.
- James Kirkland as a disc jockey at Betty's party and the prom.
|No.||Title [a]||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||"Pilot"||Leslye Headland||Jason Micallef||October 25, 2018[b]||TBD|
|17-year-old Veronica Sawyer is friends with the Heathers, a group of very popular students at Westerburg High. While at a party, Veronica calls Heather Chandler a "fatty" during a fit of rage. An angry Heather promises to ruin Veronica's social life the next day at school. Later that evening Veronica meets up with JD, who is new at her school. JD decides to help Veronica. The pair break into Heather Chandler's room and plan to take a picture of her wearing a Nazi hat, so they can post it on Heather's social media. However, Heather wakes up before they have a chance to post the picture and quickly figures out what is going on. JD tricks Heather into swallowing a pill which he tells Veronica will induce vomiting. The pill, however, seemingly kills Heather. Veronica and JD quickly post a fake suicide message on Heather's social media and flee the scene. The next morning Heather's suicide note has gone viral. A flashback to earlier that morning, however, reveals that Heather Chandler survived and is still alive.|
|2||"She's Going to Cry"||Leslye Headland||Price Peterson & Jason Micallef||TBA||TBD|
|3||"Date Rapes and AIDS Jokes"||Leslye Headland||Annie Mebane & Jason Micallef||TBA||TBD|
|4||"Our Love Is God"||Sydney Freeland||Lily Sparks & Jason Micallef||TBA||TBD|
|5||"Reindeer Games"||Adam Silver||Jessica Wood & Jason Micallef||TBA||TBD|
|6||"Hot Probs"||Gregg Araki||Carey O'Donnell & Jason Micallef||TBA||TBD|
|7||"Do I Look Like Mother Theresa?"||Gregg Araki||Matt McConkey & Jason Micallef||TBA||TBD|
|8||"Call Us When the Shuttle Lands"||Jessica Lowrey||Daniel Brier & Jason Micallef||TBA||TBD|
|9||"I'm a No-Rust-Build-Up Man Myself"||Kate Dennis||Ryan Sandoval & Jason Micallef||TBA||TBD|
|10||"Are We Going to Prom or Hell?"||Leslye Headland||Jason Micallef||TBA||TBD|
- Episode titles and names of directors and writers sourced from HBO Europe through which the series has been distributed internationally.
- Premiered early online through iTunes and numerous cable video on demand services on February 20, 2018. Television premiere originally scheduled for March 7, 2018, before being rescheduled, pulled, and then ultimately set for October 25, 2018.
—Creator/Showrunner Jason Micallef about the radical change of the cast in the series.
On August 27, 2009, Sony Pictures Television announced that Heathers was to be adapted for television to air on Fox. Mark Rizzo was hired to write the series, and Jenny Bicks was to co-produce with Lakeshore Entertainment. The program was described as a modernized version of the original story, and all characters from the film were expected to be scripted into the adaptation.
On September 12, 2012, it was announced that the television network Bravo would begin developing a Heathers reboot unrelated to the earlier announcement by Sony Pictures Television. The storyline was to pick up twenty years after the events of the film when Veronica returns home to Sherwood, Ohio with her teenage daughter, who had to contend with the next generation of mean girls, all named "Ashley". They were to all be the daughters of the two surviving Heathers. Neither Ryder nor Slater were attached to the project. However, in August 2013, Bravo declined to order the series.
On January 13, 2017, TV Land ordered a newly developed iteration of the series, described as an anthology dark comedy set in the present day. The series was set to be written by Jason Micallef and Tom Rosenberg, with Gary Lucchesi serving as an executive producer for Lakeshore Entertainment. On January 13, 2017, Heathers was ordered to series at TV Land.
On March 16, 2017, it was reported that the series would move to Paramount Network, a planned rebranding of TV Land's sister network Spike. On June 1, 2018, however, it was announced that Paramount Network had dropped the series due to concerns over its content in the wake of recent school shootings in the United States. It was reported that the series' producers had begun to shop the series to other broadcasters, and that writing for a potential second season had neared completion, which would take place in an entirely different setting than the first season and original film. By July 16, 2018, it was reported that both Netflix and Freeform had passed on the series. On October 4, 2018, it was announced that Viacom and Paramount Network had reversed their decision on the series and that, following various edits and a reduction in episode count from 10 to 9, the series would premiere on the cable network on October 25, 2018.
