MTV tomorrow (June 30) will launch a new series based on the iconic Scream horror movie franchise of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The millennial-targeted network looks to give a contemporary look to Scream, which has grossed more than $600 million at the box office over four films.
I recently talked to MTV senior vice president of scripted programming Mina Lefevre, who pointed to some key themes about the new series that she wants Scream fans and horror aficionados to know about the show.
The series is not Scream 5: "It’s very important not to just do Scream 5 but figure out how to re-invent this so that it resonates with our audience and resembles where thriller and horror is today versus where it was when it was created. To that point we wanted to make sure we held true to the key elements that we all love, including the iconic humor, the contemporary references and obviously the horror/thriller part, but really try to reinvent it. That’s what the series is – it is a reinvention keeping true to some of the core iconic things that made it so big -- but not taking the original characters and making them 10 years older."
It will have a contemporary feel: "I wanted a reinvention of Scream the way Bates Motel reinvented (Psycho). If you do it smartly while keeping true to the things that were appealing overall to the original – the thriller/ horror aspect as well as the humor and the iconic personality in the killer -- I think that it will be satisfying to those fans. There’s also a mask component – I feel like it’s a big, iconic part of the original. We have done our version of it for the series -- it’s not exactly the same mask because we have to reinvent it to where horror and thriller genre is today, which is a litter darker and more sophisticated."
It will appeal to millennial viewers: "When Scream came to us it was exciting because it’s been a huge franchise in the horror and thriller space for many years. The idea of trying to do something for this generation in a tv series that the movies did when I was younger was very appealing. The idea of reinventing the franchise became really exciting, especially for our audience – the audience that watches this type of thriller is smack in our demo of 16-34 year olds."
R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.
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