The 10 Biggest Paramount+ Announcements: Halo, Frasier, Rugrats, and More
CBS All Access is dead, long live Paramount+Photo Courtesy of Paramount+ TV Lists
Nicole Clemens, the head of Paramount TV Studios, told THR that her job regarding Paramount+ (the new streaming service that will act as a hub for ViacomCBS brands) is to find “The Handmaid’s Tale, the Mad Men, The Walking Dead—the show that helps define them. It’s really ambitious and it’s an offering that is going to be incredibly appealing and compelling to people who are in the market for another streamer.”
That last part, “people who are in the market for another streamer,” is what Paramount+ is banking on. Whether those people actually exist remains to be seen. The service is entering into an oversaturated market where allegiances have long been forged. But many major studios are seeing that they can profit off of consolidating their massive content libraries in one place rather than licensing them out. Like WarnerMedia did with creating HBO Max, or Disney with Disney+, or NBCUniversal with Peacock, ViacomCBS is putting all of its intellectual property back under its own control. So instead of watching Frasier on Netflix or Rugrats on Amazon, you’ll have to subscribe to Paramount+ to see them (and much more).
For mega media corporations like Warner, Viacom, and Disney, this makes a lot of sense. Their libraries are deep, and they don’t have to rely on original content to woo viewers—frankly, we just want the old stuff. And yet, with Paramount+, Viacom has announced a particularly aggressive slate of new content (over 50 originals series planned for the next two years) that revolves mostly around TV versions of older movies or revivals of popular series. Aren’t we burned out on that? Paramount+ hopes not.
Also like HBO Max, Paramount+ will have loads of content. Unlike HBO Max, they aren’t holding back on just dumping it all on us at once, with “30,000 episodes, 2,500 movie titles and over 1,000 live sporting events, plus around-the-clock news coverage.” Certain Paramount Pictures releases will also stream on the service after short theatrical windows, including A Quiet Place Part II and Mission Impossible 7. (But will we get The Adventures of Pete and Pete? Will Daria stream with its OG soundtrack? Time will tell….)
During an investor call on Wednesday, Paramount+ made a bevy of major announcements, which you can find divided up into the major headlines below. The service, which is set to launch March 4th, will have to pricing tiers: $9.99/mo for premium, and $4.99/mo for ad-supported (available starting in June). For all of those in the market for another streamer….
1. Love Avatar? Here’s a Whole Studio Devoted to It
The launch of Paramount+ marks the arrival of Avatar Studios, formed to create more series and films in the universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. “The first project from Avatar Studios is slated as an animated theatrical film set to begin production this year. Additional details will be available soon,” the streamer announced in a statement. Original creators Michael DiMartino and Brian Konietzko will lead the studio, with the new shows and films debuting on Paramount+ as well as Nickelodeon’s own linear and digital platforms.
2. Paramount+ Will Be the Home of the Star Trek Universe
Since CBS All Access is being folded into Paramount+ (more on that in a bit), it comes as no surprise that the entire Star Trek Universe will be part of the new service, including the all-new animated kids series Star Trek: Prodigy, which is slated to be released in 2021. Produced in collaboration with Nickelodeon, Prodigy marks the first Star Trek series for a family audience.
“With the addition of Prodigy, the entire Star Trek Universe will now be available to stream on Paramount+,” Paramount+ announced in a statement. “The Star Trek Universe on Paramount+ will also include current and upcoming seasons of the original series Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks and the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. The Star Trek Universe on Paramount+ also includes all 726 episodes from the six classic Star Trek series and a selection of Star Trek films.”
3. The Final Season of Younger Will Debut on Streaming
The seventh and final season of Darren Star’s hit MTV series Younger, featuring Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff, will debut on Paramount+. The release date has yet to be announced, but Paramount+ subscribers will get to view all 12 episodes of the final season on the streamer. “Fans will get early access to the final season on Paramount+ before it airs on TV Land later this year,” Paramount+ wrote in a statement. “The first six seasons are currently available to stream on the service.”
4. The Rugrats Are Coming Back
Nickelodeon’s iconic toddlers will return in a new CG-animated Rugrats reboot at Paramount+, reuniting some of the familiar voice actors from the series. “A reimagining of the classic ‘90s hit, the CG-animated series stars E.G. Daily (Tommy), Nancy Cartwright (Chuckie), Cheryl Chase (Angelica), Cree Summer (Susie) and Kath Soucie (Phil and Lil), all of whom are reprising their iconic roles in this new series,” Paramount+ announced in a statement. The revival is set to debut on the platform this spring.
