The title of this post has multiple meanings. First, I want to start using this site to blog again. I’ve been failing at that — primarily, because of massively late projects meaning that I have no time for it, and secondarily, that lack of time making it far easier to share items of interest to me on other platforms (Twitter and Facebook, mostly). But I really need to make myself do this, to produce content on a platform that I control, rather than creating for some company’s platform (and besides, I can always keep using Twitter & Facebook, and just post links to here). Additionally, it serves a couple of other purposes: one, it diverts my attention from the frankly-horrifying news of the fascist dismantling of my country; and two, making myself put stuff up here is good for my discipline, putting me in the right mindset to then get more work done.
So what’s with the Paramount logo then? Well, that’s another story of “try, try again.”
Paramount originally tried to start a “fourth network” on broadcast TV in the 1970s, with a revival of Star Trek as the cornerstone. The plans were scrapped, however, with the Trek revival jumping to the big screen.
They tried again, in the 90s, launching the United Paramount Network (UPN). It later merged with Warner Brothers’ effort, The WB, to become The CW.
Anyway, there’s a ton more acquisition and rebranding that happens in the 21st century (CBS/Viacom/Paramount/etc.)… but the big news that was just announced is that Viacom is going to launch The Paramount Network — a rebranding of their cable channel Spike, in early 2018. They’re moving all scripted development over to that channel (from their various cable networks), and hoping for tighter integration with Paramount film properties (there’s that transmedia thing again).
No cable channel really competes on a full week of scripted originals. Most have one or two shows that draw a good audience. By consolidating all of that to one channel, though, Paramount could do it.
They’re going to focus on their “Core 6” channels — Paramount Network (which is where the scripted stuff will live), Nickelodeon, Nick Jr (stuff for kids), BET, Comedy Central and MTV. (Interestingly, they claim MTV will refocus on music. I doubt that will return to videos, but maybe music-based realty shows and concerts? Who knows.)
Merrill Barr, over on Twitter, mentions Paramount properties he expects will now get the greenlight for series: Mission: Impossible (based on the film universe), World War Z, 48 Hours, Top Gun, Mean Girls… He has a few other thoughts too. Worth reading (and following, if you’re on twitter). He sums up: “I really can’t remember the last time we saw a shake up in business model this massive, since the launch of The CW.”
It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out.
Anyway — there. That was better than just a link on Twitter or Facebook. And it gave me something to do over lunch.
More coming. Watch this space.