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Everything to know about Paramount Plus, ViacomCBS’s new version of CBS All Access

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In just over a week, CBS All Access will become Paramount Plus, a rebranded version of the streaming service launching on March 4th.

Paramount Plus will use combined franchises and assets from Viacom and CBS (who remerged in 2019) to offer more than 20,000 episodes of television and films from a number of networks. These networks and studios include BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures. Every announcement made today can be read on ViacomCBS’ site.

The streaming service will launch at two separate pricing tiers: an ad-supported version that includes full breadth of Paramount movies, Paramount Plus originals, a “massive portion of library,” according to streaming CEO Tom Ryan, and current seasons of CBS shows for $4.99. This is launching in June. The premium tier will have live sports supplemented with even more options, live CBS news feeds, and a live CBS TV experience for $9.99. The company will have more information about bundle options “soon,” according to Ryan.

Customers on premium CBS All Access plans should just automatically roll into Paramount Plus. By the time that Paramount Plus launches, the $5.99 CBS All Access plan will no longer be offered, but existing customers on that plan will be grandfathered into All Access. It’s unclear if they’ll revert back to the ad-supported plan once that option becomes available in June. The Verge has asked for more information.

So what does that get people?

Let’s start with TV fans. Paramount Plus will carry a number of older popular shows, like SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as new originals based around popular franchises like Criminal Minds and The Godfather. Nickelodeon is launching an Avatar Studios to make more TV series and films based on the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. Nickelodeon fans, Paramount Plus is also working on a live-action Dora the Explorer series and a live-action Fairly OddParents show.

Some of the original series announced today include a new Frasier revival with Kelsey Grammer set to reprise his role as Dr. Frasier Crane, and several series based on popular Paramount movies, including The Italian Job, Flashdance, and Fatal Attraction. A Criminal Minds revival — and all 15 seasons of the original CBS crime procedural — will also stream exclusively on Paramount Plus. Finally, a reboot of Inside Amy Schumer and a weekly spinoff of The Daily Show were also ordered.

These series join previously announced titles heading to Paramount Plus. The Offer, a limited series based on the making-of process behind The Godfather; Lioness, a show about a young marine who is recruited to befriend a terrorist in order to bring down the organization; a reimagining of MTV’s Behind The Music; a documentary series based on FBI profilers; a revival of BET’s The Game; a new SpongeBob SquarePants series called Kamp Koral; and a new version of The Real World.

Today’s event also brought with it a ton of movie news. CEO Bob Bakish noted that many Paramount films will go to Paramount Plus 30 to 45 days after their theatrical release, with others appearing 90 days after their theatrical release. For example, A Quiet Place 2 will be available on Paramount Plus just 45 days after it’s released in theaters this September. Mission Impossible 7 and the Paw Patrol film will also appear on Paramount Plus 45 days after their theatrical releases. MGM movies will go to Paramount Plus once they’re out of the theatrical window — that could mean films like No Time To Die. Also, some new movies, including feature projects based on Beavis and Butt-head, Workaholics, and Pet Semetary, will be made exclusively for Paramount Plus.

Much like CBS All Access, Paramount Plus will also carry some aspect of live sports, news, and events for subscribers. Currently, All Access customers can watch national NFL games carried on CBS via the streaming service, as well as events like the Grammy’s when they air on the network. The company is expanding its sports offering on Paramount Plus, including hosting UEFA soccer games, and other sports that will find a home on the digital service. Paramount Plus will also carry a 24/7 news channel, according to Bakish, and local news and weather updates for subscribers depending on their region.

Today, ViacomCBS announced it has 19.2 million subscribers between CBS All Access and Showtime (plus 30.1 million monthly active users for free streaming platform, Pluto TV) domestically, but the goal is to use the plethora of franchises and networks to really compete in the streaming wars. Disney Plus is nearing 100 million subscribers, and HBO Max has 17.2 million activations. Peacock, one of Paramount Plus’ biggest competitors in terms of similar offerings, has 33 million users, although it’s unclear how many are paid subscribers.

ViacomCBS executives also addressed an international rollout for Paramount Plus. It will launch in Latin America and Canada on the same day as the US, with Australia and the Nordics in the weeks and months to follow.


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