Memory Alpha
Advertisement
Memory Alpha
Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)
Paramount+ with Showtime logo

Paramount+ With Showtime (formerly Paramount+ until June 2023, and CBS All Access until March 2021) is a digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service owned by Paramount Global, which allows access to CBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Smithsonian Channel, and Showtime shows past and present, including every Star Trek series, save Star Trek: Prodigy.

Launched on 28 October 2014 as CBS All Access in the United States, [7] the service – operated by CBS Interactive – expanded to Canada on 23 April 2018 and half a year later into Australia as well on 4 December as "10 All Access" (although, due to existing rights agreements, not all of the service's programming accompanied the expansions). [8][9]

CBS All Access logo - Horizontal Variant

In November 2015, CBS Corporation President and CEO Leslie Moonves revealed that, as a result of the various Star Trek series performing "exceedingly well" on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Discovery would premiere exclusively on All Access as the service's first original series (although The Good Fight ultimately aired first). Moonves characterized the decision as a means to entice "millions" of new subscribers. [10] When Discovery premiered on the service in September 2017, "record-breaking" single-day signups were reported, [11] though no specified viewership numbers have ever been disclosed by either (the owners of) CBS All Access or the Star Trek franchise itself, then or anytime later. [12]

The first Discovery companion series, After Trek, also premiered on the service, as did Star Trek: Short Treks, Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Star Trek: Prodigy, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and The Ready Room, the follow-up to After Trek. The forthcoming Star Trek: Section 31 is slated to air on the service as well. [13][14]

Besides the various Star Trek productions and The Good Fight, original programming includes No Activity, Strange Angel, One Dollar, and Tell Me a Story (starring Kim Cattrall).

Among the planned original content of the service was a revival of The Twilight Zone and the dark comedy series Why Women Kill. [15]

Besides original programming, the service in the U.S. also streams the CBS station for a given region, which includes the annual Grammy Awards and games of the National Football League (NFL).

First rebranding[]

Paramount+ logo

Announced on 7 May 2020, [16][17] CBS All Access was nearly a year later officially rebranded as Paramount+ on 4 March 2021. [18] The rebranding came about as a direct result from the December 2019 remerging of Viacom and the CBS Corporation into conglomerate holding company ViacomCBS, [19] itself rebranded in February 2022 to Paramount Global.[1] This had meant that the hitherto to CBS Studios limited productions catalog of CBS All Access was now augmented with the Paramount Pictures productions backlog catalog, a sorely needed augmentation at the time as CBS All Access was not able to retain subscriber loyalty – and thus profitability – due to its limited, what reviewers had called "disappointing"[2] and even "pointless", [20][21] catalog, [22][23] or as CBS All Access Head of Programming Julie McNamara had put it in a statement, "Expanding CBS All Access’ library of films with these iconic titles from Paramount Pictures is just one of the many ways we’re integrating the phenomenal catalog of IP [="intellectual properties"] available to us within the ViacomCBS family". [24]

Paramount Mountain 1

A Paramount Mountain commercial screenshot

To herald the rebranding, a series of commercials featuring "Paramount Mountain" aired in JanuaryFebruary 2021, advertising the transformation of CBS All Access into Paramount+ in March. They featured Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham, Captain Christopher Pike played by Anson Mount, Spock played by Ethan Peck, and Patrick Stewart as himself. Other actors and voice actors appearing or heard included Bryson DeChambeau, Gayle King, James Corden, Jeff Probst, Jimmy Kimmel, Snooky, Stephen Colbert, and Trevor Noah. Music was the song "Sweet Victory," performed by David Eisley and Bob Kulick.

In November 2021, Paramount+ was announced as the exclusive streamer for Star Trek: Discovery in all markets except Canada (where CraveTV had the exclusive streaming rights – until August 2023, that was), following the show's global removal from Netflix. The move, made days ahead of the premiere of the program's fourth season, was met with widespread fan outrage in the non-U.S./Canada markets where the new season would now not be available for months, well into 2022. Seemingly in response to that global fan backlash, on 24 November 2021 it was announced instead that the program would be made available on 26 November 2021 in all markets in which Paramount+ had already rolled out, with new episodes instead premiering on Pluto TV as a viewing option where the streaming service was not operating yet. [25]

Paramount+ Star Trek promosheet 2020-2022

Paramount+ promosheet, touting its claim as the exclusive home of everything Star Trek

The remerger of the two entities which separated in 2006-2007 had implications for the Star Trek franchise as well: Its two parts, the film and television franchises, enjoyed a "reunification" of their own. Shortly afterwards, by-then ViacomCBS president Bob Bakish had outlined on the 7 December 2021 UBS Global TMT Virtual Conference his plans to make Paramount+ the exclusive home of everything Star Trek by pulling them from all other streaming platforms. "As we increasingly transition to leveraging our particular franchises and original production for our owned and operated streaming assets, principally Paramount+... that, in turn, will create a decline in that third-party business over time as these deals roll off. I would note that as an example of that, we just took back Star Trek: Discovery internationally from Netflix. And so, we now have that property globally. That's clearly a core franchise for us, and it's working," he stated at the conference. [26] "Every Series, Every Episode" became the new tagline with which Paramount+ now paraded Star Trek until June 2023.

