Cruel Intentions was so much more than the movie where Sarah Michelle Gellar kissed Selma Blair. (And yet, at the same time, it was and is very much that.) A retelling of Les Liaisons dangereuses set among hot, rich teens in New York, it brought a welcome dose of luridness and eroticism to neighborhood cineplexes in addition to scoring many a makeout sesh between frisky adolescents during the late ’90s. Both campy and soapy, the yarn of seduction and betrayal has remained a roaring good time even as it’s turned into a time capsule of its era and all the attendant, difficult-to-look-at fashions. But a good time is all it’s going to be, as recent news indicates.

After a lengthy and highly public development process, NBC pulled the plug on its planned TV series spinoff of Cruel Intentions, and now the show has died on the vine, reports TV Line. The option to get the cast led by original star Gellar under contract will expire next week, and NBC has made it clear that they’ve got no intentions, cruel or otherwise, of ponying up for the series, and TV Line confirmed that nobody’s swooping in to save its bacon. The Peacock developed two versions of the proposed pilot, one more censor-friendly and one on the randier side, with plans to possibly take the program to the network’s under-construction streaming service. The spinoff series would focus on young Bash Casey, the offspring of Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon) and Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Philippe) from the original film, as he navigates the treacherous social waters of the high school years.

The series was delayed for the first time back in June, when NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke renewed the option for the cast’s contracts without putting the show on the slate of premieres. At the time, she attributed the stymied series to scheduling complications:

It was really a space issue and we had a spot for a big great soap. This Is Us seemed to fit better so we started looking for opportunities in mid-season, possibly summer for the show. We started talking about the [the streaming] platform that’s looming. So right now we wanted to make sure we have the show because I’m determined to find a place to put it. We wouldn’t have held that talent if we didn’t have every intention of finding the opportunity for the show. I love it. We picked up the options for the actors. We’re determined to find a place for the show.

It’s a sad day for lascivious teens and lascivious teens-at-heart alike, but those with a need to scratch that erotic-thriller itch can look forward to Psycho Katherine Heigl: The Movie.


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