ViacomCBS is shaking up the operations of its movie and TV studio, Paramount Pictures, separating the units and putting new executives in charge of each, according to reports.
Under the new structure, the movie division, which is known for flicks like “A Quiet Place” and “The SpongeBob Movie” will be run by Nickelodeon boss Brian Robbins, who will take over Paramount Pictures from Jim Gianopulos. Showtime CEO David Nevins, who brought hits like “Billions” and “Homeland” to the network, will run Paramount’s TV division.
ViacomCBS did not return requests for comment.
According to The Journal, Robbins will take over for Gianopulos, 69, who has run the studio since 2017. The promotion of Robbins, 57, is latest chapter in the exec’s meteoric rise, which includes nabbing the top job at Nickelodeon three years ago, and before that, running Paramount Players, a production arm that produced content for ViacomCBS’s array of cable networks including MTV and BET.
For Nevins, the new role will add to a portfolio that already includes oversight of Showtime and responsibility for original movies and shows for the company’s new Paramount+ streaming platform.
The shakeup comes as ViacomCBS chair Shari Redstone and Bakish are putting a bigger focus on Paramount+, which trails more seasoned streaming titans like Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max.
ViacomCBS said in August that it logged more than 42 million subscribers across its streaming services, which include Paramount+, Showtime and BET+. That’s a fraction of the massive subscriber numbers amassed by Netflix, which recently reported over 209 million global subscribers and Disney+, which now has more than 116 million subscribers.
Recently, ViacomCBS has inked several content deals for the service, including a $900 million deal with “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Media experts say that such moves may help ViacomCBS lure in potential buyers hoping to build up their library of movies and TV shows in order to compete with larger media companies with streaming platforms.
In a push to pump up content, Paramount Television is expected to focus primarily on making content for its sister cable and streaming networks, according to The Journal. Currently, the unit makes shows for a host of competitors like Netflix and Apple’s TV+ platform. The shift follows a similar approach at competitors like Disney and NBCUniversal, which produce new movies and TV shows for their own properties.