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Paramount+ set for launch this summer

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Staff Writer

Paramount+ will officially launch in the UK this summer.

Formerly called CBS All-Access in the US, the Paramount streaming service combines series and movies across from brands and studios including SHOWTIME, BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel. After launching in the USA, it’s now looking to expand, with parent company Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) announcing its plans in a bit more detail yesterday at an investor showcase.

“We see a huge global opportunity in streaming, a much larger potential market than can be captured by linear TV and film alone,” said Bob Bakish, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re excited about our ability to not just compete, but thrive, creating significant value for both consumers and shareholders. How? Because we’re broader in four key areas: our diverse content, streaming model, mix of platforms and global reach.”

To give you an idea of Paramount+’s popularity, the company surpassed 56 million total global streaming subscribers in the direct-to-consumer segment in 2021, and now aims to have a global streaming subscriber total of 100+ million by the end of 2024 – up from its target of 65-75 million.

In the UK and Ireland, Paramount+ will be available on Sky platforms as part of a multi-year distribution agreement. The app will be available on Sky Q, building upon Sky’s aggregation strategy. While in the USA, Paramount+ will become the exclusive streaming home of Paramount movies, starting with its 2024 releases, the UK deal with Sky will see Paramount’s feature films remain part of Sky Cinema’s library for the foreseeable future. (Sky will also continue to be a home to Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon in the UK and Ireland.)

The platform will also launch in the UK and Ireland as a standalone app for iOS, Android and other devices, although the pricing is yet to be confirmed.

As for what will be on Paramount+, the studio has a growing number of original titles already announced, including series such as Fatal Attraction, Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, Rabbit Hole and – launching in the US this April – The Offer.

Yesterday, Paramount confirmed that Halo – launching in the US this March – and Super Pumped had been renewed for Season 2, and Billions had been renewed for Season 7.

New franchise expansions announced yesterday include A Quiet Place Part III (confirmed for theatrical release in 2025), a live-action Sonic the Hedgehod series following Knuckles (Idris Elba), three new SpongeBob Squarepants movies (the first arriving in 2023), a new Star Trek theatrical film (with Matt Shakman directing and JJ Abrams producing), a Teen Wolf movie reuniting the original TV show cast, a new animated film based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (plus exclusive villain-themed movies for Parramount+ starting in 2023) and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (set for a 2023 debut and beginning a new trilogy of films).

Other Kids and Family content announcements included the film Blue’s Big City Adventure (set to premiere later this year), the return of Dora the Explorer in a new 2023 series plus a new live-action Dora series.

Adult animation plans include a new series for Beavis and Butt-Head, joining the 200-episode back catalogue of the animation on Paramount+, and South Park finding its exclusive subscription streaming home on Paramount+ internationally.

The Taylor Sheridan universe continues to expand with new chapters of the Dutton family drama in a new original from the Yellowstone co-creator: 1932, the next chapter of the Yellowstone origin story will follow a new generation of Duttons during the time of western expansion, Prohibition and the Great Depression.

Additionally, Billy Bob Thornton has been tapped to lead Sheridan’s upcoming series Land Man, as a crisis manager for an oil company.

Zoe Saldaña will star in Sheridan’s Lioness as ‘Joe’, a strong-willed, hard-nosed, station chief of the CIA’s Lioness Program.

Production is also underway on Tulsa King, starring Sylvester Stallone, which will premiere this autumn.

Paramount has also ordered NCIS: Sydney, a new series slated for 2023, and SEAL Team Movie, a film that will expand the storytelling universe for the hit Paramount+ drama SEAL Team.

Also in the works are A Gentleman in Moscow. Based on the best-selling novel by Amor Towles, this drama series tells the story of Count Rostov who, in 1922, finds himself stuck in Moscow and on the wrong side of history. The Communist Party agrees to let him live but he is never allowed to set foot outside the Metropole Hotel until the day he dies.

Sexy Beast, a prequel series, is based on the hit cult classic film of the same name and begins with Gal Dove and Don Logan just as they descend into the seductive madness of the London criminal world during the vibrant and volatile 1990s. At its core, this is a love story between two men — à la Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Michael Caleo (The Sopranos) is on board as showrunner.

Simon Beckett’s The Chemistry of Death is a crime series based on Simon Beckett’s bestselling novels following forensic anthropologist Dr David Hunter. Written by BAFTA-winning screenwriter Sukey Venables Fisher (Electricity, Unconditional) and directed by Richard R Clark (War of the Worlds, Versailles, Outlander), the series will be shot in the UK.

Set in 2032, South Korean series Yonder is an unknown space designed for the dead to be able to live on by uploading memories of their lifetime from their brain. The story unfolds as a man receives a message from his deceased wife, inviting him to this unknown space.

Unscripted series also on the way include All Star Shore, Ink Master, The Challenge: War of the Worlds, The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans and seven upcoming iterations from The Shore franchise, including Argentina Shore, Colombia Shore and Australian Shore, with more cities to be announced.

Queen of the Universe, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and The Challenge: All Stars have also been renewed.

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