5. And So Is Frasier
Frasier will return on Paramount+, with Kelsey Grammer reprising his role as Dr. Frasier Crane. The new original comedy series will be executive produced by Grammer, and written by Chris Harris and Joe Cristalli. Frasier will be exclusively available on Paramount+, as a collaboration with CBS Studios in association with Grammnet Productions. All 11 seasons of the original sitcom will also be available to stream on Paramount+.
6. Showtime’s Halo Series Makes Another Move
Paramount+ has announced that Showtime’s drama series Halo will debut exclusively on platform in early 2022. The series is currently in production in Budapest, and is a collaboration between Showtime, 343 Industries, and Amblin Television. According to a press release, “based on the iconic Xbox franchise, Halo’s epic universe and cast of characters comes to life in this new original drama series. In the new television series adaptation, Halo will take place in the universe that first came to be in 2001, dramatizing an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant.”
7. Classic Movies Will Be Reimagined as TV Shows
Along with a handful of other new scripted dramas, Paramount+ has announced five revivals of classic films from the late 60s, 70s, and 80s. Flashdance will be rebooted, written by Tracy McMillan and directed by Angela Robinson. Two Gossip Girl producers have been tapped to work on Love Story, a recreation of the award-winning film. Matt Wheeler will write and executive produce The Italian Job, which will reunite the grandchildren from the original film. A scripted series based on The Parallax View will be produced by Paula Wagner. Finally, a reimagining of the psychosexual thriller Fatal Attraction will also debut on the streamer.
8. New Overall Deal Announced with Yellowstone Creator
Paramount+ has tapped Jeremy Renner to lead Mayor of Kingstown, a new drama series by Taylor Sheridan, the co-creator of Yellowstone (i.e. your parents’ favorite show). “Prolific director, Antoine Fuqua (Academy Award-winning Training Day), has signed on as executive producer in the new series from Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Sheridan, who recently signed a multi-year pact with ViacomCBS and MTV Entertainment Group,” Paramount+ announced in a statement.
Sheridan has also announced a slate of upcoming series for the streamer, also featuring Land Man and two new series in the Yellowstone universe, 6666 and Y: 1883.
9. CBS All Access Originals Are Moving to Paramount+
CBS All Access who? All of the (soon to be former) streaming service’s originals will be rebranded as Paramount+ originals, including:
Star Trek: Discovery
Star Trek: Lower Decks
Star Trek: Picard
Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out the News
The Good Fight
Why Women Kill
10. There Will Be a Hecken Massive Library of Content
Paramount+ parent company ViacomCBS owns a ton of familiar networks: CBS (obviously), Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1, BET, Comedy Central, Pop TV, CMT, TV Land, and more. Plus, one of the most storied movie studios. So suffice it to say, they have content.
On top of these new series, revivals, and universe expansions, Paramount+ is offering plenty of TV series, movies, and more to fulfill every streaming need. From new comedies like Grease: The Rise of the Pink Ladies and Reno 911! The Search for QAnon to scripted dramas like Criminal Minds and The Offer, there will be no shortage of new series to binge watch. Family and kids shows will include revivals of hits like iCarly, Dora the Explorer, and Spongebob.
Paramount+ will also debut a slate of new unscripted series, like an in-depth look at the reality series Big Brother and returns of series like Dating Naked and Love Island. The platform will premiere sports programs like The Masters, NFL on CBS, the NCAA Championship, PGA Tour, and more. News offerings will include CBS programs like 60 Minutes and 48 Hours original: The Lie Detector.
New documentaries and docuseries will hit the platform, covering topics like Watergate and COVID-19 in 76 Days, Black Gold, For Heaven’s Sake, and more. Music will also have a home on the streamer, in documentary series like Behind the Music and From Cradle to Stage.
Fletcher Peters is a New York-based journalist whose writing has appeared in Decider, Jezebel, and Film School Rejects, among other spots. You can follow her on Twitter @fietcherpeters gossiping about rom-coms, TV, and the latest celebrity drama.
Allison Keene is the TV Editor of Paste Magazine. For more television talk, pop culture chat and general japery, you can follow her @keeneTV
For all the latest TV news, reviews, lists and features, follow @Paste_TV.