In the streaming wars, you’re either a “+”, a “Max”, or weirdly, a “Peacock.” ViacomCBS has decided to go with the first option.
The entertainment conglomerate today announced that it has settled on a brand for its new all-encompassing streaming service. ViacomCBS’s answer to Disney+ and HBO Max will officially be dubbed Paramount+. With brands like Viacom, CBS, Showtime, MTV, and more in the fold, ViacomCBS had no shortage of naming options. But it elected to go with its movie arm Paramount, perhaps believing that will add a level of prestige.
As previously confirmed, ViacomCBS’s most prominent current streaming service, CBS All Access will be rebranded into Paramount+ and all its current content will migrate over in early 2021. Paramount+ is expected to launch in earnest in 2021 and will be available in Australia, Latin America, and Nordic countries in addition to the U.S.
“Paramount is an iconic and storied brand beloved by consumers all over the world, and it is synonymous with quality, integrity and world-class storytelling,” said Bob Bakish, President and CEO, ViacomCBS. “With Paramount+, we’re excited to establish one global streaming brand in the broad-pay segment that will draw on the sheer breadth and depth of the ViacomCBS portfolio to offer an extraordinary collection of content for everyone to enjoy.”
As part of the announcement, ViacomCBS unveiled five original series that will be available on the new streaming service. They are as follows:
- The Offer, a scripted limited event series from Paramount Television Studios, based on Oscar-winning producer Al Ruddy’s extraordinary, never-revealed experiences of making The Godfather. The 10-episode event series is written and executive produced by Michael Tolkin (Escape at Dannemora). Ruddy will also serve as executive producer, and Emmy-winning producer Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) will executive produce and be a writer on the series.
- Lioness, a spy drama created by Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone) with Sheridan, Jill Wagner, David Glasser, David Hutkin, and Bob Yari set to executive produce. Based on a real-life CIA program, LIONESS follows a young Marine recruited to befriend the daughter of a terrorist to bring the organization down from within. The series is produced by Paramount Network and 101 Studios.
- A reimagination of the Emmy®-nominated series Behind the Music entitled MTV’s Behind the Music – The Top 40, which will unlock MTV’s vault from the past 40 years for a unique and intimate look at the 40 biggest artists of all time, through their voices and their eyes. The series will be produced by Creature Films and MTV Studios.
- The Real Criminal Minds, a true crime docuseries based on the hit CBS Television series, and produced by XG Productions in association with CBS Television Studios and ABC Signature.
- The service is also developing a revival of The Game as part of BET’s programming on Paramount+ from CBS Television Studios and Grammnet Productions.
Those five join the previously announced SpongeBob SquarePants spinoff Kamp Koral. The company notes that more original series announcements are on the way.
ViacomCBS describes Paramount+ as a hub for live sports, breaking news, and premium entertainment. CBS All Access currently checks most of those boxes already as it offers live streaming, sports, and a decent CBS library. Where Paramount+ will set itself apart is in consolidation. The relatively new corporate entity ViacomCBS has a lot of entertainment subsidiaries. These include CBS, Paramount, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and many more. Paramount+ should be the place for much of those subsidiaries’ offerings to live.
Leading up to the Paramount+ reboot, CBS All Access will begin expanding its content base and incorporate shows and movies from other ViacomCBS brands. CBS All Access currently costs $5.99 or $9.99 for the commercial free option. It’s unknown what the rate for Paramount+ will be.