Based on the new trailer for Kevin Williamson’s upcoming CBS All Access series, Tell Me a Story, it seems like the man who wrote Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and co-created TV’s The Vampire Diaries, is back to horror form with a new modern twist. He even said so himself Sunday during the CBS All Access session at TCA.
“This reminds me a lot of my early days,” said Williamson. “It took me back to another place.”
Williamson’s new New York City-set series is based on an Argentinian series that takes the notion of classic fairytales and all their darkness and interpret them for 2018. Tell Me A Story goes in line with recent “gritty and dark” reboots of shows and Williamson isn’t too concerned about “grim fatigue.” He said you never know how audiences will react and approached the project with the same concern but with its mix of horror, humor, and character-driven stories, he has confidence that it won’t be a dark pit of despair.
“What I like is that there’s nothing on TV like it,” said Williamson. “It sits in its own little world.”
Today’s panel included Williamson and cast members Billy Magnussen, Dania Ramirez, Danielle Campbell, Dorian Missick and Davi Santos.
Unlike the original Argentinian anthology, Williamson’s version will be a 10-episode series and will be based on three fairytale series: “Red Riding Hood”, “The Three Little Pigs”, and “Hansel and Gretel.” Williamson said that the trio of stories compliment each other and tell three diverse storylines — but if you are looking for the supernatural, don’t hold your breath. Williamson said that it will avoid supernatural storylines and will remain grounded.
“These characters are dealing what’s going on today,” said Williamson, saying that we are living in “rage America” where everyone’s so divided. “All these ideas are brought on to this fun, fast-paced and twisty show.”
The series uses the fairytales as a platform to tell a moral tale through a modern lens. Magnussen said that the show explores that morals aren’t really black or white and that we live in the grey.
Santos pointed out that these stories are evergreen and that “critical issues are reflected in the stories.”
“There are morals to every fairy tale that are very universal that you can see through these characters,” added Ramirez.
Being on CBS All Access allows Williamson to tell the uncensored story he wants. Ramirez said that the show is “a lot sexier” than most shows and joked that they get to “have sex and murder people pretty gruesomely.”
Ultimately, with this initial season Williamson said that Tell Me A Story could expand and grow.
Tell Me A Story also stars James Wolk, Michael Raymond-James, Sam Jaeger, Zabryna Guevara with Paul Wesley and Kim Cattrall. The series appropriately debuts on CBS All Access on Halloween night, Oct. 31.