It's becoming increasingly clear over the past year that the streaming world will at some point, to some extent, collapse in on itself like a universe that's past its expiration date. Another domino has fallen in that direction today as Paramount has announced plans to merge Showtime and Paramount+, resulting in the ungainly new name "Paramount+ with Showtime," per Variety.
According to a memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the merger will likely result in layoffs and programming shake-ups, an unfortunately common refrain across the streaming world in recent months. The news was swiftly followed by the announcement (also via THR) that three Showtime series — "Let The Right One In," "Three Women," and "American Gigolo" — have already been canceled with the showrunners shopping around for new homes.
The most obvious change for customers, though, will be to the Showtime name. Showtime networks, the pay cable channels that are home to shows like "Dexter" and "Yellowjackets," will now be rebranded to the absolute mouthful of a name. This seems like an obvious move towards creating a unified brand under the Paramount+ name, while still maintaining the name recognition of Showtime, a channel that has been around since 1976. Unfortunately, it's awkward to type and even more ridiculous to say out loud.
More Changes Are In Store For Paramount And Showtime
The memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter comes via Paramount CEO Bob Bakish, and more or less confirms as much in business-speak terms. "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," the memo reads. The "full integration" of Showtime and Paramount+ will take place later this year, and will also impact the premium tier of Paramount+, which will share the new title along with Showtime programming options.
As Paramount+ gains a reputation as the home of beloved franchises like "Star Trek" and "Yellowstone," and Showtime's viewership doesn't seem to come close to touching that of competitor HBO, it makes sense that something's got to give, but it's unfortunate that the integration will also involve layoffs and cancellations. While Chris McCarthy, President and CEO of Showtime and Paramount Media Networks, writes in another memo that the company will stop investing in projects that "are underperforming and that account for less than 10% of our views," Variety also reports that the network may be taking part in a troubling new trend for streamers. According to the outlet, at least one new show that has already completed filming is being shopped around elsewhere. The Showtime and Paramount+ title change and programming integration are expected to take place later in 2023.
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The post Showtime Has a Stupid New Name, and They've Canceled a Handful of Shows Too appeared first on /Film.