NBCUniversal is shutting down Chiller, the horror channel that has remained on the air for ten years. The decision comes as a result of the company's difficulties in securing deals with carriers such as Dish Network, Verizon and Spectrum.
In March of 2007, NBCUniversal launched Chiller, a channel dedicated to films and TV shows in the horror genre. The first affiliate to carry the channel was DirectTV. Some of the earliest content to air on Chiller were popular shows like Twin Peaks, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Tales from the Crypt. Chiller also aired a number of iconic films including The Shining, and Hitchcock classics The Birds and Psycho. The channel later became known for airing lesser-known, small budget films.
Deadline reports that NBCUniversal is axing Chiller after ten years of being on the air. The shutdown will go into effect on New Year's Day. According to Deadline, the decision to terminate the channel was impacted by various carriers who have removed the channel from their lineup. The first major affiliate to drop the channel was Dish Network on February 1st of this year. Spectrum followed suit in late April. Verizon dropped it as well in October. The last major carrier to part ways with Chiller was Cox Communications on November 8th. DirecTV, however, still carries the channel, helping it to reach over 40 million homes.
Deadline's report states that NBCUniversal isn't looking to axe any other channels, and that no staffers will be affected by the channel's impending shutdown.
Horror fans will be understandably upset by the decision, as Chiller was the home for many now-cancelled shows, such as The Outer Limits, the 1980s remake of The Twilight Zone, Unexplained Mysteries, and Urban Legends. Chiller also had its own original series, Slasher, which debuted in 2016. The licensing rates for its second season were bought by Netflix. In 2013, NBCUniversal launched Chiller Films, an offshoot of the channel, to create original films for limited theatrical release.
Chiller was also popular with fans who saw the channel as an outlet for watching small budget horror films. These films make up a large part of Chiller's programming, along with reruns of cancelled scripted shows and reality shows. Of course, with Chiller being dropped by so many carriers, it's also understandable for NBCUniversal to ax the network as fewer viewers were actually able to watch it.
Chiller will go off the air on January 1st, 2018.