Showtime is going through some big changes. It’s been announced that the premium cable channel will be rebranded as “Paramount+ with Showtime”. On the streaming side, Showtime’s content will be available on Paramount+’s premium tier.
The move has already had an impact, with several series cancelled as part of the realignment. American Gigolo and Let the Right One In. were both cancelled after one season each, while Showtime has cancelled plans to air the new Three Women series. The latter has been filmed and will be shopped elsewhere.
Per Deadline, Bob Bakish, President of Paramount Global, said the following about the move in a company memo:
Almost one year ago, we announced that ViacomCBS would become Paramount — harnessing the power of our combined portfolio to become one, integrated company. Since then, I have been tremendously proud of the many ways we have worked together across platforms, brands, and continents to consistently deliver as global leaders in the future of entertainment.
In that same spirit, I’m thrilled to share the next step in our company’s evolution. Today, we’re announcing that we will be fully integrating SHOWTIME into Paramount+ across both streaming and linear platforms later this year — providing even more popular franchises and hit originals for viewers to enjoy. To reflect this change, both our premium streaming tier on Paramount+ and the SHOWTIME linear network will become “Paramount+ with SHOWTIME” in the U.S.
SHOWTIME has captivated audiences for decades with ambitious original series that defined premium content and fandom. Its name will always stand for critically acclaimed, groundbreaking entertainment and creative excellence. Now, with SHOWTIME’s content integrated into our flagship streaming service, and select Paramount+ originals joining the linear offering, Paramount+ will become the definitive multiplatform brand in the streaming space — and the first of its kind to integrate streaming and linear content in this way.
This new combined offering demonstrates how we can leverage our entire collection of content to drive deeper connections with consumers and greater value for our distribution partners. This change will also drive stronger alignment across our domestic and international Paramount+ offerings, as international Paramount+ already includes Showtime content. And, very importantly, this integration will unlock operational efficiencies and financial benefits across our broader portfolio.
Chris McCarthy will continue to lead the SHOWTIME studio and oversee network operations for the linear channel. In tandem, he will work closely with Tom Ryan, who will oversee the “Paramount+ with SHOWTIME” streaming business.
While we are confident this is the right move for our company, our consumers, and our partners, we know this change brings uncertainty for the teams working on these brands and businesses. We are committed to being as transparent and thoughtful as possible throughout this process, and we expect to share additional details in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, I would ask for your continued focus. Because of your hard work, dedication and collaboration, Paramount+ with SHOWTIME is set up for success. Thank you, as always, for all that you do.
Chris McCarthy, head of Showtime, also spoke about the change:
From the office of McCarthy:
I wanted to follow up on the great news Bob just shared about the further integration of SHOWTIME and Paramount+ to create one powerful streaming service, and explain why I am so excited about this big step forward.
There are many benefits for Paramount+ and SHOWTIME on both the streaming and network sides, in three key areas:
Complementary and Differentiated Brands
Redirecting Increased Investment into SHOWTIME Strengths
Integrated Platform – Greater Focus on Content
I am sure you will have lots of questions, and to that end we are planning a Town Hall in L.A. the week of February 23 to go into the details and the highlights, which include:
Complimentary and Differentiated Brands
The SHOWTIME brand has always attracted audiences that prefer content that has more edge and more mature themes, and that focuses on complicated characters and layered worlds. SHOWTIME content appeals to metro-minded viewers that are more culturally diverse with a higher concentration living in cities vs. the population at large. These audiences and themes are complementary to the Paramount+ brand, which is much broader, appealing to the entire family and general market audiences across the country.
Redirecting Investment into SHOWTIME Strengths
As a part of Paramount+, we can put more resources into building out the lanes that have made the SHOWTIME brand famous, as well as turning our hit shows into global hit franchises. To do this, we will divert investment away from areas that are underperforming and that account for less than 10% of our views. We have already begun conversations with our production partners about what content makes sense moving forward and which shows have franchise potential.
As a reminder the SHOWTIME brand strengths and content filters are:
Complex Characters: Subversive antiheroes like DEXTER, YOUR HONOR and YELLOWJACKETS
Powerful-Worlds: High-stakes powerful worlds like BILLIONS and HOMELAND
Metro-Cultures: Culturally diverse takes like: THE CHI and the forthcoming FELLOW TRAVELERS.
Integrated Platforms – Greater Focus on Content
Now that SHOWTIME and our content will be integrated as the premium tier of Paramount+, we will reach more people globally across streaming and linear than ever before. On the network side, this will strengthen our offering to those consumers by allowing us to tap into Paramount+ originals in addition to the SHOWTIME originals, as well as Paramount Pictures movies that come to the services.
This is a winning strategy that provides more value to our streaming customers and more reasons for cable subscribers to upgrade to the soon-to-be-rebranded Paramount+ with SHOWTIME network. Most important it allows us to put more of our focus on the things that make the SHOWTIME brand famous: our hit content.
More to come soon but for now, thank you for your help as we work hard together to make Paramount+ with SHOWTIME one of the leading global streaming services!
More will be disclosed about the rebranding at a company Town Hall next month.
What do you think? Are you surprised by this move by Paramount? Do you think this will help or hurt the company’s future?
The movie selection on Showtime has been awful for a long time now, and all of the good series have ended, and the new ones are not hits.
I enjoyed both shows American Gigalo and Let the one in. Now they are canceled. What’s left. Will Showtime be more money with Paramount plus.if so I’m out. The Honor has shown enough, keeping probably because of the Star.
showtime has been falling ratings for a long time especially around lgbtqia community shows and to rebrand it with another falling paramount + is not a good idea at all it shows no incentive at all viewers are leaving in their droves you only have to look at the ratings for them and loads of shows are in the red incl the l word generation q which has just finished airing series 3 imo showtime and paramount need fresh new owners who can stop cancelling shows that are being watched by a healthy fandom and cancel the stuff that doesent… Read more »