“Vampire Diaries” creators Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson’s planned adaptation of the comic book series “Dead Day” is no longer moving forward at Peacock, Variety has learned exclusively.
The move comes despite the fact the show was ordered straight-to-series at the NBCUniversal-owned streamer back in January 2022. Plec and Williamson were to serve as writers, executive producers, and co-showrunners on the series, with Universal Television producing. Plec remains under her overall deal at UTV, which she signed in 2020. According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, the studio is planning to shop “Dead Day” to other outlets. Peacock had bought the series preemptively so this will mark the first time it has been shown to other buyers.
For Plec, she still has the series “The Girls on the Bus” at HBO Max and recently opened a writers’ room for the mystery drama “Freeman” for Peacock. She also has other projects set up at Peacock, Amazon, and Netflix. Williamson recently produced and co-wrote the screenplay for the Peacock slasher film “Sick,” and is an executive producer on the recent fifth “Scream” film, with the sixth due to be released later this year.
Per the official logline, “Dead Day” follows “an ensemble of characters as they navigate the annual ‘dead day,’ when for one night the dead come back to complete unfinished business, be that to celebrate a night back on earth or to torment the living.”
News of “Dead Day” not moving forward comes shortly after it was announced that Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre’s series adaptation of the YA novel series “Vampire Academy” had been canceled after one season.
When it comes to Peacock, the streamer is in the midst of shifting its programming strategy under Susan Rovner. Peacock is now said to be looking for bingeable comedies as well as more event-series type dramas, such as “The Best Man: The Final Chapters,” which became the first Peacock show to hit the Nielsen top 10 streaming charts, and the recently launched “Poker Face” from Natasha Lyonne and Rian Johnson. That show has already been met with significant critical acclaim after debuting on Jan. 26.
It also comes amid a wider industry trend of shows getting scrapped despite series order or renewals. Variety previously reported that a “Field of Dreams” series from Mike Schur had been shut down at Peacock despite a previous straight-to-series pick up. AMC also recently dumped a number of its shows, such as the sci-fi series “Demascus” and the dramas “61st Street” and “Invitation to a Bonfire.” Most infamously, Warner Bros. Discovery has pulled a number of projects in recent months, with the fourth and final season of the drama series “Snowpiercer” being the latest example.