Paramount Network has decided to push back the premiere of its series “Heathers” in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
The show, an update of the 1988 movie of the same name, had been scheduled to debut March 7 on Paramount (formerly Spike). Some reviews for the series have already been published, and Paramount had launched a fairly sizable promo campaign.
Two weeks after the deaths of 17 people in Parkland, however, the channel has decided to hold off. “Heathers” will premiere later in the year, with a date still to be determined.
“‘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,” the network says in a statement. “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.”
The show joins a good-sized list of programs delayed or altered in the wake of real-world events. Some other notable examples include the 1999 “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” episode “Earshot,” pushed back several months following the Columbine killings; the series premiere of “24” in 2001, which edited a scene in which an airliner is blown up following the 9/11 terrorist attacks; and more recently, USA’s “Shooter,” whose 2015 debut was twice delayed following mass shootings.