Friday, September 10, 2021

ViacomCBS Slated to Name Brian Robbins as New Head of Paramount Pictures (Report)

Nick News Brief: ViacomCBS is expected to name Brian Robbins, President and CEO of Nickelodeon, as the new chairman and chief executive of Paramount Pictures, taking the reins from Jim Gianopulos, will be stepping down.

The move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Friday, comes as ViacomCBS is pushing into online streaming to catch up with the likes of Netflix Inc and Walt Disney Co's Disney+.

Robbins is expected to retain his daily oversight of Nick and kids and family content for Paramount+.

New Paramount Chairman and CEO Suggests Big Changes for Paramount+

Brian Robbins is set to become Paramount Pictures’ new Chairman and CEO, and that move is expected to mean big things for Paramount+.

Robbins has a fascinating background. He was one of the original cast members of “Head of the Class,” but he pivoted from acting and rose up the producing ranks to lead Nickelodeon for ViacomCBS. He was also the founder of AwesomenessTV, a teen-focused streaming service that ViacomCBS acquired in 2018.

In October, ViacomCBS made the Co-Founder and CEO of Pluto TV their new President and CEO of ViacomCBS Streaming. The company restructured its leadership again to prioritize streaming in June, and Robbins gained additional power in regard to Paramount+. Robbins approved the “Paw Patrol” movie, which performed well at the box office, despite debuting on Paramount+ at the same time.

Given Robbins’ success with reviving Nickelodeon franchises, insiders expect that he may pivot the company away from a theatrical-heavy slate to a less expensive, broader streaming push. That would be a win for Paramount+ subscribers who haven’t had many direct-to-streaming exclusives worth celebrating. The studio’s big picture tentpoles have been bumped over and over again in response to COVID-19.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in July, Robbins said, “At the beginning of the pandemic, Bob Bakish, myself, George Cheeks, David Nevins, Chris McCarthy, and Jim Gianopulos dove in as the Paramount+ launch was looming. We’ve been working on the streaming strategy for well over a year now,” Robbins said. “But now with a global eye, it does change the eye that we had when we were only thinking linear first.”

As additional young adult content is created for linear and streaming, Robbins plans to keep diversity and inclusion in mind. “Half the audience is diverse. If you’re not serving the whole audience that just doesn’t make great business sense. And it’s the right thing to do, internally and externally,” he said. “We’re very focused on it, on the live-action side, whether it’s our relationship with Tyler Perry, who makes the show Young Dylan for us, or our new show that’s going to launch in September called That Girl Lay Lay starring a young girl who’s a rapper and social media star named Lay Lay and that’s being produced by Will Packer.”

Robbins previously developed Netflix’s “To All the Boys” franchise, Hulu’s “PEN15,” The CW’s “Smallville” and the MTV movie “Varsity Blues.”

In its last quarterly earnings report, ViacomCBS said it added 6.5 million global streaming subscribers with a total of 42 million subscribers worldwide, to all its streaming services, with Paramount+ driving the most growth. At an investor day earlier this year, ViacomCBS said it hoped to be at 65 million to 75 million global streaming subscribers by 2024.


From TheWrap:

Brian Robbins to Replace Jim Gianopulos as Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO

Robbins heads Nickelodeon and founded AwesomenessTV

Brian Robbins, the head of Nickelodeon at ViacomCBS, will replace Jim Gianopulos as chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, TheWrap has learned.

Robbins, the former star of the 1980s sitcom “Head of the Class” who founded AwesomenessTV, has earned a reputation for his youth-oriented content at Nickelodeon since he became president in 2018. He previously oversaw Paramount Players, which produced content for ViacomCBS cable networks like MTV, VH1 and BET.

Robbins will retain his daily oversight of Nick and kids and family content for Paramount+, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, the 69-year-old Gianopulos is expected to stay on and assist in the transition. Gianopulos took over at Paramount in 2017 after a lengthy stint at 20th Century Fox, where he was co-chair of filmed entertainment from 2000 to 2012 and was sole chairman until 2016.

Though Gianopulos took over Paramount at a time when the studio was at a low point at the box office, he was responsible for such box office hits as “A Quiet Place” ($340 million worldwide), “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” ($791 million) and the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” ($195 million) as well as for launching the “Sonic the Hedgehog” franchise, which has a sequel in the works.

