Paramount Network will remain Paramount Network — at least for now — as the cabler nixes plans to rebrand as the Paramount Movie Network.
According to insiders, the rebrand plans have been put on ice partly due to COVID-19, which has had an immense impact on production, as well as the success of “Yellowstone,” which has grown into a tremendous hit for Paramount Network and is now the No. 1 entertainment program on cable.
The initial plan, first announced in September 2020, was for the ViacomCBS subsidiary to focus on television movies and cancel its unscripted programming. ViacomCBS’ president of entertainment and youth brands Chris McCarthy told Variety that Paramount planned to air 52 original movies per year — or one per week — as well as one quarterly “blockbuster” miniseries or scripted series on the scale of its hit drama “Yellowstone.” The network also hinted at potentially spinning off characters from these projects into their own films or sequels in the future. (“Yellowstone” currently has one spinoff on air, “1883,” and another in development, with the working title “6666.”)
As part of the restructuring, “Ink Master,” “Wife Swap” and “Battle of the Fittest Couples” were all canceled. McCarthy said the network’s unscripted hits “Bar Rescue” and “Lip Sync Battle” would live on but would be moved elsewhere within the ViacomCBS cable portfolio.
Overseeing the development of the movie projects was Meghan Hooper White — who joined the company in May 2020 as EVP and head of original movies and limited series — but she left Paramount in August 2021.
“Made-for-TV movies provide all the creative upside and ability to work with great talent, without the full time commitment of a series or feature,” McCarthy told Variety back in September 2020. “Plus, we’re maximizing our investment because we can build a valuable library to use across our streaming, cable and global footprints.”
Deadline was first to reveal Paramount Network’s decision to hold off on the rebrand.