NBCU cabler loading up on originals
NBCUniversal horror net Chiller spent last year focused on beefing up its viewership base and promoting its move into original telepics.Now, the cabler is doubling down on original programming, with the filmmakers behind the 2009 docu “Best Worst Movie” prepping a new feature titled “The American Scream” to debut this year. In “Scream,” documentarians Michael Stephenson and Lindsay Stephenson follow haunted-house enthusiasts, in much the same way that “Worst Movie” explored the evolution of 1990 monster movie “Troll 2″ from a critically maligned flop to a cult favorite. Just like sister net Syfy caters to science fiction and fantasy aficionados, Chiller aims to tap into different veins of horror fandom with its new slate. Author cred is a big deal at the net: Michael Laimo’s novel “Dead Souls,” about a teen who inherits his crazy preacher father’s mysterious house, will get a telepic adaptation alongside the previously announced “Brian Keene’s Ghoul.” Meanwhile, horror hyphenate Larry Fessenden is developing a suspense horror pic dubbed “Beneath,” set in a leaky, oarless boat floating in the middle of a lake with a monster in it. None of the scripted films have airdates. “American Scream” is set for October. Chiller is also booking new specials — AEP Media’s “Real Fear: The Truth Behind the Movies” features Katrina Weidmanan, who appeared on “Paranormal State” on A&E. The show looks into the true stories that inspired horror flicks including “Silent Hill,” “The Amityville Horror,” “The Mothman Prophecies” and “Poltergeist.” The second series is “Can You Survive a Horror Movie?,” from Savannah Media, which answers pressing questions about subjects including the actual speed of a zombie invasion and exactly how long a person can survive being buried alive.