‘Cruel Intentions’ Musical Returns To Stage As NBC Mulls Fate Of Series Reboot


The May 2015 staging of Lindsey Rosin and Jordan Ross Unauthorized Musical Parody Of Cruel Intentions at Los Angeles’ Rockwell Table & Stage was the impetus for a series reboot of the cult 1999 movie that was ordered to pilot at NBC and remains in contention for a series pickup. While its fate at the network remains in limbo and its prospects becomes dimmer with each passing month, Rosin and Ross are bringing Cruel Intentions: The Musical back to the Los Angeles stage with four shows at Prospect Theater on November 11-12 and November 18-19.

Will the new staging again give the TV adaptation a boost, this time helping it clinch a series order? NBC had been considering the Sony TV-produced Cruel Intentions for a summer run on the linear network as well as a possible original series for the long-in-the-works NBCUniversal OTT service. But with the latter nowhere near reality, a summer run appears to be the sole viable scenario as the options on the cast, extended in June, are set to expire in December. (There had been some interest elsewhere but sources are not optimistic about opportunities outside of NBC.) So the timing of the musical is good, especially if it generates buzz like the 2015 staging.


Last year, the film’s writer-director Roger Kumble attended the Cruel Intentions performances, along with stars Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar and co-star Selma Blair. Kumble gave Rosin and Ross his blessing for the musical and later teamed with the duo to co-write the TV series adaptation, which was able to get Gellar to reprise her role.

It is unclear whether any of the cast members from the pilot would appear in the musical, produced by Rosin and Ross and directed by Rosin. Katie Stevens, who played Kathryn in the previous staging, is set to reprise her role.

At the May upfronts, NBC topper Bob 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. Talks had been going on- and off- since, though chances for a pickup appear 50-50 at best.

Lindsey Rosin and Jordan Ross

Based on the cult 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 executive produces the NBC/Sony adaptation with the film’s producer Neal H. Moritz and Pavun Shetty of Original Film; Rosin and Ross co-executive produce.

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  1. Matt C.on Oct 17, 2016 4:43 pm

    I really hope NBC finally picks up this show. I think it would be a really great soapy summer drama, and the best project to get SMG back on TV!

  2. Robbereyon Oct 17, 2016 5:07 pm

    You actually don’t need a companion-show if you would have put it in the hour behind two-hour The Voice or in summer after Americas Got Talent

  3. my girlon Oct 17, 2016 5:15 pm

    Really NBC, you pick up that This is Us show (aka worst show ever!) but you’re ‘mulling’ pick up something people are actually genuinely looking forward?? As in a show that, on it’s worst day, will be better than a show that will suck less than a show on it’s best day?? Beyond ridiculous!! The exec making these decisions seriously needs to be booted. Because it’s pretty clear she doesn’t understand the fact that she is working in the ENTERTAINMENT industry!!

    • Anonymouson Oct 17, 2016 7:18 pm

      This Is Us is a rating boon for NBC. If anything, Cruel Intentions will be a good complement to it. Quality back-to-back soaps could really help NBC evolve.

    • joethehoboon Oct 17, 2016 10:50 pm

      Troll harder.

  4. bastard gunton Oct 17, 2016 7:14 pm

    Ay yi yi… let it die.

  5. Garyon Oct 17, 2016 7:17 pm

    Another reboot nobody asked for

    • joethehoboon Oct 17, 2016 10:50 pm

      Speak for yourself. I’m very interested in this reboot, as are many others.

  6. Jasonon Oct 18, 2016 4:42 am

    I’m still excited for this. I’d love to at least see the pilot.

  7. CastingByon Oct 18, 2016 7:50 am

    This show needs to go away. Cruel Intentions was great at Rockwell Table & Stage…with the original team. This derivative that NBC is mulling over is not going to take. After reopening the show at another venue…I think the next move is licensing it to High School Drama programs.

  8. Buckon Oct 18, 2016 4:01 pm

    Now that ABC have cancelled Mistresses and Lifetime has cancelled Devious Maids, we really really really need NBC to pick up Cruel Intentions and give it a chance to become our new guilty pleasure during summer.

  9. Jonon Oct 18, 2016 9:59 pm

    Did anyone actually watch the pilot? There’s a reason it wasn’t picked up — it was miserable. Badly written, poorly acted. None of the fun of the original film. This should have been a show at The CW with Sarah as a mom. It doesn’t work from her point of view.

  10. Anonymouson Oct 19, 2016 8:56 am

    JUST DO IT!!!