Paramount Network’s troubled, on-again, off-again television reboot of Heathers has once again run afoul of real-life events, this time pulling episodes from its marathon run in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting this past Saturday that claimed the lives of 11 people. The network has responded by pulling two episodes from the series in which the characters were to participate in active shooter training at their high school. Though the episodes have been scrubbed from the recently rebranded cable network’s schedule, they are still being made available through video on demand services and the Paramount app.
The Pittsburgh shooting is the latest act of real-world gun violence to have an impact on the would-be series. The show was pulled from Paramount Network’s schedule earlier this spring in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting in which 17 people lost their lives. At the time, the series was believed to have simply been delayed, but a potential mid-summer premiere was also abandoned after yet another school shooting, this time in Texas. The show was then thought to have been scrapped completely, but the powers that be at Paramount Network opted for an early fall marathon in which the series could run its course. Now, it looks as though the answer to the question of “when will be the right time for the Heathers reboot?” is… never.
Although viewers will still be able to see the series more or less in its entirety online, Heathers has already undergone more changes from its original iteration. According to THR, sensitive material was edited out of the program, including the original series finale, which featured a school being blown up. Moreover, the finale is now a condensed version of the original series’ last two episodes, reportedly giving Heathers a cliffhanger ending. Another scene, depicting a student playing out a mass shooting in a video game, has also been excised from the series.
As an example of how toxic Heathers had become since it was initially pulled in early March, THR also reports that Paramount Network was unable to unload the series to FreeForm or even Netflix, essentially putting the network in the position of absorbing the cost of its production without ever airing it, or the situation they find themselves in now.
Heathers began its marathon run with little fanfare, and now it seems real-life events have once again called unwanted attention to the series.
Heathers will conclude on Tuesday, October 29 on Paramount Network.