On October 11, 2016, it was announced that James Scully and Grace Victoria Cox had been cast in the male and female leads J.D. and Veronica. Later that month, Melanie Field, Brendan Scannell, and Jasmine Mathews joined the main cast as the titular "Heathers" (Heather Chandler, Heather Duke, and Heather McNamara, respectively). On November 22, 2016, it was announced that original film cast member Shannen Doherty had been cast as a pivotal character in the series' pilot episode. It was later reported that she is set to appear in three of the first season's episodes in total. On June 23, 2017, Birgundi Baker and Cameron Gellman signed onto the series in the recurring roles of Lizzy and Kurt, respectively. On July 6, 2017, it was reported that Selma Blair had been cast in the recurring role of Jade, "the gold-digging stepmother to Heather Duke" who is described as "a stripper menthol smoker who is rough around the edges, but with a bit of glamour to her."
In November 2016, the series' pilot began production in Los Angeles, California. Principal photography for the rest of the first season took place from spring through fall of 2017 in the Chatsworth area of Los Angeles. Locations utilized for filming included the Rancho San Antonio which is being used to portray Westerburg High School.
On August 28, 2017, the Paramount Network released a teaser trailer for the series alongside a series of posters, each depicting a different character. On February 18, 2018, the first official trailer for the series was released. Beginning on February 12, 2018, a series of promotional posters, each depicting a different character, were released.
The series was initially set to debut on March 7, 2018. However, on February 28, 2018, it was announced that the premiere would be delayed in light of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Paramount Network released a statement explaining their decision saying, "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. 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." On March 14, 2018, Viacom suspended programming across all of its networks, including Paramount Network, for 17 minutes due to its support of student-led protests and campaigns that emerged in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas shootings.
On May 1, 2018, it was announced that the series would officially premiere on Paramount Network on July 10, 2018. On June 1, 2018, it was reported that Paramount Network had dropped the series entirely, and that it would be shopped to other networks. Viacom executives became increasingly uncomfortable with airing the program due to its themes; another major school shooting, the Santa Fe High School shooting, had occurred in May 2018. Keith Cox, the network's president of development, noted that the pilot had been filmed "before the climate changed", and that "the combination of a high school show with these very dark moments didn't feel right".
On October 4, 2018, it was reported that the series would premiere on October 25, 2018 on Paramount Network over the course of five nights. The series was edited for content by the network resulting in numerous cuts or changes including the removal of a scene in the finale where Westerburg High School is blown-up and the altering of a scene in episode 5 that featured a first-person video game with teachers holding guns. Ultimately, the edits resulted in the number of episodes being reduced from 10 to 9, with the Paramount Network's dedicated application and website on October 22, 2018. Following the premiere of the final episode on October 29, 2018, a Heathers-themed episode of Lip Sync Battle was slated to air featured guests including Melanie Field and Brendan Scannell.
Though Paramount Network had pulled the series, the production companies involved with the show had already sold the series' international broadcast rights. The series airs on HBO in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. It started airing twice a week on July 11, 2018 on HBO Go with a weekly run airing on television beginning in September in those territories. Additionally, HBO subscribers in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden started getting episodes twice a week on HBO Go on July 11, 2018. Subscribers in Spain and Andorra got the first three episodes on HBO Go on the same date, with the remaining installments dropping on July 18, 2018. Additionally, HBO subscribers in Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea, Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe will begin streaming the series on HBO Go at a future date. Digiturk licensed the series in Turkey and Cyprus for premium subscribers with weekly episodes launching July 20, 2018. In Greece, OTE began broadcasting one episode a week starting on July 15, 2018. In Iceland, Siminn's video-on-demand service began streaming the series on July 12, 2018. In Australia, every episode will launch on September 28, 2018 on Stan.
