The Purge TV Show Will Not Actually Be About the Purge

The Purge: Anarchy. Image: Universal
The Purge: Anarchy. Image: Universal

We’ve known since last fall about the planned TV show based on The Purge, the series of films that imagine an America that allows, encourages, and delights in one night per year of lawless anarchy and violence. We now have an even better idea of how that concept will translate to the small screen. Long story short: it won’t be set on Purge Night at all.


Writer-director James DeMonaco hinted at this when the news first broke, saying it would feature several different interwoven storylines with flashbacks to previous Purges, with a focus on what drives otherwise reasonable people to commit hideous crimes when they know there are no laws involved. Today, we learned even more, now that the show is confirmed to be coming to both USA and Syfy.

According to Deadline, Blumhouse head Jason Blum says The Purge “will reveal to the fans what happens the other 364 days of the year and how that law affects people.” He didn’t go into more detail, but taken with DeMonaco’s comments last year, this means we’ll probably see several different perspectives: the people who start getting their shelter-in-place ready months in advance; the activists who are striving to end the Purge; the gangs who begin assembling their psycho animal costumes, testing their weaponry, and plotting their crimes with gleeful excitement after leaving whatever day job they keep the rest of the time. It also sounds like the show will heavily delve into stories like, how do people process their grief and/or guilt after murdering a stranger or setting their neighbor’s house on fire? What’s the social climate like in a country that allows this kind of horror to occur? What if you had the job of cleaning up all those freaking bodies?

Of course, Purge movie fans can be assured there’ll presumably be plenty of flashbacks to various Purges, as DeMonaco hinted, to keep things as gory as they are philosophical. The show will debut in 2018, when the fourth Purge feature film will also hit theaters.

io9 News Editor, here since 2016. Previously SF Bay Guardian newspaper (RIP), SFSU (MA, Cinema Studies), member of the SF Bay Area Film Critics Circle, big fan of horror, metal, and verrry small dogs.


DL Thurston

I’ve never seen the movies, is there a good explanation as to why people don’t go for white collar crimes during the Purge?