'Varsity Blues' TV series in the works at CMT

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Add CMT to the reboot craze.

The Viacom-owned country music-themed cable network is developing a new take on 1999 high school football movie Varsity Blues, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The cable network is teaming with Paramount Television and writer W. Peter Iliff, who penned the James Van Der Beek starrer, to develop a new take. CMT has ordered a script for the project.

The original movie starred Dawson's Creek grad Van Der Beek as Jonathan Moxon, a back-up quarterback who takes over a team of misfits against an abusive coach — and his father, who only seems to care about football.

Distributed by Paramount Pictures, the film grossed $54.3 million on a budget of $16 million, with Van Der Beek's "I don't want your life" scene remaining a popular meme.

For CMT, the Varsity Blues reboot comes as the cabler recently rescued ABC's Nashville from cancellation. With the Connie Britton musical drama now slated for early next year, CMT is looking to grow its scripted ranks on the back of recently renewed scripted comedy Still the King.

Reboots continue to remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets look for proven IP in a bid to cut through a cluttered scripted landscape that is quickly approaching 500 original series. Key to the remakes is having the original producers — in this case, Paramount — involved in some capacity as more studios look to monetize their existing film libraries.

The upcoming broadcast season features a number of familiar titles, including MacGyver (CBS), Training Day (CBS), Frequency (The CW), Lethal Weapon (Fox), 24: Legacy (Fox), The Exorcist (Fox) and Taken (NBC).

For Paramount Television, Varsity Blues marks the latest project from its film library to get the TV treatment. Amazon on Tuesday also picked up its Paramount TV-produced Jack Ryan series and the studio also counts Fox's Minority Report and Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events.


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