MTV brings a social-media-savvy 'Scream' to the small screen

Bella Thorne’s slim iPhone, playful text messages and revealing swimsuit replace Drew Barrymore’s clunky landline, flirtatious phone call and cable-knit sweater in the upcoming TV revival of the horror film franchise "Scream."

The new series "Scream" premieres at 10 p.m. Tuesday on MTV.

In 1996, the original film combined mystery, violence and comedy to mock the cliches of horror movies. At the time of the film's release, the horror genre was known for low-budget productions and bad reviews. However, "Scream" changed that, successfully exhuming the horror genre with a fun, ironic and suspenseful take on slasher films.

MTV is hoping for similar success with the TV series. The network formally known for hours of non-stop music targeting young adults is now dominated by reality shows and a teenage demographic.

"There are a lot of horror shows that have helped define various networks," said showrunner Jill Blotevogel. "We would like to be MTV's premiere horror show. I know MTV wants to find a new audience and bring new people in and I think doing this show, they're taking an incredible jump."

Other MTV shows such as "Teen Wolf" and "Finding Carter" have helped revamp the network by breaking the reality TV mold. But can "Scream" draw an audience other than teens?

“We’re definitely a high school drama,” said Bobby Campo, who plays a flirtatious teacher in the TV series. But “it’s a bit more all-knowing and a bit more sinister," he added.

The pilot begins with a tribute to the memorable Drew Barrymore scene in which her character receives a phone call from an unknown caller asking her: "What's your favorite scary movie?" The flirtation quickly turns into a life-threatening situation, however, when a masked killer attacks her.

“When you watch the original film, he calls her on the phone, and that’s pretty much as exposed as she feels. Today, teenagers put everything about themselves online. The killer doesn’t even have to stalk someone,” said Blotevogel at a Q&A after the pilot premiered at the L.A. Film Fest earlier this month. “I loved the idea of using this girl who posts everything and it comes back to haunt her in a very real, very visceral way.”

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