Hysteria! Series Exploring the ’80s Obsession With Satanic Panic Lands at Peacock


Peacock has given a straight-to-series order for a drama called Hysteria!which is based on heavy metal music’s so-called Satanic Panic.

Written and executive produced by Matthew Scott Kane, Hysteria! will follow a struggling high school metal band in the late 1980s. When a beloved varsity quarterback disappears and the band’s town is gripped with fear of the occult, the band decides to take advantage of the situation by rebranding themselves as devil-worshippers — until “a bizarre series of murders, kidnappings, and reported ‘supernatural activity'” puts them in the crosshair of the town’s paranoia and scapegoating. Johnathan Daley and John Francis Daley, who recently helmed Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieveswill executive produce and direct for the series.


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Largely inspired by the 1980 memoir Michelle Remembers by Lawrence Pazder, the Satanic Panic was a moral panic in which adults became concerned about child abuse and indoctrination by a secret network of devil-worshipping cults. Popular media among younger audiences, like heavy metal music, horror movies and Dungeons & Dragons were frequently targeted as sources of occult influence. The Panic has been given more attention recently, partially by its figuring into the plot of Stranger Things’ fourth season and also for its similarity to the Q-Anon conspiracy theory.


Lisa Katz, president of scripted content for NBC Universal Television and Streaming, said of the show, “Our upcoming thriller series Hysteria! will explore the complex world of the Satanic Panic, set amidst ’80s nostalgia, mystery, heavy metal, and an all-American setting. We’re excited to partner on this fresh, coming-of-age story led by writer Matthew Scott Kane, executive producers and directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, Good Fear, and our partners at UCP, for what is sure to be a compelling original series for peacock viewers.”

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Beatrice Springborn, president of Universal Content Productions, added, “This nail-biting thriller dives into a mass moral panic and all the fears, desires, anger and dread that led to these dark days. Matthew’s script is original, intriguing and perfectly captures the frenetic energy of the Satanic Panic. We can’t wait for audiences to experience the show on Peacock.”

Other upcoming projects from Peacock include Vampire Academya supernatural drama based on the YA book series by Richelle Mead, and twisted metalan action comedy based on the popular video game franchise.

Hysteria! doesn’t have a release date yet.


Source: Peacock

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