What’s your favorite scary… TV show? That’s actually a pretty legitimate question given the range of horror shows that have been on the airwaves in recent years. It might be suggested that the popularity of Twilight and the subsequent popularity of movie monster romance is what triggered the rash of shows like True Blood, Hemlock Grove and American Horror Story to be greenlit for the small screen, but whatever the reason, it’s a good time for horror fans to be turning on their TVs.
MTV first tested the potential of reviving old movies as TV series with Teen Wolf (now in its third season) and then, about a year ago, began developing another such series based on the Scream franchise. The process has been slow, but Scream was ordered to pilot earlier this year and now it seems that the network has begun signing creative talent to bring the idea to life.
The Futon Critic, whilst in attendance at this year’s Teen Choice Awards, passed on a reveal from MTV that Criminal Minds and Revenge producers Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie have been tapped to write the pilot episode of Scream.
The news that the script is finally in the works is definitely a positive development, though it’s something of a shame that Kevin Williamson, the writer of the original movies, apparently isn’t involved – of course, he’s been busy with his own show, The Following, on Fox. It also remains to be seen whether Wes Craven will direct the pilot, or whether someone else will be recruited for the job, and it’s important to remember that the show has not yet been ordered to series.
Though Dworkin and Beattie are better known as producers, they’ve also worked together many times as a writing team, penning episodes of both Revenge and Criminal Minds, as well as other shows like The Event, Cold Case and Dragnet. Their prior experience suggests that there might be an element of the police procedural format in Scream, which would make sense since the movies are often as much about catching the killer as they are about running from him/her.
Screen Rant has already touched on the potential challenges of making a TV show from a slasher franchise, the most obvious one being that it may well run out of characters about halfway through the second episode. The running theme of the Scream movies has always involved watching youngsters wandering around in the dark by themselves and eventually being jumped upon and stabbed, with some satire and a “whodunnit?” element mixed in for good measure.
Horror has been executed well on TV many times before, Bryan Fuller’s current series of Hannibal being just one such example, and the genre continues to ease its way into mainstream acceptance. Teen Wolf has so far been a considerable success for MTV, and while it can sometimes feel like Dawson’s Creek with werewolves it does have its moments of genuinely great spookiness and gore.
Perhaps the best example of a horror subgenre that doesn’t naturally lend itself to longevity becoming a hit serial is The Walking Dead. As with slasher movies, zombie movies generally tend to start with a large group of people who get eaten or turned one by one until only a few, one or none remain. The Walking Dead follows a similar pattern, but spreads the deaths out over the course of the series and occasionally replenishes the group with new characters in order to maintain a large and diverse cast. At a guess, this is most likely the direction that Scream will take.
It will be tricky to pull off, but if done well, the Scream series could actually be a rejuvenating force for the slasher genre. In a standard horror flick, characters will often only get a few minutes of screen time before being picked off by the killer in some gruesome way, making it difficult to root for them when they’re being chased or feel sad when they die.
The Scream movies are already something of an exception to this rule, since a number of characters managed to survive for two or three movies in a row, allowing the audience to become attached to them and give their deaths (when and if they occurred) greater impact. The ongoing format of a TV series would allow for an expansion of this trend that was already present in the movies.
Do you have faith in Dworkin and Beattie’s abilities to bring the Scream series to life on the small screen? Tell us if you’d be interested in watching the show in the comments.
We’ll keep you up to date on Scream and let you know if it survives past the pilot episode.
Source: The Futon Critic