Leslie Moonves: CBS All Access Plans to Launch 3-4 Original Series Per Year

Leslie Moonves AMC
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CBS Corp. chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves talked up the growth prospects of the CBS All Access SVOD service during Tuesday’s presentation to investors in New York, asserting that the long-term plan is to launch three to four original series a year.

The first of those series will be “Star Trek,” the first new TV installment of the enduring sci-fi franchise in 14 years. But Moonves’ remarks at the investor confab were the most substantive to date about plans for original series on All Access. CBS plans to launch the first episode of “Star Trek” early next year on the mother-ship CBS broadcast network but shift all subsequent episodes to All Access as an exclusive offering.

Moonves emphasized that All Access is helping CBS to position itself for “a future where consumers may very well pick and choose their own program lineup,” making high-wattage program brands like “Star Trek” all the more important.

CBS Interactive exec VP Marc DeBevoise said the goal is to launch roughly one series per quarter. The launches will follow the “Star Trek” pattern of simultaneous airings of the first episode on All Access and the CBS broadcast network before shifting to All Access exclusive airings.

“Having ‘Star Trek’ as our first orignal is a declaration of how serious we are about building this service,” he said. CBS will take a cue from Netflix by using data mined from viewership patterns to inform development plans for future All Access originals. DeBevoise said the goal will be “targeting traditional CBS TV audiences and beyond but with a premium sensibility and an eye on international.”

DeBevoise offered some demographic data about All Access, noting that the median age of its subscribers is 42 and 58% female. And 36% of them are in the millennial 18-34 demo.

Most, or 60% of CBS All Access viewership is driven by viewers catching up with current season episodes of active CBS series. Another 20% is older episodes of current series while another 10% comes from vintage library fare from the 1980s and earlier. Only about 10% of viewership comes from the service’s live TV stream of local affiliate stations.

CBS still has yet to give up any hard numbers on CBS All Access subscriptions. DeBevoise said this year’s Grammy Awards telecast marked the single-biggest day of sign-ups for the service since its October 2014 launch.

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