Showtime will be integrated into Paramount+ later this year, as part of a rebrand that will take place across linear and streaming platforms in a major network shakeup that was long being speculated. The new title will be Paramount+ With Showtime, and will only involve the premium tier of Paramount+ and the Showtime linear network in the U.S.
Known as Paramount+ with Showtime, the goal is to make Paramount+ the definitive multiplatform brand in the streaming space. Per the network, the offering will allow a distinct and distinguished premium service with hit originals across linear and streaming. According to the company, it’s a natural next step in their integration strategy as one IP-driven, multiplatform, global content company.
No longer a standalone brand under the Paramount umbrella, the move will likely include further shakeups, including layoffs. Following the news, Showtime has already canceled “American Gigolo,” “Let the Right One In” and “Three Women” (which has yet to air but is completed), as first reported by Deadline.
In a memo announcing the news to employees, Paramount Global CEO and president Bob Bakish said Chris McCarthy would continue in his role leading the Showtime studio, in addition to overseeing network operations for the linear channel. He will work in tandem with Streaming President and CEO 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,” Bakish wrote. “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 a separate note, McCarthy said an upcoming town hall on the week of February 23 would expound on the upcoming changes, including how it will strengthen three key components for the company: Complementary and Differentiated Brands; Redirecting Increased Investment into Showtime Strengths; and Integrated Platform – Greater Focus on Content. The executive noted that Paramount will “divert investment away” from areas that are “underperforming and that account for less than 10% of our views.” In reiterating Showtime’s brand strength, McCarthy pointed to complex characters, powerful worlds and metro cultures.
Ryan added in his message, “By further integrating SHOWTIME into Paramount+, we will now be able to deliver a seamless, fully integrated multiplatform premium service to our consumers with more of the original, culture-shaping content they love. This enhanced offering serves our audiences and our
creative partners – with an even greater ability to scale our franchises and build hits across the
Paramount+ universe in linear and streaming.”
The news is not entirely unexpected, as Showtime had experienced shakeups in the past with the October departure of head David Nevins. He had been with the company for 12 years, making his exit as Paramount Global began considering new content strategies in the streaming era — including the possibility of phasing out Showtime altogether and shifting its high-end programming like “Billions” and “Yellowjackets” into the Paramount+ streaming platform. Nevins’ responsibilities were divided onto McCarthy and Ryan.