In 2019, he signed a multi-year renewal with the studio as Viacom was set to merge with CBS. In recent years, as streaming has become a greater priority and the COVID pandemic impacted both production and distribution, Gianopulos led the effort to license titles intended for theatrical release like “Coming 2 America,” “Without Remorse” and “The Tomorrow War” to Amazon Studios.

He also pushed for the 45-day theatrical window, which has applied to the release of “A Quiet Place – Part II” before it moved to Paramount+. But the studio has also shown a commitment to reserving big titles as theatrical exclusives, recently delaying the releases of two Tom Cruise blockbusters, “Mission: Impossible 7” and “Top Gun Maverick,” into 2022 in response to the spread of the Delta Variant.

ViacomCBS will be looking to Robbins to help compete in the streaming space and raise the stature of its service Paramount+ with a goal of producing more original content. For one, the studio recently released its Nickelodeon film “Paw Patrol: The Movie” simultaneously in theaters and on Paramount+.


Jim Gianopulos to Exit Paramount Pictures, Brian Robbins to Take Over as Chairman and CEO

Robbins currently runs kids network Nickelodeon for parent company ViacomCBS.

Jim Gianopulos will be leaving Paramount as chairman and CEO, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Brian Robbins, who currently runs kids network Nickelodeon for parent company ViacomCBS, will take over. A source familiar with the situation says Robbins will continue to oversee Nickelodeon and kids and family content at streaming service Paramount+. The Wall Street Journal first reported the leadership shake-up.

Gianopulos took the reins of Paramount in 2017 after the departure of Brad Grey. He joined the company at a precarious time, following a string of financial failures at the box office, heading the studio following a long tenure at 20th Century Fox Film, which he chaired for 16 years before Stacey Snider was named his successor by Lachlan and James Murdoch.

Under Gianopulos, the studio began to see progress with new franchises like A Quiet Place (nearing $650 million in worldwide grosses) and Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as the continuing of the studio’s storied franchises with Transformers movie Bumblebee and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. As the pandemic exacerbated concern about theatrical windowing, Gianopulos pushed for Paramount releases to hit home entertainment platforms 45 days after they debuted in cinemas. On the executive side, Gianopulos brought in 20th Century Fox film veteran Emma Watts as president, with those inside the studio, according to sources, believing that she would be Gianopulos’ presumed successor.

Robbins, a former actor who starred in ABC sitcom Head of the Class before turning his attention to producing, has been a rising star at Viacom since joining the conglomerate as president of Paramount Players in 2017 to produce films inspired by Viacom brands like Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central. His Paramount Players films include live-action Dora the Explorer movie, What Men Want, and Tiffany Haddish-starrer Nobody’s Fool, before being tapped as president of Nickelodeon in 2018 — reporting to ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish. It was while at Nickelodeon that he greenlit the Paw Patrol feature, which opened this month to a better-than-expected $13 million domestically despite the fact that it also debuted day-and-date on Paramount+.

In June, when ViacomCBS restructured its exec ranks to prioritize streaming, Robbins was among the executives who were given greenlight power at Paramount+ as content chiefs in their respective areas of focus. “We’ll definitely play pitch and catch between linear and streaming,” Robbins said, in an exclusive interview with THR in July, where he outlined his strategy to lean into well-known franchises to reinvigorate Nickelodeon as a global brand for the streaming era.

It is believed that Robbins, the former head of youth-focused film and television entertainment company AwesomenessTV, is more attuned to demands of the streaming age, with Paramount+ becoming the top priority for ViacomCBS. But Robbins’ feature film work is primarily made up of modestly budgeted cross-brand titles, remakes and comedies, and has yet to deal with A-list talent like Tom Cruise and John Krasinski, as well as mega studio budgets. The thinking, one source says, is that Paramount will be scaling back on its theatrical tentpole productions to focus on titles that will service Paramount+.

In its last quarterly earnings report, ViacomCBS said it added 6.5 million global streaming subscribers with a total of 42 million subscribers worldwide, to all its streaming services, with Paramount+ driving the most growth. At an investor day earlier this year, ViacomCBS said it hoped to be at 65 million to 75 million global streaming subscribers by 2024.

A spokesperson for ViacomCBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Originally published: September 10, 2021 at 18:xx BST.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Nickelodeon News and Highlights!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have your say by leaving a comment below! NickALive! welcomes friendly and respectful comments. Please familiarize with the blog's Comment Policy before commenting. All new comments are moderated and won't appear straight away.