No one at Westerberg is going to let you play their reindeer games — but someone at NBCUniversal just might, because Michael Lehmann and Daniel Waters’ 1988 cult classic “Heathers” is being developed and updated as a potential scripted series for Bravo.
The original film starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater as teen lovers attending a high school ruled by three pretty, popular girls, all named Heather. It delved into some seriously black comedy involving serial killing and suicides, and while it didn’t perform well at the box office, it built up a following on home video in the years after its theatrical release.
Plans for a TV series continuation of “Heathers” were first announced in 2009, with Mark Rizzo and “Men in Trees” creator Jenny Bicks initially writing the adaptation for Fox, though the project didn’t make it very far. Now, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Bravo is taking a run at the series with Bicks and Rizzo still on board. The TV take on “Heathers” will pick up two decades after the film, with Veronica (the character played by Ryder) returning home to Sherwood with her teenage daughter and dealing with the Ashleys, a generation of mean girls made up of the daughters of a few of the Heathers.
The move to scripted series is a new one for Bravo, a network best known for “The Real Housewives,” so it’s impossible to guess what “Heathers: The TV Show” might be like. But here’s assuming it won’t be as dark as the original film. How can it be?
Bravo’s also added a few more new titles to its development slate. “Apartment,” from Jessica Queller (“Gossip Girl”), is about two siblings in their 20s who inherit their mother’s secret love nest and rent it out to people looking for a private space for a similar purpose. “The Darlings,” from Stu Zicherman (“Lights Out”), is based on a novel by Christina Alger about the family of a man whose Madoff-style business partner drags their business into a Ponzi scheme.
“All American Girl” is not a reboot of the ill-fated Margaret Cho sitcom, thankfully, but is instead about a trio of women working at a teen magazine and spans three decades of shifts in feminism and the workplace. Jenni Ross, who wrote the Black List screenplay “Hot Mess,” will write and produce with Chris and Paul Weitz. “Rita,” an adaptation of a Danish family drama from Krista Vernoff (“Grey’s Anatomy”), looks at an acerbic private school teacher trying to raise three teenagers while dealing with overprotective parents and the administration at her job.
All four new projects are hourlong dramas. Previously announced series in development include Doug Liman’s “22 Birthdays” and “Blowing Sunshine” from Jason Ning (“Perception”). The network’s also developing a TV series remake of the 2009 Demi Moore-David Duchovny indie drama “The Joneses” from “Life Unexpected” creator Liz Tigelaar.