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In an era of consolidation to prioritize streaming, ViacomCBS has been reluctant to merge its studio operations even as rivals made similar moves.
While Dana Walden and Pearlena Igbokwe oversee multiple TV studios for Disney and NBCUniversal, respectively, Paramount TV Studios and CBS Studios are housed under different execs in the ViacomCBS fold.
David Nevins, the Showtime chief who earlier this year added oversight of originals at streamer Paramount+ to his portfolio, also absorbed Paramount TV Studios on Sept. 13.
It’s the first time the studio has, since it was revived in mid-2013, reported to anyone other than the head of Paramount Pictures. Nicole Clemens and the studio previously reported to film chief Jim Gianopulos (and before him, Brad Grey).
Meanwhile, the David Stapf-led CBS Studios shifted in June from Nevins’ realm to CBS Corp. CEO George Cheeks, who was handed the reins after his move from NBCU. Rather than align both studios under one central exec like Cheeks, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish ultimately opted to move Paramount TV Studios to Nevins’ purview, as he and Clemens already were working on originals for the streamer.
Sources also note that Nevins pitched hard for the role after losing CBS Studios earlier this year. “[A] key benefit of the new arrangement is that it unifies the premium scripted TV production of our divisions,” Nevins wrote to staff Sept. 13.
Nevins effectively winds up swapping oversight of CBS Studios for Paramount TV Studios, both of which remain key suppliers to Paramount+ and third-party buyers. Nevins also oversees Scott Mills’ BET Studios, while Chris McCarthy runs MTV Entertainment Studios, reporting to Bakish.
Nevins and Clemens will now refocus Paramount TV Studios to becoming a central content pipeline for Paramount+. Questions another exec of the new structure, “Why not give the other studio to George so you’re at least keeping the studios consistent with one leader, one vision and one guy [to] make sure they don’t compete with each other?”
This story first appeared in the Sept. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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