Bob Bakish Talks Smaller, Franchise-Driven Showtime Slate, Hints At More ‘Ray Donovan’

Showtime has been going through downsizing and recalibration since the November ouster of longtime CEO David Nevins and the premium network’s inclusion in Paramount Media Networks President Chris McCarthy’s portfolio. There have been layoffs, series cancellations and an executive restructuring as McCarthy articulated the plans for the network, which will soon be rebranded as Paramount+ with Showtime. They include multiple TV universes built around some of Showtime’s biggest series, including multiple Dexter and Billions offshoots.

During the Morgan Stanley conference Wednesday, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish addressed the strategy and indicated that other Showtime series could be revisited too.

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“We’re leaning into our Showtime franchises,” he said. “You could think of the slate as smaller, which will be less expensive, but also really giving the people what they want, which is more Showtime, maybe more Dexter, maybe more Ray Donovan, and really leaning into that.”

Showtime already revived Ray Donovan once, bringing the show back to give it a proper ending with a movie following its abrupt 2020 cancellation.

Bakish also spoke about the move to integrate Showtime and Paramount+, calling it a “win-win-win” for consumers, the company and shareholders. With the consolidation of the streaming platforms, the company will be raise the price of Paramount+, making the business more profitable more quickly, he argued.

“It costs more money to market two brands, two products, two platforms, two organizations,” Bakish said. “And all that’s being consolidated into one.” The exec reaffirmed the company’s prior projection that the move will save the company about $700 million.

In his remarks, Bakish also spoke about the company’s decision to turn down a $3B bid for Showtime and touted the upcoming Mission Impossible movies.

Dade Hayes contributed to this report.

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