The series has received a negative reception from critics based on the release of the pilot and screened episodes provided by Paramount Network before the series was pulled. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 31% approval rating with an average rating of 5.38 out of 10 based on 13 reviews. Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 42 out of 100 based on 5 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter gave the series a negative review and called the show "a pale imitation" of the 1988 film, and finishing saying, "Having the high school tyranny associated with a gang of students who, in a different era, might have been marginalized produces a dark and almost reactionary undercurrent in which the disenfranchised aren't being bullied, but rather are wielding identity politics and political correctness as weapons". Leigh Monson of Birth.Movies.Death was similarly negative saying that she saw in the show's dynamics "a longing for the good old days when non-whites and queers knew their place." Monson concluded, "Heathers is a hateful, bigoted exercise in regression hiding behind the guise of dark comedy, and I can only hope it doesn’t gain the Trumpian audience it so clearly craves." Samantha Allen of The Daily Beast panned the series saying, "If you believe that kids these days are fragile “snowflakes,” that political correctness is running amok, and that LGBT people are now society’s true bullies, this new Heathers is the show for you. The premiere of the rebooted cult classic, now airing for free online, takes place in a universe — clearly a fictional one—where the football team is oppressed and yesteryear’s fat, queer, and black victims now rule the school with manicured fists. The show feels like it was written for aging Fox News viewers who get angry about people’s gender pronouns — which is odd because it’s clearly being marketed to a young and therefore progressive-leaning audience who may not remember the ... original." Series creator Jason Micallef responded to Allen's review on Twitter, in a since-deleted post criticizing her review as a 'dumb hot take' and asserting that the audience was supposed to view the adults in the series as 'idiots'.
|Heathers - Original Television Series Score|
|Soundtrack album by Chris Alan Lee|
|Released||October 19, 2018|
Coinciding with the American premiere of the series, Lakeshore Records is releasing two soundtracks for the series. On October 12, 2018, Lakeshore is set to release "Heathers - Original Television Series Soundtrack" featuring songs from the series by various artists including DJ Shadow, Poison, and Peggy Lee. On October 19, 2018, Lakeshore is set to release "Heathers - Original Television Series Score" consisting of the show's original score composed by Chris Alan Lee.
All music composed by Chris Alan Lee.
|1.||"Heather Chandler Is Looking for You"|
|3.||"What the Queef Is This?"|
|4.||"American Carousel of Tragedy"|
|7.||"Heather Is Back"|
|8.||"I Am Suicide"|
|9.||"Jade Can You Not Smoke Your Whore Cigarettes"|
|10.||"What's Your Damage?"|
|11.||"You Always Had to Be Blue"|
|13.||"You Have the Political Beliefs of a Dorm Room Poster"|
|14.||"This Is Lizzy OMG U Never Buy Me Anything"|
|15.||"Total Bootcut Jean"|
|16.||"You're a Dinner Roll. A Side Salad"|
|17.||"Heather? We're Okay. Right"|
|18.||"It's Always Been Veronica"|
|20.||"The Pent Up Rage of an Overachiever"|
|21.||"Tag Is for Little Girls, Betty"|
|24.||"JD vs. Heather C"|
|25.||"JD vs. Veronica"|
|27.||"In the Clear for Now"|
|28.||"Heather vs. Heather"|
|29.||"She Needs a Mani not a Pedo"|
|30.||"The Royal Murder"|
|31.||"Heaven & Hell"|
|33.||"The Devil's Jizz"|
|34.||"Human Red Flag"|
|35.||"Coming for You"|
|36.||"Lemmings Lament" (featuring Melanie Field)|
|37.||"Heaven Is a Place on Earth" (featuring Brendan Scannell, Melanie Field & Birgundi Baker)|
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- HeathersTV [@HeathersTV] (February 18, 2018). "These two ink stains are going to ruin everything. Wednesday, March 7 on @paramountnet. #heathers" (Tweet). Archived from the original on June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018 – via Twitter.
- Vick, Megan (January 15, 2018). "Heathers Isn't Trying to Be a "Responsible" Story About Bullying". TVGuide.com. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
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- Evans, Greg (March 14, 2018). "Viacom Channels Go Dark For 17 Minutes In Solidarity With Student Anti-Gun Violence Marchers". Deadline. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
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