ViacomCBS-owned Paramount Network—home of basic cable’s most-viewed series, Yellowstone—is set to rebrand as a movie-focused channel, dropping unscripted series in the process, the company said Tuesday. The rebrand will go into effect next year around the world, with the channel becoming the Paramount Movie Network.
Going forward, Paramount Movie Network will program 52 original made-for-TV movies featuring big stars each year, premiering one per week, Variety reported exclusively. Once per quarter, the network expects to program a regular or limited series on the scale of its Kevin Costner-starrer Yellowstone, which is currently basic cable’s most-watched original drama.
“We’re doubling down on scripted but diversifying with made for TV movies, mini-series and blockbuster series with movie stars like Yellowstone,” Chris McCarthy, president of entertainment and youth brands for ViacomCBS domestic media networks, told Variety.
“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. Plus, we’re maximizing our investment because we can build a valuable library to use across our streaming, cable and global footprints.”
The shift means Paramount Network will exit the unscripted business, ending such series as Ink Master and Wife Swap. The syndicated run of Cops was canceled in June after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a now-former Minneapolis policeman. Other of the network’s successful unscripted series, such as Bar Rescue and Lip Sync Battle, will be moved to other ViacomCBS owned networks or services. Next year, ViacomCBS is rebranding subscription-based streaming service, CBS All Access, to Paramount+.
READ MORE: Variety