EXCLUSIVE: Paramount+ has yanked a raft of international originals from its service along with several big-ticket acquired series.
Numerous English-language originals disappeared overnight last week. The U.S. conglom’s strategy shift to favoring its Hollywood-style content, and wider cost-savings efforts, effectively played out in real time. Other series that had been tipped for second seasons will not return.
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Subscribers were left perplexed as shows vanished, and voiced bewilderment and frustration on X and elsewhere online. The removed shows have been taken off the streaming service in all territories.
Samantha Morton-starrer The Burning Girls and One Night, the Australia-set drama with Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker, have disappeared from the streamer. Likewise, Eleventh Hour Films-produced The Killing Kind, based on the book of the same name, and thriller The Serial Killer’s Wife, have been pulled.
The Doll Factory, the adaptation of the bestselling novel from Marcella producer Buccaneer, has also come down.
Elsewhere, a second season of The Flatshare, from production and management outfit 42, and Chemistry of Death, based on Simon Beckett’s crime novel, are not now expected to materialize.
Acquired shows have also been culled. Shows dropped from the UK service include Accused, the U.S. remake of the gritty Jimmy McGovern UK series, and new seasons of Quantum Leap.
The changes follow a strategy shift at Paramount. Maria Kyriacou, Paramount Global President, Broadcast & Studios, is exiting as the business cuts its international offering.
The international focus has shifted to “Hollywood franchises, films and series, which have mass global appeal,” international bosses Pam Kaufman and CBS CEO George Cheeks told staff in an internal memo last week. CBS Studios President David Stapf will take on Kyriacou’s Paramount Television International Studios (PTIS) remit.
The broader context is Bob Bakish’s plan to “operate as a leaner company and spend less.” Driving profitability at the streaming operation is a key pillar of the Paramount Global CEO’s strategy, detailed to staff in a town hall in late-Jan.
The likes of Disney+ and HBO Max have previously employed similar strategies and pulled content in bids to lower programming costs.
For international drama producers, Paramount+’s pullback is a tough break and represents the real-world impact of a change in direction at the streamer. Many of the English-language originals hailed from producers already buffeted by commissioning slowdowns in many territories and re-orgs at key platforms and broadcasters.
Other international projects that have gone dark include New Pictures and Viacom International Studios’ No Escape, the movie At Midnight and Brazilian drama Marcelo, Marmelo, Martelo. These were first reported in THR.
Paramount+ is not, however, exiting the international drama business wholesale. High-profile original Sexy Beast has just launched and some English-language international fare is still moving ahead. The second season of Australia’s Last King of the Cross is happening, with Deadline breaking the news last Friday that Naveen Andrews has joined the cast of the gangland drama.
Insomnia, starring Vicky McClure and adapted from Sarah Pinborough’s novel of the same name and from The Crown producer Left Bank, will also go ahead.
Paramount declined to comment.
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