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Paramount Network's HEATHERS Q&A w/ Cast & Exec. Producer, Episode Guide + Photos

Maj Canton - October 25, 2018




On Thursday, October 25, 2018 Paramount Network premieres the one-hour black comedy series HEATHERS based on the 1988 cult classic film, with two episodes per night at 10 & 11pm ET/PT through Sunday, October 29 and a supersized finale on Monday, October 30 at 10pm. Set in the present day, HEATHERS centers around “good girl” Veronica Sawyer (Grace Victoria Cox), who deals with a very different but equally vicious group of “Heathers.” Heather Chandler (Melanie Field) is the unconventional leader of this popular high school clique and rules Westerburg High through fear, intimidation and amazing fashion sense. Heather Duke (Brendan Scannell) is Heather C’s #1 sidekick and harnesses the Heather’s power to destroy whoever he views as a total discount hobgoblin. Heather McNamara (Jasmine Mathews) is considered the nicest Heather in the group who lives in the shadow of the others. She’s hiding a dark secret that she doesn’t want to be exposed. JD Dean (James Scully) is the new boy in town with a dark side and sets out on a reckless path of destruction proving that no one, even his girlfriend Veronica is safe. Also starring Nikki Soohoo, Jeremy Culhane, Adwin Brown, Romel De Silva, Cameron Gellman, Annalisa Cochrane, and Casey Wilson.


Original HEATHERS cast member Shannen Doherty guest stars as a pivotal character in several episodes, along with Selma Blair.



This past January TV Tango attended the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour, where the Paramount Network presented a panel that included cast members Grace Victoria Cox (Veronica), James Scully (JD), Melanie Field (Heather Chandler), Brendan Scannell (Heather Duke), Jasmine Mathews (Heather McNamara) and Executive Producer Jason Micallef. Here are a few highlights (edited for clarity and readability) from that panel.


From left to right, actors Melanie Field, Brendan Scannell, Jasmine Matthews, Grace Victoria Cox, and James Scully,

and EP Jason Micallef at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour in January 2018.


Brendan Scannell as Heather Duke in HEATHERS.

Question: What singled out the original HEATHERS as a cult classic and what inspired you to bring it to the small screen?

Jason Micallef: It was clearly ahead of its time. It shows American society in a way that is truthful but you don’t see often. So I thought it was the perfect time for it. The original was released at the end of the Reagan era, a time of transition, and I think now we’re in another clearly political time of transition.

Question: Can you talk about how the new Heathers are different from the movie Heathers?

Brendan Scannell: One of the take-aways from the movie is that power corrupts and people are generally self-centered. So in the movie you have these three white women wreaking havoc who you wouldn’t expect to. And in the show, we’re using traditionally marginalized communities. Black Heather, Plus-size Heather, queer Heather. These people are using the power of the internet and social media to trash everybody around them.

Question: Some of these characters are trying to keep up with modern trends, what is something that’s come and gone that you found interesting?

Melanie Field: In the area of social media, which is a huge topic on our show, there is always a new app or platform for marketing yourself or the version of yourself you’d like your peers to see. There’s all these new venues for self-expression. What I found interesting looking at these high school students, there’s really no accountability for what you post or say so it’s changed the way we interact with each other. There is a lot of behind the scenes social media based conversation –- one-sided conversation. What’s interesting about my character is she’s created her own brand and she doesn’t care what people think about it. She just created her own social media identity and her peers idolize her for it.

James Scully (left) and Jason Micallef (right) at TCA in January 2018.

Question: How do you responsibly make a dark comedy about teen bullying in this day and age?

Jason Micallef: The “responsibly” is the most important part of your question and the answer is we don’t. It’s not responsible. This is dark and edgy; we’re trying to show them as they really are. Because we’re in the show format, we have more time to go deeper with our characters. I don’t view the Heathers as villains at all. They’re victims in their own right and through self-confidence they’ve managed to take that. We address a lot of issues, we address that the Heathers are kind of aspirational bullies. They have all the best lines.

Jasmine Mathews as Heather McNamara in HEATHERS.

Question: What was it like for you in high school?

Jasmine Mathews: I identified very heavily with Heather M, being that I was part of the popular clique but had a little too much heart to be mean. But I was still mean, you know? I was bullied but I was also the bullier. It was a very confusing time for me.

Melanie Field: I think I was in my prime in elementary school, actually. I was the queen bee. I was an overweight kid. I was big my whole life and I identified at an early age that in our society it meant there was something wrong with me. My way of dealing with it was walking into a room and saying, “You will love me.” And people kind of did.

