The Past, Present & Future of Paramount+

The arrival of a new streaming service is always met with a mixture of high expectations, cynicism, and outright hype. And while Paramount+ isn’t technically the newest house on the block—more like an extensive renovation of the previously existing property formerly known as CBS All Access—it’s got some nice built-in features, and even more exciting upgrades coming in the future. The promotional launch campaign promised “a mountain of entertainment,” and with a library of more than 30,000 titles, 2,500 movies, and  36 original series it appears to be a legit Kilimanjaro.

CBS All Access subscribers should have a seamless transition to the new service, with the same ongoing $10-per-month ad-free subscription plan, and $6 per month with ads. New subscriptions will cost the same, but be sure to check for current deals if you’re an early adopter.

As for what there is to watch on Paramount+ let’s take a look some of the content we’re most excited about. Continuing the momentum started with CBS All Access, you’ll find all the ongoing original series and specials previously available on the original service before the rebranding, and upcoming new seasons as well. Here are some of our picks from the, past, present, and future.

The Past

 

 

Movies

You’ll find a wealth of Paramount’s classic films and more recent blockbusters available at launch — or soon after.  Some of our favorite franchises are fully represented, including Indiana Jones, Star Trek, The Godfather, The Hunger Games, and James Bond. For family viewing, there’s Shrek and its sequels, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, and the live-action Dora and the Lost City of Gold and Sonic the Hedgehog movies.

TV Shows

Some of the most enduring franchises and classics are owned by ViacomCBS, from the original Star Trek and Twilight Zone series to three of the top shows from the 80s and 90s: Cheers, Frasier and the original Twin Peaks. Balancing out the nostalgia factory, the new streamer offers up more recent hits from edgier cousin Comedy Central, like Awkawfina’s Nora from Queens and Broad City, and perennial (and timely) favorites The Daily Show and South Park.

The Present

 

The Real World Homecoming: New York

One of a handful of titles premiering on the new service before anywhere else, this weekly limited series revisits the groundbreaking MTV franchise that essentially invented reality TV as we know it today. Nearly 30 years later, the original cast from the first Real World reunites in the same New York loft where they first bonded, fought, dated, and became famous. Homecoming mixes catch-ups with flashbacks and reactions to the issues of the day—including the Capitol insurrection, which occurred as they were reuniting. If you want to get really old school, the first season in its entirety will be available to watch on the platform as well.

For Heaven’s Sake

Comedians Mike Mildon and Jackson Rowe produce and star in this interesting cross between a comedy and a true-crime documentary produced by Funny or Die. The two best friends head to Ontario, Canada to uncover the truth about the fate of Mildon’s great-great-uncle, Harold Heaven, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1934. It doesn’t sound much like a laughing matter, but the two amateur detectives approach the case by employing every cliche of the true crime genre (of which they are clearly fans), including dramatic re-enactments, interviews with colorful local characters, and the pursuit of personal enlightenment through the act of investigation.

Stephen Colbert Presents: Tooning Out the News

The second season of the animated series parodies the latest news stories with fictional and real-world pundits and guests. The new season, a program called The Establishment, features fictional pundits and the actual CBS News White House correspondent as they take on the Biden Administration to task for their latest free pass for Saudi Arabia. “Biden made clear that if you kill an American journalist, he will tell on you to your dad,” says program host Tory Hughes, before announcing she’s the founder of “The Establishment Ideas Festival: Policy and Pipelines” based in Riyadh. “And let me just say, MBS continues to show me that he values a future where I own a Lamborghini.”

The Good Fight

One of the most critically praised series on TV, The Good Fight consistently delivers sharp political and social commentary rooted in timely real-life news, with edgier and more inventive flare than its predecessor, the broadcast series The Good Wife. The spinoff follows Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and her new firm as it becomes embroiled in national scandals and events, right up to its most recent episode, in which the firm attempts to uncover who killed Jeffrey Epstein.

The State of Trek

Paramount’s flagship sci-fi franchise found a comfortable home at CBS All Access, with a new slate of original series that hooked fans early on. You’ll find all previous seasons of Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Lower Decks, and Star Trek: Short Treks here, plus exclusive premieres of new seasons as they are released. Appealing to new fans as well as old, the Star Trek universe keeps growing wider and more diverse, and shows no signs of fading out anytime soon.

The Future

 

Even More Trek

Speaking of which, there are several new Star Trek series on the horizon to look forward to. The animated Star Trek: Prodigy was created with a younger target audience, and will head to Nickelodeon once it’s finished its run on Paramount+. The next live-action series, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, will bring back the U.S.S. Enterprise crew as seen in Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery, with cast members Anson Mount (Capt. Pike), Rebecca Romijn (Number One) and Ethan Peck (Spock) returning in their previous roles.

Yellowstone Spinoffs

Perhaps the most glaring omission in terms of Paramount+ content is the popular Kevin-Costner-starring Paramount Network series Yellowstone (Peacock currently has the rights). But fans won’t be completely without any Dutton-clan drama on the new service. Two spinoff series have already been greenlit. Premiering later this year, Y: 1883 is a period drama centered around the original Dutton settlers as they travel west toward their Manifest Destiny. A second spinoff, Yellowstone 6666, will focus on a centuries-old ranch, the 6666, where “the rule of law and the laws of nature merge in a place where the most dangerous thing one does is the next thing.”

Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra Spinoffs

Another major franchise missing in action on Paramount+, Avatar the Last Airbender and its sequel, The Legend of Korra, experienced a surge in popularity when Netflix added both series in their entirety last year. Originally broadcast on Nickelodeon, the critically acclaimed animated saga remains wildly popular with adults and kids (7+) alike. The spinoffs promise to delve deeper into the action and mythology of the Avatar—widening the stories and time periods in the fantasy world inhabited by Aang, his friends, and their descendants.

The Past Revisited

On Paramount+ the past is also the future. A big part of the streamer’s strategy is repackaging existing properties with a modern twist. There are currently quite a number of projects in the works (many in episodic series form) based on older movies with big-time name recognition. Among the reboots we can look forward to are Grease, Fatal Attraction, Love Story, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Italian Job, and Flashdance.

On the TV end, a reboot is planned for Frasier, with Kelsey Grammer returning in his iconic role, and two iconic music shows are getting revived: MTV Unplugged and VHI1’s Behind the Music.  

Let us know if you discover a film or show on Paramount+ that you’d recommend.

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