Paramount+ int’l chief Marco Nobili details franchise strategy & prequel preference


Paramount+ international chief Marco Nobili has thrown more detail on the streamer’s expanding franchise plan, with Yellowstone prequels 1883 and 1923 examples of how the strategy may play out.

Spin-offs from shows including Dexter and Billions were revealed in February as the US studio looks to double-down on its franchise building, prompting some to voice concerns that the strategy would affect original programming plans.

But Nobili, EVP & International GM of Paramount+, told attendees at Series Mania in Lille that the franchise strategy “doesn’t mean reducing creativity” and prequels – such as the upcoming UK show based on Sexy Beast – were being targeted.

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“Look at 1923 or 1883 and Yellowstone. If you do a sequel, the audience often tends to reduce – but a prequel often amps up the entire franchise. You can watch it without seeing the original show it came from and it requires originality, that element is not going away.”

Paramount+ spending strategy

Nobili added that the Paramount+ strategy is “based on the belief that to be successful it is not about who spends the most, but who spends most intelligently – and that often means building more big IP’s and franchises.”

Nobili also pointed to the expanding role of unscripted formats within Paramount, noting Rio Shore – the 2021 spin-off from MTV’s Geordie Shore – and Drag Race, which has recently launched in Mexico and Brazil.

A new Italian version of the latter was also confirmed shortly before Nobili’s session and the exec said the strategy was to take “big swings” both locally and globally.

Rabbit Hole is launching at the end of the month… and it has the potential to become a big franchise, and we can do that locally with scripted and unscripted,” Nobili said, pointing to the Australia-based spin-off from NCIS as a way to take long-standing IP into a local environment.

The Paramount+ exec said content spending was expected to top $6bn this year, but the company is “way ahead” of its target to have 150 originals by 2025.

Nobili also touched on the potential impact of a writers strike in the US, but said he expected that any action would lkely have a limited impact on his company.

“We don’t know how much of the strike will turn into reality but our pipeline has been well fed in the last year and a half, so we come well prepared. There is a long list of great shows until end of this year that will come through. International content is also ready to step in and service us if we have less of a roadmap on the US side.”

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