Peacock has given a straight-to-series order to the coming-of-age thriller “Hysteria!”
The series hails from writer and executive producer Matthew Kane. Chris Bender and Jake Weiner of Good Fear will also executive produce. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the writers and directors of the upcoming film “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves,” will direct and executive produce. Scott Stoops will be supervising producer. UCP is the studio.
According to an individual with knowledge of the project, Good Fear worked with Kane to develop the pilot script and series pitch. They then attached Goldstein and Daley, as Bender and Weird have a past relationship with the filmmaking duo.
In the show, a beloved varsity quarterback disappears during the “Satanic Panic” of the late 1980s. A struggling high school heavy metal band of outcasts realize they can capitalize on the town’s sudden interest in the occult by building a reputation as a Satanic metal band, until a bizarre series of murders, kidnappings, and reported “supernatural activity” triggers a leather-studded witch hunt that leads directly back to them.
“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,” said Lisa Katz, president of scripted content for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “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.”
This is the first series that Kane has created. He previously wrote for the Freeform series “Stitchers” and has also worked on shows like “Cristela,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and “American Horror Story.” He is repped by by A3 Artists Agency.
“This nail-biting thriller dives into a mass moral panic and all the fears, desires, anger and dread that led to these dark days,” said Beatrice Springborn, president of UCP. “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.”
In addition to “Dungeons & Dragons,” Goldstein and Daley have previously collaborated on films like “Game Night,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Horrible Bosses,” and “Vacation.” They are repped by UTA, Fourth Wall Management, and Hansen Jacobson.
Good Fear’s previous credits include Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Mulan,” the Dave Bautista action comedy “My Spy,” and the Rebel Wilson Netflix film “Senior Year.”
“Hysteria!” is the latest series to delve into the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Season 4 of “Stranger Things” prominently featured the so-called Panic, with the citizens of Hawkins convinced that Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) and his friends were engaging in Satanic practices due to their love of playing “Dungeons & Dragons.”
(Pictured: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley)