ViacomCBS continues revamping the cable and streaming corners of the multimedia company. Following up on last week's news that CBS All Access will be rebranded as Paramount+ starting in 2021, Variety is reporting that the Paramount Network is set to be rebranded as the Paramount Movie Network, with (as the new name implies) a focus on television movies. The network is looking to have 52 original movies on its programming schedule, one premiering per week- each with a budget in the low-to-mid-seven-figure range. Every three months, Paramount Movie Network looks to schedule a miniseries or scripted series (think Yellowstone) that could spin-off into future films or series. Former A+E Networks exec Meghan Hooper White will oversee development in their role as EVP and Head of Original Movies and Limited Series (based on Variety's exclusive reporting.
With the move come a purging of the current network's scripted series. Ink Master, Wife Swap, Battle of the Fittest Couples, 68 Whiskey, and Sexy Beast have either been cancelled or had their productions shuttered. Darren Star's Emily in Paris has found a new home on Netflix, while Bar Rescue and Lip Sync Battle will move to other ViacomCBS networks. Paramount Network's Kevin Costner-starring hit Yellowstone was renewed for a fourth season earlier this year, with discussions about possible spinoff series, movies, and other projects underway.
Chris McCarthy, president of entertainment and youth brands for ViacomCBS domestic media networks, sees the move as one that not only meets the diversified needs of the viewing audience but also helps build the multimedia company's content library. "We're doubling down on scripted but diversifying with made for TV movies, mini-series and blockbuster series with movie stars like 'Yellowstone'," explained McCarthy. "Made-for-TV movies provide all the creative upside and ability to work with great talent, without the full-time commitment of a series or feature. Plus, we're maximizing our investment because we can build a valuable library to use across our streaming, cable, and global footprints."