The new name will coincide with another expansion of its original programming efforts and its archive of programming drawn from the newly combined Viacom and CBS Corp. archives. ViacomCBS vowed to rev up efforts to expand the service overseas, where Paramount Pictures the company’s most established studio brand.
“Paramount is an iconic and storied brand beloved by consumers all over the world, and it is synonymous with quality, integrity and world-class storytelling,” said Bob Bakish, president-CEO of ViacomCBS. “With Paramount Plus, we’re excited to establish one global streaming brand in the broad-pay segment that will draw on the sheer breadth and depth of the ViacomCBS portfolio to offer an extraordinary collection of content for everyone to enjoy.”
New shows in the works include another reboot of “The Game,” the Mara Brock Akil comedy and spinoff of “Girlfriends” that aired on the CW from 2006-2009 and on BET from 2011 to 2015. Also coming is “Lioness,” a CIA-set terrorism drama series from Taylor Sheridan, creator of Paramount Network’s successful cable drama “Yellowstone,” and a scripted 10-episode limited series revolving around producer Al Ruddy’s experiences during the shooting of Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” in the early 1970s.
With the rebrand and the addition of library shows from BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and more content from the Paramount Pictures vault, Paramount Plus will offer up about 30,000 episodes and films. BET, Comedy Central and other ViacomCBS imprints will also produce original series for Paramount Plus.
CBS All Access is believed to have a subscriber base of about 8 million. The previous CBS Corp. regime launched CBS All Access in 2014 as a bet on the growth potential of SVOD and a hammer to use in its retransmission consent negotiations with MVPDs. The transition from an Eye-centric name to the Paramount mountain is another sharp sign of post-merger changes for key CBS assets.
“The response from consumers in just the early weeks of the service’s expansion already illustrates the tremendous opportunity ahead of us in bringing these phenomenal ViacomCBS brands together in one premium streaming home under the new Paramount Plus name,” said Marc DeBevoise, chief digital officer, of ViacomCBS and president-CEO of ViacomCBS Digital.
ViacomCBS aims to market Paramount Plus as an all-encompassing service that offers local TV across the U.S. through the CBS affiliate base, as well as live sports and news in addition to on-demand originals.
Here are descriptions of Paramount Plus’ upcoming series:
“The Offer”: A scripted limited event series from Paramount Television Studios, based on Oscar-winning producer Al Ruddy’s extraordinary, never-revealed experiences of making “The Godfather.” The 10-episode event series is written and executive produced by Michael Tolkin (“Escape at Dannemora” and “The Player”). Ruddy will also serve as executive producer, and Emmy-winning producer Leslie Greif (“Hatfields & McCoys”) will executive produce and be a writer on the series.
“Lioness”: A spy drama created by Taylor Sheridan (“Yellowstone”) with Sheridan, Jill Wagner, David Glasser, David Hutkin, and Bob Yari set to executive produce. Based on a real-life CIA program, LIONESS follows a young Marine recruited to befriend the daughter of a terrorist to bring the organization down from within. The series is produced by Paramount Network and 101 Studios.
“MTV’s Behind the Music – The Top 40”: The reboot will unlock MTV’s vault from the past 40 years for a unique and intimate look at the 40 biggest artists of all time, through their voices and their eyes. The series will be produced by Creature Films and MTV Studios.
“The Real Criminal Minds”: A true crime docuseries based on the hit CBS Television series, and produced by XG Productions in association with CBS Television Studios and ABC Signature.
“The Game”: A revival is being developed as part of BET’s programming for Paramount Plus from CBS Television Studios and Grammnet Productions.