Just when you thought media executives couldn't get any less creative when it comes to naming streaming services, along comes Paramount+ with Showtime. On Monday, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish announced that Paramount+ and Showtime will be integrated, with Paramount+'s premium streaming tier and the Showtime linear TV network set to be rebranded in the United States.
Bakish declined to offer specific launch or pricing details for the rebranded Paramount+ with Showtime offering, but in a memo to employees, he said the change is expected to go into effect "later this year."
The merging of Paramount+ and Showtime is not without victims. According to Deadline, Showtime has taken a page out of Warner Bros. Discovery's book and canceled buzzed-about drama series Three Women, starring Shailene Woodley, Betty Gilpin, DeWanda Wise, and Gabrielle Creevy. Three Women was already complete (Showtime released a teaser for the series in May 2022), and Deadline reports it is currently being shopped to other networks.
Showtime has also declined to renew Jon Bernthal's American Gigolo, an adaptation of the 1980 film, and vampire drama Let the Right One In for second seasons. The network has not yet announced plans for upcoming projects Ripley and King Shaka, though they are in post-production, or returning series I Love That For You and Ziwe.
In terms of what's next for Paramount+ with Showtime, Chris McCarthy, who has been tapped to lead the Showtime studio and linear channel, aims to highlight shows that complement the network's "brand strengths and content filters," like Yellowjackets, Dexter, and The Chi. "To do this, we will divert investment away from areas that are underperforming and that account for less than 10% of our views," McCarthy wrote in a memo. "We have already begun conversations with our production partners about what content makes sense moving forward and which shows have franchise potential."
Update (Tuesday, January 31 at 3:15 PM ET): Despite McCarthy citing Dexter as an example of Showtime's "brand strengths," the network has opted not to move forward with a second season of popular revival series New Blood, TVLine reports. Dexter: New Blood Season 2 was expected to follow Harrison (Jack Alcott) as he carries on the legacy of his late father, played by Michael C. Hall.
However, Showtime isn't moving away from Dexter quite yet. According to TVLine, Paramount+ with Showtime is exploring various continuations, including a prequel series about a younger version of Hall's titular character.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.
TOPICS: Paramount+, Showtime, American Gigolo, Let the Right One In, Three Women, Yellowjackets, Paramount Global