If you were still under the illusion that streaming series would always be waiting around for you to watch them, think again. On Friday, Paramount+ not only cancelled four of its shows, but also confirmed that all four original shows will be removed from the streaming service altogether. The removals will serve as a tax write-off for Paramount Global.
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, Queen of the Universe, The Game, and Star Trek: Prodigy are all leaving the service next week. The cancellation and removal of Prodigy is especially strange given that Paramount renewed the series for a second season in late 2021.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, a Paramount+ spokesperson said that the streamer is “refining our content offering to deliver the best streaming experience for subscribers” ahead of Paramount+ and Showtime merging on June 27.
According to THR, even more content will likely be removed in the coming weeks, but these four shows will be the most high-profile removals of the bunch.
Paramount can frame this decision however it wants, but we all know why it’s really happening. After all, Warner Bros. Discovery did the same thing last year with dozens of shows and movies, some of which have since made their way to FAST services like Tubi. Disney followed suit a few months later and removed dozens of TV shows from Hulu and Disney+. As a result, Disney was able to take a $1.5 billion write-down during the fiscal third quarter.
Paramount+ with Showtime launches on Tuesday, bringing the entire Showtime library to Paramount’s streaming service. The subscription prices are also going up — $5.99 for Paramount+ without Showtime and $11.99 for Paramount+ with Showtime. Asking subscribers to pay more for a service while removing shows they might have loved is certainly a bold move. In the coming months, we’ll find out whether or not it was the right one.