Paramount Global will transition its Showtime premium channel into the new moniker "Paramount Plus with Showtime" across both linear and streaming platforms, ending the 47-year-old Showtime name as a standalone brand, at least in the U.S.
When the change is initiated later this year, Showtime content will be available for streaming in the U.S. with the $9.99 Paramount Plus Premium tier, with that plan re-branded as "Paramount Plus with Showtime."
Paramount has been bundling both Paramount Plus and Showtime together for $11.99 a month. No price on the combined and rebranded version was announced.
Showtime linear, meanwhile, will adopt the same moniker.
As far as leadership goes, with longtime Showtime chief David Nevins exiting last year, Chris McCarthy will lead the Showtime studio and linear channel, and Tom Ryan oversee the streaming business.
“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,” said Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish in a memo to staff Monday.
In his own memo, McCarthy called out Showtime's "brand strengths," specifically specifically mentioning series Yellowjackets, Billions, Dexter and The Chi as the kind of shows that will be attached to Showtime going forward.
There will be losers, too.
McCarthy warned staff of a content purge, which has already arrived, and associated layoffs.
“To do this, we will divert investment away from areas that are underperforming and that account for less than 10% of our views,” McCarthy added. “We have already begun conversations with our production partners about what content makes sense moving forward and which shows have franchise potential.”
On Monday, Showtime revealed that three shows -- Let the Right One In, American Gigolo and the Shailene Woodley-led adaptation of Three Women -- will be axed.
Paramount's moves are similar to rival Warner Bros. Discovery, which is in the process of merging HBO Max and Discovery Plus, while purging series and associated personnel it deems as not pulling their weight amid the stratospherically expensive Streaming Wars.
Paramount reported 66 million subscription streaming subscribers across its Paramount Plus and Showtime brands as of the end of September.
The Showtime brand dates back to 1976, when the Times-Mirror cable company launched a fledgling premium cable channel in Southern California.
Here's Bakish's full 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.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!