Avatar, Frasier, Halo and more heading to Paramount Plus
I honestly never thought I’d see gaming icon Master Chief, beloved Airbender Aang and noted salad tosser Dr Frasier Crane share the same headline but here we are. Today, ViacomCBS revealed a huge raft of TV shows and ongoing projects that will be heading to Paramount Plus when it launches sometime this year, including, but not limited to, an animated Avatar: The Last Airbender movie, a Frasier revival, and the exclusive streaming rights to Showtime’s TV adaptation of the Halo games.
When it was first announced that Paramount Plus would be replacing 10 All Access (CBS All Access abroad), there wasn’t much to write home about. Its behind-the-scenes Godfather biopic The Offer was off to a rocky start after its lead Armie Hammer became the centre of scandal in early 2021. Outside of that, there wasn’t much to get excited about, particularly here in Australia where some of the announced revivals never really took off in the first place.
However, last week’s content reveal ramped things up a notch.
We don’t know for sure which TV shows and movies will head to Paramount Plus in Australia, and whether or not they’ll be available on other Australian streaming services like Stan, where there are existing content distribution deals in place. Still, whichever way you watch, ViacomCBS revealed a few more reasons to check out the new service when it drops in mid-2021. Here’s a brief rundown of everything announced.
Paramount Plus content
There’s a fair bit to get through, so let’s keep it short and sweet working from most interesting to least.
Frasier. Kelsey Grammer (Money Plane) will make his return as Seattle’s shoulder to cry on, Dr Frasier Crane, for a reboot of the long-running sitcom. Grammer is the only confirmed cast member returning at this stage. Sadly, John Mahoey (who played Martin Crane) passed away in 2018. It won’t be the same without the loveable Crane patriarch (or Eddy) but here’s hoping Niles, Roz and Daphne make an appearance.
The upcoming adaptation of Halo will no longer premiere on Showtime. Instead, Master Chief and Cortana will be gearing up for launch on Paramount Plus sometime in 2022.
After falling out with Netflix over the upcoming live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, original creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have launched their own studio, aptly named Avatar Studios. The first order of business is developing new films and TV shows set within the Avatar universe for Paramount Plus.
Continuing on the Nickelodeon nostalgia train, Paramount Plus will be getting a CGI reboot of Rugrats with the full original voice cast on board, and more live-action adaptations of The Fairly OddParents and Dora the Explorer.
Comedy fans can fill their boots with revivals of Beavis and Butt-Head and Workaholics, both of which will get film spin-offs, sketch show Inside Amy Schumer, and the underappreciated Reno 911!.
Star Trek: Prodigy is a new animated series that was meant to launch on Nickelodeon, but it’s since been confirmed as a Paramount Plus exclusive.
Two Yellowstone spinoffs are also in the works for Paramount Plus. We already knew of the upcoming prequel series Yellowstone 1883 but it appears there’s more to come for the Dutton dynasty. On that note, Yellowstone creator Tyler Sheridan is also set to produce a few other projects for Paramount Plus, including Land Man, a series about the oil boom of West Texas, and Mayor of Kingstown, a series about the “business of incarceration” in Kingstown, Michigan. Mayor of Kingstown is set to star Jeremy Renner, proprietor of the now-defunct Jeremy Renner App.
Rom-com Younger has been a huge hit here in Australia since it first appeared on Stan. ViacomCBS announced that the upcoming final season will debut on Paramount Plus in the U.S.
It’s not just tried and true TV franchises that Paramount Plus is giving a fresh lick of paint, there’s heaps of movie adaptations and reboots in the works too. Classics like Flashdance, The Italian Job, Fatal Attraction, and Grease will all be adapted for TV. That’s in addition to the aforementioned Godfather biopic series, The Offer, in the works.
ViacomCBS also announced it would make up for the unexpected cancellation of Ray Donovan with a movie-length finale that will provide closure for fans of the series.
Paramount Plus has also refreshingly outlined its streaming release schedule for planned theatrical releases, stating that movies like A Quiet Place 2 and Mission Impossible 7 will land on the platform precisely 45 days after they hit cinemas.
There’s some all-new horror fare heading directly to the service too, including a follow-up to 2019’s Pet Semetary adaptation, a new instalment in the Paranormal Activity franchise, and an original horror film called The In Between, starring Joey King (The Kissing Booth) and Kyle Allen (American Horror Story: Apocalypse).
If you like your reboots and series revivals, Paramount Plus has got them by the truckload. Sexy crime series Criminal Minds will be rebooted with a more serialised approach and season-long arcs, rather than the original’s procedural crime-of-the-week format. The service will also cash in on that series’ popularity with a true-crime docuseries The Real Criminal Minds.
Off the back of Waco’s success, Paramount Plus is kicking off a new anthology series called American Tragedy that give the American Horror Story format a true crime spin.
ViacomCBS will also make Paramount Plus home to some of its biggest reality TV shows, including the ever-popular RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, alongside revivals of MTV classics The Real World and Road Rules: All Stars.
Lastly, 60 Minutes+ will be a streaming-exclusive with “super-sized” episodes of the current affairs programme in the U.S. No word on whether the Australian 60 Minutes will get the same treatment.
So there you have it. It’s a lot more than we initially bargained for and it’s apparent the combined powers of Viacom and CBS are drawing on just about every popular TV show and movie franchise of their respective portfolios to bring the fight to Netflix, Disney and Amazon Prime Video.
Again, we won’t know for sure which TV shows and movies will make it to the local version of Paramount Plus but we shouldn’t have to wait long to find out. Paramount Plus is slated to launch locally sometime in mid-2021.