CBS Eyes Reality, Paramount + Fall Originals; George Cheeks Strike – Deadline

On May 10, CBS unveiled its fall 2023 lineup that did not take into account the potential impact from the ongoing writers’ strike (and a potential SAG-AFTRA shutdown). Besides Unscripted Wednesday, it consists of excessive episodes of survivor And The amazing raceSunday announcer 60 minutesThe announced schedule shows all scripted series from Sunday to Friday, none of which have episodes in the box.

A month later, CBS brass is looking for replacements, said George Cheeks, president and CEO, CBS and chief content officer, news and sports, Paramount+, during a keynote in Banff moderated by Peter White of Deadline.

“We wanted to base our timeline on when the world goes back to normal,” Cheeks said. “Once we did that, once we locked it in, we spent a lot of time focusing on what it was going to look like.”

He detailed CBS’ revised fall scheduling plans that are expected to be officially revealed soon.

“First of all, it’s obviously going to be very heavy actually,” he said. Our essential summer perks, starting with Big brotherThey’ll all slip into August, which leaves them in November.”

big brother, Which usually premieres in late June or July really, won’t start its new season until August 2nd. The only time the primary summer reality show didn’t start before August was in 2020, during the difficult early months of the pandemic when the series was used on a Covid-affected fall schedule. (CBS will launch two more unscripted series in August that will move into the fall, Great followeron August 9 and the challenge: United States of America on August 10)

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“Wednesday night, we’re going to be upsizing survivor And great race90 minutes each,” Cheeks said.The price is right Specials Let’s make a deal Specials – in fact they do a very good job at peak times – more than these. We have about four or five reality shows that we’re preparing, and we might do more.”

For scripted fare, “we’re looking at some of the Paramount+ originals,” Cheeks said. “We spend a lot of time researching and figuring out which ones are the best for keeping our audience engaged, but it can also help raise awareness.”

He didn’t specify which Paramount+ titles they’re targeting but gave a hint: “One won’t surprise you because it’s probably been on CBS before.”

two from the Paramount + drama series, seal team And Evil, It originated on CBS before moving to The Trigger two years ago. seal team In particular, it was a popular draw on the broadcast network with an established fan base that built over four seasons before departing to Paramount+, so a return to CBS would be seamless.

CBS used a similar strategy in fall 2020 when it was CBS All Access at the timeStar Trek: Discovery The reruns helped support the network’s pandemic schedule.

Cheeks was also asked to discuss the studio’s negotiations with major Hollywood syndicates and the ongoing WGA strike.

He called the recently reached interim agreement with the DGA “helpful” and spoke about the differences between broadcast and live broadcast business models.

“Unlike broadcast where the series model is narrow and works very well for our creative partners, I think the way the live series model has evolved presents serious challenges for our creative partners that we have to figure out,” he said. . “I think the only other thing I can say for that is that I also think we have to acknowledge the fact that media companies in general face significant challenges.”

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Cheeks discussed the companies’ pivot from building streaming platforms at any cost to focusing on profitability.

George Cheeks

Matt Sayles/CBS © 2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. all rights are save.

“It forces us all to take a step back and rationalize spending on content. It forced those streamers to say, is it really a sacred view that we should have everything exclusively on the platform? I think we’ve seen that evolve,” he said. I’d say the positive thing there is that I actually think it’s going to help us with our creative partners because one of the big issues they’re complaining about is littering. I think the more we don’t lock these shows onto one platform, and you license them, the more revenue for studios and more left for our partners.”

Despite operating under different business templates and facing different sized impact from the strike, traditional media and technology-based broadcast companies negotiate as a bloc with the WGA through the AMPTP collective bargaining representative.

Acknowledging that “our hard issues aren’t quite the same”, Cheeks added, “I’m still very hopeful that we’ll find compromises because it’s existential for all of us – for the studios and creative partners. We have to figure that out.”

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