NBC is confident that Cruel Intentions will move forward in some form, with NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke telling reporters she’s “determined to find a place to put it” at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Though the network did not greenlight the Sarah Michelle Gellar project, which picks up 15 years after the movie left off, NBC recently extended its deals with the actors, giving hope that the show may have a future either on air or online.
“It was really a space issue,” Salke said of not picking up the pilot to series. “We had a spot for a big great soap. This Is Us seemed to fit better, so we started looking for opportunities in midseason, possibly summer for the show. We started talking about the OTT platform that you heard was looming. Right now, we wanted to make sure we have the show, because I’m determined to find a place to put it.”
The possibility that Cruel Intentions will land on the network is “very” realistic, Salke stressed. “We wouldn’t have held that talent if we didn’t have every intention of finding an opportunity for the show,” she said. “I love it.”
The drama follows the beautiful and cunning Kathryn Merteuil (Gellar) as she vies for control of Valmont International as well as the soul of Bash Casey (Taylor John Smith), the son of her brother, the late Sebastian Valmont, and Annette Hargrove (Kate Levering). Upon discovering his late father’s legacy in a hidden journal, Bash is introduced to a world of sex, money, power, and corruption he never could have imagined.
Despite the salacious storylines in the original film, Salke said the network doesn’t have concerns about the content. “I think there would be two versions of the show,” she said. “Of course if it ends up on some alternative platform, we would have more leeway, but it is designed to be dishy, fun, and push the envelope as far as sexuality. It’s not something we’re inviting kids in to watch.”
The project hails from Roger Kumble, Jordan Ross, and Lindsey Rosin, who executive-produce with Neil Moritz and Pavun Shetty. Samantha Logan, Sophina Brown, Nathalie Kelly, Coby Bell, Bryce Cass, and Peter Gallagher also star.
For more news out of NBC’s day at TCA, click here.