Paramount+ & Showtime to merge in US, three shows cancelled in push for “franchise potential”

Let The Right One In

Paramount Global is to integrate its Showtime brand into Paramount+ across both streaming and linear services in the US, and has cancelled three drama series as a result of the move.

Showtime will be rebranded as Paramount+ with Showtime in a move that CEO Bob Bakish said in a memo to staff would drive “stronger alignment across our domestic and international Paramount+ offerings” and “unlock operational efficiencies and financial benefits across our broader portfolio.”

Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of Paramount Media Networks, will continue to head up the Showtime studio and its US linear network operations. He will work closely alongside Tom Ryan, president and CEO of Paramount Streaming, who will oversee the rebranded streaming business.

American Gigolo

Re-diverting investment

In a separate note to staff, McCarthy said that the integration will allow Paramount to put more resources into building out the Showtime brand and turning its 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,” said McCarthy, who revealed: “We have already begun conversations with our production partners about what content makes sense moving forward and which shows have franchise potential.”

These conversations have already led to the cancellations of three Showtime series including the drama Three Women, starring Shailene Woodley, which was completed and had yet to air. It will now be shopped to find a new home.

Horror series Let The Right One In and crime drama American Gigolo, which had both aired their first seasons, have also now been cancelled.

These latest changes at Showtime follow the departure of David Nevins as chairman and CEO of Paramount Premium Group in October, which saw responsibility for Showtime moved under Chris McCarthy and Paramount Media Networks. Showtime’s streaming operations were meanwhile made part of Paramount Streaming, overseen by Ryan.

Addressing the possibility of lay-offs brought by the new move, Bakish told staff that: “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.”

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