Showtime Changes Its Name in a Nod to Its Streaming Future
Showtime, the premium cable network known for popular series like “Homeland” and “Dexter” and once a viable rival to HBO, is getting a name change for the first time in its 47-year history. It will be called Paramount+ With Showtime, Paramount’s chief executive, Bob Bakish, announced on Monday.
The name change is yet another significant mile marker as the media world leaves behind the cable world for the streaming era. Mr. Bakish had earlier said Showtime’s content would soon be integrated into the Paramount+ streaming app.
The rebranding later this year will almost certainly result in layoffs at the company, which is a Paramount subsidiary, and probably rein in Showtime’s ambitions as an original programmer.
Changes were already afoot. The network canceled two series on Monday — “Let the Right One In” and “American Gigolo.” Another series that had finished filming, “Three Women,” will not go forward at the network, said a person with knowledge of the moves. The series will be shopped elsewhere, as will “Let the Right One In,” the person said.
“While we are confident this is the right move for our company, our consumers and our partners, we know this change brings uncertainty for the teams working on these brands and businesses,” Mr. Bakish wrote to his staff on Monday. “We are committed to being as transparent and thoughtful as possible throughout this process, and we expect to share additional details in the coming weeks.”
In October, David Nevins announced his departure as the head of Showtime, and he left the company at the end of last year. Chris McCarthy, a high-ranking executive at Paramount, has since assumed responsibility at the network.
Mr. McCarthy told staff on Monday that the company would “divert investment away from areas which are underperforming and that account for less than 10 percent of our views.”
He said the network would focus on series with “subversive antiheroes” (citing “Dexter” and “Yellowjackets” as examples), “high-stakes powerful worlds” (“Billions” and “Homeland”) and “culturally diverse takes” (“The Chi”).