Nine months into his role as MTV’s third president in as many years, Chris McCarthy is unveiling the Viacom cable network’s scripted plans. And like his largely new unscripted slate, McCarthy is leaning hard into stories that speak to youth culture and coming-of-age for a new generation.
In addition to hopes for reviving Teen Wolf — now in its final season — McCarthy greenlighted an untitled four-hour Faith Evans miniseries and is developing comedic drama Calabasas, from exec producer Queen Latifah. On the returning front, Scream will officially turn into an anthology ahead of its third-season reboot in March with a new cast — including Tyga and C.J. Wallace — and setting. In addition to a rebooted Teen Wolf, which is in its early stages now and not expected for at least a year after the current storyline ends this summer, McCarthy is teaming with showrunner Jeff Davis for a female-driven take on War of the Worlds.
To hear McCarthy tell it, his plan is to have a scripted tentpole in every quarter, whether that’s a TV movie, miniseries or ongoing drama/anthology as he takes a more nuanced approach to the genre.
“MTV was born and lives in youth culture…and we’re at our best when we amplify voices and celebrate them and do that through the filter of music and unique coming-of-age stories,” says McCarthy, who also oversees VH1 and Logo and is MTV’s third president in as many years. “MTV is in a great space on the unscripted side and we have the ability to take our time picking stories. I’d like to have one scripted event a quarter but if we don’t get there, I won’t beat ourselves up next year.”
The slate comes as many industry observers believed MTV was exiting the scripted space after McCarthy canceled three rookie shows, including little-seen critical darling Sweet/Vicious, and saw The Shannara Chronicles move to Spike as part of Viacom’s realignment.