MTV Scream

After many rumors, MTV has finally confirmed it will turn Wes Craven’s Scream movie franchise into a television series. The announcement came at the network’s annual Upfront Presentation where it announces future projects and plans.

“MTV is teaming with Dimension Films on the Scream reboot, with discussions underway with a number of writers for the series, which is slated for a summer 2014 debut,” said MTV in a blog post. “In addition, Dimension has been speaking to Craven about directing the show’s pilot.”

The network said the series would reinvent the horror comedy franchise that began with the original movie’s release in 1996. It’s clear the franchise is popular. The original movie spawned three sequels, all with appearances from original cast members—the ones that survived the many incarnations of Ghostface, the series’ masked villain.

The films helped Neve Campbell (Party of Five) and Courtney Cox (Friends) break away from their small-screen roles and become movie stars. Throughout the series, the films also featured other TV stars, including Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Hayden Panettiere (Nashville), Emma Roberts (Unfabulous), Laurie Metcalf (Rosanne), and Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy).

In the past 16 years, the franchise has grossed more than $600 million worldwide, making it one of the number one horror/comedy movie series of all time. MTV is hoping to bank on that success, as well as the recent horror hits on other networks, with a revamp of the series. Horror is in at the moment, with Hannibal, The Following, American Horror Story, and Bates Motel just some of the offerings on television.

Some might see the new adaptation as sacrilege; the Scream movies are classics. But if handled delicately, the television adaptation could work. There’ll be plenty of room for thrills and tension as viewers try to guess who Ghostface is going to come after from week to week. Television allows for longer storylines, more characters, more twists and turns, and hopefully a fresh, new take.

It may be difficult to replace the likes of Cox, Campbell and David Arquette from the movies, but in this age of reboots and sequels with different stars, that may not be an issue for the modern audience. Another problem is that, even in the years since Scream first appeared, viewers are more aware of the conventions of horror and television, so the show’s creative team will have its hands full staying ahead of the audience. Easing some of those concerns is the fact that the network is pursuing Craven to help and direct the pilot. He is, along with Kevin Williamson (who created The Following on Fox), the genius that started it all.

The untitled show is set to premiere in the summer of 2014. No cast members have been announced.

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