The departure Thursday of David Nevins as Chairman and CEO, Paramount Premium Group and Chief Creative Officer, Paramount+ Scripted Series, as well as Paramount Global’s restructuring unveiled alongside it, created a lot anxiety within the operations impacted by Nevins’ exit.
Nevins’ responsibilities were divvied up, with Showtime Networks moving under Chris McCarthy, George Cheeks taking oversight of BET and Paramount TV Studios, and Showtime’s OTT shifting under Tom Ryan.
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In his memo announcing the realignment, Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish noted that Paramount TV Studios “will continue to operate as a studio alongside CBS Studios,” which also is overseen by Cheeks, but many saw the two studios being put under the same umbrella as a step toward consolidation.
Cheeks, President & CEO, CBS and CCO, News & Sports, Paramount+, and PTVS President Nicole Clemens stepped in to assuage any merger fears Thursday afternoon with a memo, assuring the PTVS team that “Paramount TV Studios and CBS Studios will both continue to have their own leaders and separate creative teams that will operate independently in the market” while being ” two best-in-class production brands” in Cheeks’ portfolio. (You can read the full memo below.)
One area creating even more confusion is the oversight of Paramount+ scripted originals. Despite being a significant part of Nevins’ title — Chief Creative Officer, Paramount+ Scripted Series — the fate of those responsibilities were not addressed in Bakish’s memo.
Bakish did say that “this change has also given us the opportunity to more closely align our studios, networks and streaming operations as we execute on our vision and strategy for the future.”
According to sources, the idea is for the three studios supplying Paramount+ with scripted series — CBS Studios, Paramount TV Studios and MTV Entertainment Studios, overseen by McCarthy, where Taylor Sheridan is based — to oversee their shows for the streamer in collaboration with Tom Ryan, President and CEO of Paramount Streaming, and Tanya Giles, the company’s Chief Programming Officer of Streaming, who is shepherding the rollout of content.
That is a studio-focused, decentralized model also employed by Disney+, which does not have its own development teams but is being fed by major labels within Disney like Marvel, Lucasfilm and Disney Branded Entertainment.
Such new structure raises questions about Clemens’ role as President, Paramount+ Original Scripted Series, and the future of her team. (That role has been in addition to Clemens running PTVS, which should expand under the potential new plan giving more power to the studios.) From what I hear, they have not been informed yet about what happens next, but changes in that operation are afoot, I hear.
Here is Cheeks and Clemens’ memo:
Paramount Television Studios Team – We wanted to reach out following Bob’s announcement with some additional details and briefly clarify what this new structure means.
As part of today’s news, we will be forming a television studios group with two best-in-class production brands – Paramount Television Studios and CBS Studios – in George’s portfolio. Paramount Television Studios and CBS Studios will both continue to have their own leaders and separate creative teams that will operate independently in the market.
This studio produces incredible shows across a broad range of platforms, and that won’t change. We want to continue to create more premium series that can be successfully monetized around the world. We also want to expand our global franchises while we develop new ones. Our production footprint will be U.S. and international. Our buyers will be internal and external.
We are very excited to partner together with this amazing team to take Paramount Television Studios to even greater heights.
Nicole and George
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