Grace Victoria Cox: I was always really shy in school. I went to a little art school and there were so many extroverted kids but I was introverted. It made it hard to make friends, easy to feel invisible. I relate to my character through feeling lost and trying to figure out who you really are. But that’s the experience of every 17 year old.

Brendan Scannell: I went to a large public high school in Indiana, very chic. I guess I was a bit like Melanie where being gay in places like this, society is constantly shaming you for being who you are. A way to respond to that is to be exceptional. In my mind, I was very much a theater kid and thought that if I was funny enough or good enough, people wouldn’t hate me.

James Scully: I went to a performing arts high school in Texas. I was awkward and weird, probably we all were at that age. It was me and a bunch of other awkward, weird kids but it was relatively chill.

Melanie Field as Heather Chandler in HEATHERS.

Question: Do you worry that people won’t come to this show because they’re tired of seeing mean people?

Jason Micallef: Not at all. One thing we were very clear about in the writer’s room was that these people are assholes but we also love them. There’s always someone worse to undercut what our characters have done. I think people will get into it and follow along.

Melanie Field: I think we secretly crave watching people behaving badly, doing things we would never do. There’s something kind of delicious and satisfying about watching other people carry out these devious and shocking behaviors. I think that’s something in all of us.

Grace Victoria Cox as Veronica Sawyer in HEATHERS.

Question: How does JD and Veronica’s relationship evolve?

James Scully: There are a lot of ups and downs. I think the give and take nature of the relationship becomes a lot more interesting, a lot more intense.

Grace Victoria Cox: We have the opportunity to explore it differently [from the movie] so people will see many different sides to their relationship.


If you want to know nothing about the episodes at all, skip this section. Provided by Paramount Network, this episode guide includes general episode descriptions and specific plot details.

Thursday, October 25, 2018 @ 10pm ET/PT
Veronica Sawyer (Grace Victoria Cox), a seemingly normal teenager braving the politics of high school. Struggles to make sense of her path in life and her connection to her “best friends,” the Heathers – Heather Chandler (Melanie Field), Heather Duke (Brendan Scannell) and Heather McNamara (Jasmine Mathews). Along the way, she meets a mysterious transfer student who may point her fate in a different direction than she could have imagined.

"She’s Going to Cry"
Thursday, October 25, 2018 @ 11pm ET/PT
Heather Chandler (Field) blackmails JD (James Scully) and Veronica (Cox) into doing her bidding. Meanwhile, Heather Duke (Scannell) and Heather McNamara (Mathews) struggle to adapt to life in the new regime led by Betty Finn (Nikki SooHoo).

"Date Rape and AIDS Jokes"
Friday, October 26, 2018 @ 10pm ET/PT
Veronica (Cox), fed up with JD (Scully), goes on a double date with Heather Duke (Scannell) and two handsome football players. The school musical auditions commence and Heather Chandler (Field) is met with unexpected competition.

"Our Love is God"
Friday, October 26, 2018 @ 11pm ET/PT
Heather Chandler (Field) tries to double down on her suicide campaign only to have her brand tarnished, while Betty Finn (Nikkie SooHoo) has some suspicions that link Veronica (Cox) to an unsolved murder.

"Reindeer Games"
Saturday, October 27, 2018 @ 10pm ET/PT
The world through JD’s (Scully) eyes. Betty Finn ( Nikkie SooHoo) and JD are interrogated by the police. JD is hounded with anonymous text messages tying him to recent events.

"Hot Problems"
Saturday, October 27, 2018 @ 11pm ET/PT
Veronica (Cox) schools JD (Scully) on how to be a proper boyfriend. Heather Duke (Scannell) and Heather Chandler (Field) spar over the control of the hearts and the minds of the Westerburg student body.

"Do I Look Like Mother Teresa?"
Sunday, October 28, 2018 @ 10pm ET/PT
Ousted from power, Heather Chandler (Field) decides to swallow her pride and do the impossible. Veronica (Cox) and Heather Duke (Scannell) encounter a former acquaintance, taking matters into their own hands.

"Call Us When the Shuttle Lands"
Sunday, October 28, 2018 @ 11pm ET/PT
In response to the spate of violence and unrest in their area, Westerburg decides to stage an “active shooter” training drill. Heather Duke (Scannell), Heather Chandler (Field) and Veronica (Cox) end up in lockdown together.

"I’m a No-Rust-Build-Up Man Myself"
Monday, October 29, 2018 @ 10pm ET/PT (super-sized finale)
Heather Duke (Scannell) mourns a close friend’s supposed suicide, Heather Chandler (Field) chases the prom queen crown and things finally come to a head between Veronica (Cox) and JD (Scully).