Cruel Intentions Update: NBC Considering ‘Alternative Platform’ for Sarah Michelle Gellar Revival
Cruel Intentions may be headed online.
At the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Tuesday, NBC president Jennifer Salke confirmed to reporters that the revival — which failed to score a series pickup last May — remains alive at the network. And all options are being explored, including a streaming-only rollout.
“It was really a space issue,” Salke said of the decision to hold off on formally ordering the project for fall. “We had a spot for a big, great soap, and This Is Us seemed to fit better. So we started looking for opportunities in midseason, possibly summer for the show. We [also] started talking about the OTT [streaming] platform that you heard was looming. So we right now we wanted to make sure we have the show, because I’m determined to find a place to put it.”
NBC’s decision to extend its contractual options on Sarah Michelle Gellar and the rest of the cast is evidence the network still believes in the project, Salke maintained. “We wouldn’t have held that talent if we didn’t have every intention of finding an opportunity for the show,” she said.
Regarding the show’s boundary-pushing content, Salke noted, “I think there would be two versions of the show, and, of course, if it ends up on some alternative platform, we would have more leeway. But it is designed to be dishy and fun and sort of push the envelope as far as sexuality. It’s not something we’re inviting kids in to watch.”
‘Cruel Intentions’ Sequel Remains In Contention At NBC As Cast Options Are Extended
There is encouraging news for Cruel Intentions fans — the options on the entire cast of NBC’s drama pilot have been extended. While the pilot — a sequel to the cult movie toplined by original star Sarah Michelle Gellar — was not picked up to series by NBC in May, it remained in consideration, possibly for a summer run.
I hear NBC remains very interested in picking up the project to series, asking for the cast option extensions, triggered by the leading studio on the show, Sony TV.
I hear that there had been incoming pickup interest from several outlets but the project remains at NBC, which has been behind. Additionally, the network and Sony TV, which co-produces Cruel Intentions with Universal TV, have a great relationship, with NBC picking up two new Sony TV drama series: Timeless and The Blacklist: Redemption to join the studio’s returning series The Blacklist.
During NBC’s upfront press call in May, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt explained why Cruel Intentions did not make the cut.
“It goes under the heading of embarrassment of riches,” he said. “There’s just so many shows that we have scheduled or ordered.”
Greenblatt called the soapy Cruel Intentions “a bit of an outlier for us, because there’s no other show like it in our list of genres.” Still, “we like it, and we’re still discussing it and trying to figure it out,” he said.
Written by Roger Kumble, Lindsey Rosin and Jordan Ross based on the cult 1999 movie, Cruel Intentions is set in present day and picks up more than 15 years after the movie left off. Kathryn Merteuil (Gellar) vies for control of Valmont International as well as the soul of Bash Casey, the son of her brother, the late Sebastian Valmont, and Annette Hargrove. Upon discovering his late father’s legacy in a hidden journal, Bash is introduced to a world of sex, money, power and corruption he never could have imagined.
Gellar stars alongside Taylor John Smith, Kate Levering, Samantha Logan, Sophina Brown, Coby Bell and Bryce Cass. Kumble exec produces with Neal H. Moritz, Pavun Shetty and Becky Hartman Edwards who serves as showrunner.
‘Cruel Intentions’: NBC Confirms Discussions For Possible Pickup Of Sequel
During NBC’s upfront press call today, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt confirmed that the network is keeping its pilot Cruel Intentions alive. The project, a sequel to the cult movie which has original star Sarah Michelle Gellar reprising her role, was not picked up to series, but not passed on either.
“It goes under the heading of embarrassment of riches,” Greenblatt said. “There’s just so many shows that we have scheduled or ordered.”
Greenblatt called the soapy Cruel Intentions “a bit of an outlier for us, because there’s no other show like it in our list of genres.”
That statement was interesting as one of NBC’s goals going into the 2015-16 development season was to add a primetime soap — a genre that is not on the network right now — to its lineup. NBC ordered two such pilots, Cruel Intentions and legal soap Miranda’s Rights, which is dead.
Still, “we like it, and we’re still discussing it and trying to figure it out,” Greenblatt said of Cruel Intentions, which comes from Sony TV, the studio that produces NBC’s The Blacklist and its upcoming spinoff as well as hot new time-travel drama Timeless.
As we reported, among the possible scenarios discussed for Cruel Intentions are a summer order at a lower licensee fee or redevelopment. The latter is hard to imagine as it may be difficult to secure Gellar again, and she is a main draw to the sequel.
Kathryn Merteuil is back and badder than ever in the Cruel Intentions reboot!
Sarah Michelle Gellar opened up to ET about reprising her scheming evil stepsister character for the TV reboot of the cult classic 1999 film, which has a pilot order from NBC, at the United Way Women’s Summit in Beverly Hills, California on Monday.
“It’s 17 years later and we didn’t tell the story until we had a great story to tell,” the 39-year-old actress explained. “I think we have something really unique and really different.”
The reboot will pick up 15 years after the original Cruel Intentions plotline, and focus on Bash Casey, the son of Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe from the original film) and Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon). No doubt Bash’s Aunt Kathryn will play a sinister hand in things as he unravels his father’s life and legacy from journals he left behind.
Gellar has been excitedly documenting her return to character on social media, and gushed to ET that the new series will be “better, badder… can you say bitcher?” (Yes. Yes you can.)
Apart from the exciting throwback, Gellar has also been hard at work on her Foodstirs baking brand, and says her “greatest inspiration” for the company is her children: 6-year-old Charlotte and 3-year-old Rocky.
“For them to watch us have an idea, take it from inception to creation to an actual product, to seeing it online and seeing it in stores you can’t beat that,” she gushed. “Ultimately, as a parent, you want teach your children that they can accomplish anything and to be able to show them that journey, it’s priceless.”
But, Gellar admits that it’s husband Freddie Prinze Jr. who truly runs the kitchen in their house.
“He’s really the expert,” she said. “I bring the experience and the sweet treat, but he’s the main man real deal experience in the kitchen.”
I’ve added photos of Sarah attending the 2nd annual Los Angeles Fatherhood Lunch to benefit GOOD+FOUNDATION at The Palm Restaurant in Beverly Hills, California (April 20).