The CBS All Access streaming service mostly sputtered out of the gate when it launched in 2014. Despite original series like “Star Trek: Discovery,” “The Good Fight,” and “The Twilight Zone” reboot eventually finding their fans, the service has largely failed to make a significant dent in the streaming market, with only about 4 million subscribers as of 2019.
Now, ViacomCBS top brass is looking to change all that with a relaunch of the platform coming in early 2021 and a new name to go with it: Paramount+. Due to its similarity to other new services, this name has already drawn a little bit of mockery online after being announced on Tuesday morning.
Jokes aside, the relaunch will also see a new commitment to more original content and the folding in of shows and movies from other outlets under the Viacom umbrella, including MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, and, obviously, Paramount Pictures.
When it debuts, Paramount+ will boast new originals like “The Offer,” a miniseries set during the filming of “The Godfather,” a reboot of BET’s classic sitcom “The Game,” a new take on MTV’s classic docuseries “Behind the Music,” and “Lioness,” a series hailing from “Yellowstone” and “Sicario” writer Taylor Sheridan.
Paramount+ will also feature new entries in the popular “SpongeBob SquarePants” series, including “Kamp Koral,” a prequel animated series, and “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run,” the third movie which was pulled from a U.S. theatrical release due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ViacomCBS CEO Bob Backish first discussed the possibility of a name change for CBS All Access in May, when his company began accelerating plans to expand the service to compete in an exploding market against the likes of Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Peacock. The decision to focus on Paramount in the branding is said to be due to the studio’s worldwide recognition.
“Paramount is an iconic and storied brand beloved by consumers all over the world, and it is synonymous with quality, integrity and world-class storytelling,” Backish explained in a press release.