Second rebranding[]

A mere two years after the first one, a second rebranding was already deemed necessary in 2023 as the entire streaming service industry – with the sole exception of Netflix – found itself confronted with a crippling lack of profitability[3] due to the severity of the "streaming wars" (see here for a more detailed look). [27] One option eyed by the industry to counteract the negative trend was looking to partner with competitors through joint ventures and/or mergers in order to entice greater subscriber loyalty by offering each others' content in combined libraries. Paramount Global sought out a strategic partnership with Comcast (owner of Universal Studios, among tohers) which eventually resulted in September 2022 in the combined streaming service SkyShowtime for several large overseas markets in which a slimmed down version of Paramount+ was incorporated – only a part of the Star Trek productions was offered through SkyShowtime for example.

This turned out to be a harbinger for a similar move for both the home market and those regions where Paramount+ was already operating under its own name, but now by combining its own library with that of another conglomerate-owned entity, subscription cable company Showtime. Announced on 31 January 2023, the new combined streaming service Paramount+ With Showtime became effective on 27 June 2023. [28][4] The merger did not come without casualties however, as both entities had to cancel productions, including several newly produced ones, [29] in order to streamline the newly combined catalog by "refining our content offering to deliver the best streaming experience for subscribers," as Paramount had put it. [30] One of the shows that fell by the wayside in service of that goal turned out to be Prodigy, which was removed from the franchise on 26 June 2023 – thereby rendering the Paramount+ claim of being Star Trek's home of "Every Series, Every Episode" invalid. [31] Additionally, Showtime ceased to be a standalone brand. [32]

On 27 June 2024, it was announced that all ten Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation films would return to the streaming service on 1 July 2024. [33]

Footnotes[]

  1. Both Paramount and CBS used to belong to the same (old) Viacom conglomerate before it was split up on 1 January 2006, but CBS All Access was unable to benefit from this former kinship. This was caused by the intense rivalry between Les Moonves (head of the then newly-formed CBS Corporation) and Philippe Dauman (head of of the newly-formed, Paramount-owning Viacom). Moonves and Dauman were in a vicious fight over who would succeed Sumner Redstone as Chairman-of-the-Board of holding conglomerate National Amusements; Redstone's decision to break up (old) Viacom was in part motivated to tighten his grip on his holdings by playing both CEOs off against each other – a classic case of "divide and conquer". Neither man incidentally, would ever attain the lofty position, if either had ever been considered in earnest by Redstone at all, as it was rather Redstone's daughter Shari who eventually succeeded her father, in the process destroying the careers of both Moonves and Dauman. It was Shari Redstone who reunified her company after both men were removed from the mix. (see: main article) Dauman had no intention whatsoever of helping Moonves out in the slightest with his pet project CBS All Access, on which the latter had staked his career and fortunes, and after Moonves' CBS had slapped Viacom with hefty license fees for the right to produce films from franchises, including Star Trek and Mission: Impossible, that had originally been Paramount properties to begin with, but which were stripped from them in the split without the slightest compensation in any form or format whatsoever. This rivalry seriously hurt the interests of both companies eventually, and as a direct result, CBS All Access performed nowhere near the high hopes and expectations Moonves had over-confidently prognosticated the shareholders and third-party investors, causing his position to come under intense Board scrutiny, even before his eventual downfall because of the #Me Too movement allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct. [1]
  2. Even well over a year after the rebranding, subscriber chagrin over a disappointingly and frustratingly small catalog persisted for foreign Paramount+ subsidiaries, especially in the UK. [2]
  3. Paramount+ reported a 2023 first quarter loss of no less than US$511 million despite a 4.1 million increase in subscription numbers from the end of 2022 to 60 million. [3] The negative trend continued unabated in the subsequent quarter, [4] even though quarterly losses narrowed down by about 17 percent to US$424 million. [5] While substantial, Paramount+'s first and second quarter losses pale in comparison to that of competitor Disney+'s first quarter alone, reported at US$1.1 billion on top of its first ever subscriber loss since its 2019 launch at 2.4 million. [6]
  4. The new official moniker of the streaming service is considered too cumbersome by the public, who continue to use the shorter, preceding "Paramount+" moniker.

External links[]

Advertisement