- Showtime is making spinoffs of some of its biggest shows, like “Billions” and “Dexter.”
- It reflects its owner Paramount’s larger content strategy of doubling down on franchises.
- It’s also the latest step in integrating Showtime fully with Paramount+.
Showtime is shaking up its content slate as it prepares to integrate with Paramount+.
The Paramount-owned network announced new spinoffs of its flagship series like the long-running financial drama “Billions” and “Dexter,” about a serial killer that targets other killers.
Showtime is planning to make up to four spinoffs of “Billions,” including “Millions” and “Trillions.” It’s also ordered a prequel of “Dexter.”
The plan reflects Paramount’s larger content strategy of doubling down on its biggest hits and expanding them into franchises.
It’s found success in that regard with Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone,” the biggest series on cable. The company struck a deal with the show’s creator Taylor Sheridan to create TV shows for its Paramount+ streaming platform, including “Yellowstone” spinoffs.
Two of those, the prequels “1883” and “1923,” have been the streamer’s biggest original shows to date, and the latter was recently renewed for a second season.
But it also reflects Paramount’s grander strategy for Showtime. The company already offers an in-app bundle of Paramount+ and Showtime, in which Paramount+ subscribers can upgrade their membership to access the Showtime app within Paramount+.
And last week, the company announced it would rebrand Showtime, as well as the premium tier of Paramount+, to Paramount+ with Showtime later this year. Showtime content is being fully integrated within Paramount+, and some Paramount+ originals will air on Showtime linear programming.
It effectively ends Showtime as we know it, but the writing has been on the wall.
In 2020, Insider reported that people close to the network were worried about its future, as it was being overshadowed by rivals with more impressive content budgets and lost the “Halo” video-game adaptation to Paramount+.
At the time, a spokesperson for the company, which was then still called ViacomCBS, said that Showtime was “the adult premium-content provider” within the company and “targets an entirely different consumer” than Paramount+.
But a lot has changed in the streaming wars since then, and now, nearly two years later, the company is changing its tune.