Paramount Plus has left subscribers expressing “bewilderment and frustration” after the mass cancellation and removal of multiple shows, including international hits and big-name stars.
According to Deadline, the cull includes the Samantha Morton-starring The Burning Girls, the Jodie “Dr Who” Whittaker drama One Night, Eleven Hour Films’ The Killing Kind, The Serial Killer’s Wife, and the adaptation of the best-selling novel The Doll Factory – none of which (luckily) feature our best Paramount Plus movies roundup.
Other casualties, outside of the best Paramount Plus shows, include season two of The Flatshare and the crime drama Chemistry of Death. On top of all this, the UK service has dropped US remakes of shows including the Jimmy McGovern show Accused as well as new seasons of Quantum Leap.
Why Paramount Plus is cancelling so many shows
The reason for the cull is because Paramount has decided to change its strategy. In a memo to staff last week, execs explained that the streamer was now focusing on “Hollywood franchises, films and series which have mass global appeal” amid moves to cut costs and improve profitability. As the likes of Disney Plus, Hulu and Max have already demonstrated, one of the quickest ways to cut costs is to stop paying for programs, and Paramount Plus has clearly decided to adopt the same tactic.
The other way to cut costs, of course, is to fire tons of staff – and Paramount is doing that too. In January, CEO Robert Bakish said (as reported by Reuters) that layoffs were coming – the total number is expected to be close to 800 people and Deadline expects an announcement in the coming days.
The news is terrible for the affected staff, of course, and it’s also likely to be bad news for international show producers. As Deadline notes: “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.”
Ultimately the streamlining and refocusing of so many of the best streaming services is going to be bad for us too. With streamers increasingly unlikely to bet on anything but the safest of movies and shows – those “franchises, films and series which have mass global appeal” – we could be faced with the same usual remakes, reboots and revivals.