Anyone that’s paid attention to HBO Max over the past few months will know the streaming service has been pulling a bunch of content — including a recent purge of classic animation. Unfortunately, it seems Paramount Plus is now following that example, having booted seven shows from its catalogue.
According to a report from Deadline (opens in new tab), Paramount has pulled Real World: Homecoming, Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone reboot, Interrogation (starring Peter Sarsgaard), Coyote (starring Michael Chiklis) comedy series No Activity, Guilty Party (starring Kate Beckinsale) and animated series The Harper House.
As Deadline notes, the same has happened over at Paramount-owned Showtime, which is due to fold into Paramount Plus later this year (opens in new tab). Showtime has removed titles including Kidding, Super Pumped, On Becoming A God In Central Florida and American Rust.
No reason has been given for this removal, so it’s unclear what Paramount is planning on doing with the shows in question. But, unlike HBO Max, they all seem to be fairly low-profile offerings. That’s in contrast to HBO Max which has removed shows like Westworld, Raised by Wolves, The Flintstones, Justice League Unlimited and more.
In other words HBO Max pulled shows that have a following, and are of value to other streaming services. In fact some of that content is already coming to free channels like Roku and Tubi, including Westworld, The Bachelor, The Nevers and Raised by Wolves.
Jordan Peel’s Twilight Zone reboot is probably the most noteworthy removal, and wasn’t particularly well-received when it aired. Currently, Rotten Tomatoes scores stand at 66% from critics and 46% from audiences. In other words, selling those shows off to a different network wouldn’t exactly be headline news.
Paramount would have to start pulling a bunch more high-profile content for that kind of attention, and we’d rather that didn’t happen. The whole point of networks running their own streaming services is so all their content is available in one place. Not only does that mean they can profit directly, it should have meant users don’t need to worry about content coming and going as rights agreements expire.
Unfortunately, as HBO Max has demonstrated, there seem to be people behind the scenes who prefer the old system of selling off shows to third parties and letting them deal with it.
It’s not clear what’s going to happen going forward, and if Paramount will continue pulling shows with the goal of either burying them or selling them on. Now the ball has got rolling, don’t be surprised if it happens again — even if it is some time before we find out whether this stuff is getting a new home or not.