Plus and Minus: Did Paramount+ just make a molehill out of a mountain?

It seems yet another streamer is following the Warner/Discovery model and cancelling successful shows as a tax write-off..

A year ago, the idea of popular shows and anticipated films failing to actually debut was something of a rarity and a surprise. The industry may have had its occasional shock cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances or ‘creative differences’ but the idea that an otherwise quality-level production could be shunted away merely as a tax write-off seemed both unlikely and more than a little offensive to the creative talent and time that were involved.

In the wake of Warner Discovery‘s wholesale reorganisation and subsequent bloodbath of films and television across its canvas and subsidiaries (such as the completed Batgirl being pulled before release and the last season of Snowpiercer now lost in icy limbo) , it’s now less surprising. Yet today’s news that Paramount is making similar drastic decisions for apparently similar creative-accounting reasons still surprises. The Paramount+ platform has confirmed that the likes of  Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, Star Trek: Prodigy, Queen of the Universe and The Game will now no longer be going forward.  What is equally frustrating for many is that not only will new material not be produced, but those shows are likely to be taken off the streaming platform completely, so current fans will not have a legitimate way to screen the existing material.

The likes of Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies had a mixed reaction from critics, but Star Trek: Prodigy  – the animated series aimed at the younger demographic of Trek fandom but largely acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, is certainly a surprise and very notable casualty. Star Trek: Prodigy had already been confirmed for a second run which was due to land in a few months – it is not known how much on it was completed so far, but there seems plans to finish the work on it. Paramount Television Studios is apparently considering shopping Pink Ladies to other broadcasters and streamers and CBS Studios  is being reported as considering shopping Prodigy‘s two seasons elsewhere ( but given the very visible way that Paramount owns the entire Star Trek brand, it would create an outlier amongst all the current and proposed content).