NBCUniversal has confirmed that it is axing its ten-year-old horror-based Chiller cable network for good on New Year’s Day. Chiller reached approximately 40 million homes in the U.S. NBCU cited failure of the network to secure carriage deals with Dish, Verizon and other providers for the reason behind its shuttering. NBCU is not planning to shut down any other subsidiary networks and it stated that the staff will not be impacted. This follows the shuttering of NBCU’s Cloo, a channel dedicated to detective/true crime programming, in February.
Chiller served as the home to horror movies and TV series inherited from other networks, such as ‘666 Park Avenue’, ‘Being Human’, ‘Fear Factor’, ‘Tales from the Crypt’, ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. Like most flailing cable networks, however, in recent times, much of its programming has shifted to cheap reality shows, like ‘Most Daring’, ‘Psychic Investigators’ and ‘World’s Most Amazing Videos’. In 2011, the first Chiller original movie premiered, entitled ‘Steve Niles’ Remains’. It does air one original series, Canadian thriller ‘Slasher’. Eli Roth also produced a series of horror shorts directed by filmmakers around the world, under the banner ‘Slice of Summer’. These included John William Ross’ ‘The Thing in the Apartment’, James Webber’s ‘The Prey’ and the McCoubrey brothers’ ‘The Grey Matter’.
The network also experimented with a VOD day-and-date movie release program, wherein it offered original films for extremely limited theatrical runs at the same time as they were made available on demand. Chiller released five films between 2013-2016– ‘Beneath’, ‘The Monkey’s Paw’, ‘Animal’, ‘The Boy’ and ‘SiREN’.
Unfortunately, Chiller, like Cloo, simply never took off on its own merits. Very little of its programming was original and most of it was old and widely shown elsewhere. Its one original series, ‘Slasher’ is available on Netflix.
Were you a fan of Chiller? Are you sad to see it go?