The logo for MTV’s new series Eye Candy — a thriller from genre feature film producer Jason Blum involving a cyber-stalking serial killer, based on the R.L. Stine bestseller — shows a great big blot of red blood behind the title’s lettering. The series stars Victoria Justice as the young tech genius who begins to believe her online suitor is said stalker.
At today’s TCA, producers and actors were pressed on how the show will walk the uneasy line between an entertaining thrill ride and a cautionary tale about online communication for the MTV generation.
Execuive producer Christian Taylor appeared on the panel with cast members Victoria Justice, Casey Deidrick, Kiersey Clemons, John Garet Stoker and Harvey Guillen, as well as executive producer Jason Blum.
“This is not a slasher, ” Taylor insisted.
Blum, whose credits include such feature horror thriller franchises as The Purge and Paranormal Activity, said: “Scary movies are a lot of what I used to do, and used to be all that I do. It’s easier to make technology scary in a TV show.” He said the idea is to find “the horror in the mundane,” such as the havoc that can be wreaked on personal lives by hacking into a hospital’s records.
The show has had a rocky history: The pilot was picked up in February for a 10-episode order but with plans to reshoot with almost an entirely new cast except for Justice and Guillen.
Taylor called the issue of cyber-stalking “an important thing that young people need to discuss. (We’re) taking it to an extreme, it’s a fantasy, but that’s a great horror thing that can be a good cautionary tale. “
Standing at the podium, MTV programming president Susanne Daniels was brought into the conversation, asked whether there would be any cross-promotion with the new series and MTV’s existing docu-series Catfish (returning Feb. 25), dealing with online dating. She confirmed that there will.
The executive cited audience research that indicates the surprising popularity of procedural dramas such as Law and Order or the CSIs with a young audience. She called this series “MTV’s answer” to those shows.
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