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'13 Reasons Why' Producers Creating New Suicide-Related TV Show 'The Now'


Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

Update: While many members of the media, including initially The Mighty, reported “The Now” as a suicide comedy, director Peter Farrelly clarified in an email to The Mighty on Friday that description isn’t accurate. Farrelly said while the family does have a history of suicide loss, the show’s focus is on the main character’s journey to live in the present moment. He indicated he plans to handle the show with care, including consulting with experts as needed. Farrelly has a history of featuring people with disabilities in his films and TV shows and won a California Media Access award for his efforts to include people with disabilities in his work.

The producers behind the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” plan to bring another suicide-related show to TV, this time a comedy called “The Now.” The show is currently in development and does not have a release date.

“The Now” will be directed by Oscar winner Peter Farrelly and was written by Farrelly, Steve Leff and Pete Jones. It will be produced by the company Anonymous Content, the same production company behind the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” as well as the mental health-themed limited series “Maniac.” According to a press release, as reported by the AV Club, “The Now” will feature a family with a history of suicide loss:

The story of a guy who is about to commit suicide when he finds out from his nagging mother that his brother just committed suicide — oh and his dad committed suicide in the past too. He can’t kill himself because he can’t do that to his mom so he has to learn to live life for today, in the now.

The press release uses language about suicide that can be harmful. Guidelines from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention recommend using language like “died by suicide” as opposed to “committed suicide,” because this language implies a crime or a sin. If you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone and help is available. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

“The Now” is only in the development stage, so it remains to be seen how creators will handle the subject of suicide. A show with similar themes and similar creators, “13 Reasons Why” received criticism for its graphic and triggering portrayal of difficult subjects like suicide and sexual assault. Some research shows a significant increase in suicides among young people after “13 Reasons Why” was released.

No release date or casting information is set for “The Now,” but it is slated to air on a new TV network, Quibi. Quibi, according to its website, will focus on short-form content designed for mobile devices. It’s set to be up and running by April 2020.

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