Paramount+ Will Make a Splash by Rebooting … Everything
Seriously, so many reboots.
Another new streaming service looms on the horizon, except it’s not quite new, just an expansion and a rebrand. But Paramount and Viacom/CBS are treating their new platform, Paramount+, like it’s something we’ve never seen before by doing something that every streamer and network is already obsessed with: rebooting well-known properties! Except in this case, they are seemingly rebooting everything.
In an increasingly crowded market, it’s very hard for a late-comer to make a splash. Especially for Paramount+ which is sort of the same but different from the oft-forgotten CBS All Access, it’s hard to get people excited. But Viacom seems to be determined to make this happen and they are throwing everything at potential consumers, and it will be interesting to see how many people pick it up.
Paramount+ will launch May with a “catalog of more than 30,000 episodes, 2,500 movie titles” according to Deadline. Not only that but, sort of following the model set by Universal and HBO Max/Warner Brothers, new Paramount movies will stream on the service 45 days after their theatrical release. Titles on the way include A Quiet Place and Mission Impossible 7.
But wait, there’s more, and a lot of it is remakes or reboots of existing IP in the Paramount/CBS library. Paramount+ will host revivals of Criminal Minds, Inside Amy Schumer, Reno 911, The Game, and reality spin-offs/revivals of shows like The Real World, Road Rules, The Daily Show, Behind the Music, Unplugged, Yo! MTV Raps and more. Since Viacom owns Nickelodeon, they’re leaning hard into children’s programming as well with revivals of Rugrats (as a CGI nightmare!) and The Fairly OddParents in live-action as well as a live-action of Dora The Explorer and a new iCarly. And of course, there are all things Avatar.
There will also be two spinoffs of Yellowstone, for the older crowd and for … someone, they are making a Bevis and Butthead movie. Great. Paramount+ will also serve as the destination for all things Star Trek, including Discovery, Lower Decks, and Picard as well as a new series, called Star Trek: Prodigy aimed at kids. And Paramount+ will host the previously announced Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
But don’t think that’s the end of it. Oh no, there’s a lot more on the slate, much of it inspired by beloved (?) properties that, have some sort of brand recognition. So we’re getting series based on things like Flashdance, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Love Story, The Italian Job, The Parallax View, and a series based on Grease called Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies (oh dear god). One thing that sounds maybe cool is a series based on the video game Halo. I mean … I’ll take that over Grease or Bevis and Butthead. There’s also The Offer which is about the making of The Godfather, and you may have heard of it because it’s the series Armie Hammer was let go from.
There are some original ideas mixed in here, thank the TV gods. Kate Beckinsdale will star in Guilty Party, a dark comedy about a discredited journalist who becomes embroiled with the case of a young mother serving life in prison for killing her husband, which she claims she didn’t do.
Also original is LandMan, described as: “set in the proverbial boomtowns of West Texas, Land Man is a modern-day tale of fortune-seeking in the world of oil rigs. The series is an upstairs/downstairs story of roughnecks and wildcat billionaires fueling a boom so big, it’s reshaping our climate, our economy, and our geopolitics.” Alright then.
Unlike HBOMax or Disney+ or Peacock which launched mainly as back catalogs of content with a few originals, Paramount+ is going All Out with their programming. I have to admire the ambition and sheer volume of what they are producing, but I’m still wondering if this huge reliance on old titles and brands will actually draw in viewers who are already paying for half a dozen other services.
Also among the retreads is the long-rumored revival of sitcom classic Frasier. Now, Frasier was a critically fawned-over show in the ’90s. But in the intervening years, the reputation of the sitcom has been rightfully scrutinized and questioned by reexamining the way Frasier treated women and queer subtext, and how the show was glaringly one of the whitest sitcoms of its time. Not to mention star Kelsey Grammer praising Donald Trump and backing Roseanne Barr after her racist comments. We’ll pass on any new Frasier, thanks.
Does anything on this huge list of Paramount+ possibilities catch your attention?
(via: Deadline, Image: NBC/Paramount)
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