Paramount Plus arrives this week, but do you need it? The service, which gained a lot of attention thanks to its Super Bowl commercials, is actually a rebranded version of a streaming service you may already have. You may not know this, as it ads had no mention of its predecessor.
So, to make sense of it all: Paramount Plus is going to replace CBS All Access service, and then add a lot of content on top. That content includes a lot of familiar faces, including a Frasier revival starring Kelsey Grammer, a new series set in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, and an iCarly reboot.
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Why is that happening? Well, it's safe to assume that the folks in charge at ViacomCBS don't think the name CBS All Access is grandiose enough — or that simply adding a lot of content to CBS All Access would garner the same attention that rebanding it will.
This confusion is similar to what happened with HBO Max, where it was arriving alongside HBO Go and the now defunct HBO Now. Paramount Plus will try to use this larger library to compete with the other Pluses in the neighborhood (Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, Discovery Plus). And don't forget Peacock.
Last year, CEO Bob Bakish said that "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." Whereas CBS is just a channel.
Paramount Plus price
Paramount Plus will cost less than CBS All Access, but much like with Peacock, you get what you pay for. The entry-level $4.99 Paramount Plus package has ads, but it won't have local CBS stations (but it will have NFL games).
The first Paramount Plus deal is here for people ready to commit. If you buy a year up front, with the coupon code 'PARAMOUNTPLUS' you can cut half off an annual plan. That's $30 on the regular plan or $50 on the ad-free plan.
Paramount Plus release date
The newly christened streaming service launches in the U.S. and Latin America on March 4, Nordic countries on March 25 and then in Australia in mid-2021. Canada will see the service rebranding on March 4, but not get the expanded content until later this year.
But why would you subscribe?
Paramount Plus shows and originals
You shouldn't lose anything from CBS All Access, so expect Star Trek: Picard, The Good Fight and more. The Offer, an original series based on the behind-the-scenes process of producing The Godfather, is on the table. A Halo TV series is also coming to Paramount Plus.
There's also a new Criminal Minds revival coming to Paramount Plus. No word if Paramount Plus will pluck the Criminal Minds series from Netflix.
The other marquee Paramount Plus shows announced include 6666 (a Yellowstone spinoff), a reboot of Behind the Music, and a revival of the comedy series The Game.
Paramount Plus will incorporate more of the ViacomCBS portfolio's live news and sports content, collecting shows and movies from both CBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and the Paramount Network.
Paramount Plus movies
Paramount Plus movies will include a lot of the studio's theatrical films going right to the streaming service after theaters. Those include Top Gun: Maverick, A Quiet Place 2 and Mission: Impossible 7.
There will also be The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run, and films based on Workaholics and Beavis & Butt-head. Paranormal Activity and Pet Sematary will also get Paramount Plus Original movies.
Also, expect a vault of 2,000+ classic films, such as The Godfather trilogy, iconic films like Friday the 13th, Rosemary's Baby and Airplane.
Paramount Plus commercial
A true squad assembled on the fictious Mount Paramount, to promote the streaming service launch in a big Super Bowl commercial. That means you've got everybody from Patrick Stewart to Dora the Explorer, from Stephen Colbert to Beavis and Butt-Head. Even Spongebob Squarepants and Jeff Probst showed up.