With television having become the hotbed of original and rebooted programming that it currently is, it no longer surprises anyone when a familiar movie title is being given the series treatment. Horror movies, with their cult following and ample material to choose from, have been a popular choice for some time now and for the most part, networks have found success in this model.
Horror classics like Evil Dead, Scream and even Wolf Creek have all had varying degrees of success – enough that other big franchises like Friday the 13th have decided to follow in their footsteps. In the case of Friday the 13th, it was announced last year that the series was in the works at the CW. Of course the announcement brought a range of reactions from fans, but for the most part, there was curiosity to see what exactly could be done with the classic slasher.
Unfortunately, EW is now reporting that the CW has pulled the plug on their Friday the 13th: Crystal Lake Chronicles series, based on its pilot episode. Stating that the network “had better pilots”, CW president Mark Pedowitz discussed the decision during the Television Critics Association’s press tour. According to Pedowitz, the pilot was darker than the network had been expecting, and the CW didn’t feel that as a whole, the series was a sustainable one. Said Pedowitz:
“We had better pilots. The bottom line is we felt we had stronger things to go with, and we didn’t go forward with it. It was well-written, it was darker than we wanted it to be, and we didn’t believe it had sustainability… We didn’t believe that it was a sustainable script, a sustainable series. It was a very good pilot, but not a sustainable series.”
CW’s Friday The 13th series had reportedly been set to follow a detective as he searched for his long lost brother. In one way or another, this search would lead to Crystal Lake and the return of notorious serial killer, Jason Vorhees. Described as an hour long “sophisticated horror/crime thriller” with “a stronger feel of grounded reality”, the series also purportedly looked to expand on the backstory of the Vorhees family while developing the show’s overall storyline in various time periods. Beyond this, there wasn’t a lot of information floating around about the series, including whether or not Jason’s appearance – hockey mask and all – would remain identical to what fans were familiar with.
It’s disheartening that Friday the 13th has been abandoned as a TV series, particularly because being too dark was listed as one of the reasons for not moving forward. It’s hard to imagine the tale of a mass serial killer not being dark. It’s also a let-down considering the potential the franchise actually has for a quality TV series. The 1987 Friday the 13th: The Series was the last time the property was given its chance on TV and although it ran for 3 seasons, the series was (for lack of a better word) terrible.
But, this is Hollywood after all, and like Jason Vorhees himself, no project is ever really dead. Perhaps at some point Friday the 13th fans will see the series taken on by another network, but for now horror buffs will just have to remain content with the movie to TV adaptations that are currently alive or on their way.
The upcoming movie reboot of Friday the 13th is scheduled to arrive in theaters on January 13, 2017.