Like Veronica Sawyer herself, the Heathers TV series is coming back from the dead.
Beginning Thursday, Oct. 25, Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV) will air nine episodes of the shelved small-screen reboot. Two episodes will air each night for five consecutive nights, culminating in a Heathers-themed episode of Lip Sync Battle. The nine episodes will also begin streaming on Paramount Network’s app and website Oct. 22.
The season originally featured 10 episodes, but Paramount will air only the first nine, edited into a cliffhanger. “I am beyond excited that American audiences will finally get to see Heathers,” showrunner Jason Micallef said in a statement. “Obviously I wish fans could see the 10th episode but the producers and I felt strongly about not changing anything in it, and so, it’s been considered too controversial for U.S. audiences. Still, every day at this job is a delightful dream so it’s hard to complain. Plus, what matters most is fans will now get to see the satire we all love so much.”
Based on the darkly comedic 1988 cult classic, the new Heathers became a lightning rod for controversy as soon as its first promo was released in August 2017. Unlike the original movie, in which the mean-girl group of Heathers were all conventionally attractive, WASP-y young women, the TV show’s leading trio hail from traditionally marginalized groups: Heather Chandler (Melanie Field) is an overweight body-acceptance activist, Heather Duke (Brendan Scannell) identifies as genderqueer, and Heather McNamara (Jasmine Mathews) is African-American. The show’s protagonist, Veronica (Grace Victoria Cox), and her teen-terrorist love interest, J.D. (James Scully), are both white.
The show was delayed indefinitely in February in the aftermath of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
In a statement at the time, the network said, “Heathers is a satirical comedy that takes creative risks in dealing with many of society’s most challenging subjects ranging from personal identity to race and socio-economic status to gun violence. While we stand firmly behind the show, in light of the recent tragic events in Florida and out of respect for the victims, their families and loved ones, we feel the right thing to do is delay the premiere until later this year.”
In June, Paramount announced that it was scrapping the show altogether. “This company can’t be speaking out of both sides of its mouth, saying the youth movement is important for us and we’ve done all these wonderful things to support that and at the same time, we’re putting on a show that we’re not comfortable with,” said Keith Cox, the network’s president of development and production.
Although Cox said at the time that Paramount was “very diligently trying to sell” the series, it appears the network eventually decided it was the right home all along.
Watch an exclusive clip from the series above, and decide for yourself whether the world is ready for Heathers.