CBS All Access will be called Paramount Plus — but why?

Paramount Plus
(Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Kiss the ring of Paramount+, because CBS All Access will soon be sleeping with the fishes. 

ViacomCBS is rebranding its steaming service from one venerated name to another; CBS All Access will transform into Paramount Plus in early 2021. The service will stream live news and sports and content from the newly combined Viacom and CBS Corp. archives. Its library will house shows and movies from CBS and cable outlets MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Network and Nickelodeon. 

Paramount Plus will also bring over CBS All Access' originals, like Star Trek: Picard and The Good Fight, and add new titles, such as a Godfather series.

CBS All Access first launched in October 2014 as one of the first standalone streaming services from a TV network. Subscriptions start at $6 per month for access to a library including current hits Survivor and Big Brother, as well as originals like a reimagined Twilight Zone and Star Trek: Discovery. At the end of June, CBS All Access and Showtime had 16.2 million subscribers combined.

Why Paramount Plus?

Rumors of a name change by ViacomCBS have been swirling around for months. Recently, the company has been adding more content to CBS All Access from its cable properties, with the plan to build a library of 30,000 TV episodes and movies.

“Paramount is an iconic and storied brand beloved by consumers all over the world, and it is synonymous with quality, integrity and world-class storytelling,” CEO Bob Bakish said in a statement. “With Paramount+, we’re excited to establish one global streaming brand in the broad-pay segment that will draw on the sheer breadth and depth of the ViacomCBS portfolio to offer an extraordinary collection of content for everyone to enjoy.”

In addition to the new name change, the streamer is developing a series based on one of Paramount studio's most iconic titles, The Godfather. The film trilogy was added to CBS All Access this summer (though not exclusively, since the movies are also streaming on Peacock). The Offer is a scripted limited series about the making of the Oscar-winning first film, from the perspective of producer Al Ruddy. 

Other new shows in the works for Paramount Plus include: 

  • Lioness, a spy drama from Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan that follows a young Marine recruited to befriend the daughter of a terrorist to take down the organization from within
  • A reboot of Behind the Music, the classic VH1 show, that will dig into MTV's vault to highlight the 40 biggest artists of the past 40 years
  • The Real Criminal Minds, a true-crime series based on the long-running CBS drama.
  • A revival of The Game, a football-themed comedy that ran from 2006-2015 on The CW and BET.

Currently, CBS All Access costs $5.99 with ads and $9.99 per month without commercials. ViacomCBS did not announce a new pricing plan after the rebranding in 2021.

In the U.S., Showtime will continue to have its own separate streaming service. Internationally, Paramount Plus will fold in the premium network's content.

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.