EXCLUSIVE: One month ago, Clarice was poised to move from CBS to Paramount + with the long-term promise of a premium version of the Silence of inocents continuation. Now, the outlook for the series looks bleak as negotiations between ViacomCBS streamer and co-producer MGM have reached a dead end, I learned.
Also, I heard that there is no viable way to Clarice to continue on CBS as the broadcast network already committed to a full series roster for the upcoming season. It would spell the end of the road for high-profile drama unless there is a breakthrough in the Paramount + negotiations, which currently seems unlikely. Representatives for Paramount + and MGM declined to comment.
Industry veterans describe this as one of the craziest situations they have ever seen, where a show with a pickup truck from Season 2 faces disappearance and the prospect of putting 300 people out of work. It is a marquee IP, Silence of inocents; one of the main producers, Alex Kurtzman; a recently merged company, ViacomCBS; and a merging studio, MGM, which is in the process of being acquired by Amazon.
‘SEAL Team’ And ‘Evil’ Officially Moved To Paramount +; ‘Clarice’ remains in negotiations
Depending on who you talk to, MGM abruptly stopped the good faith negotiations that were closing a deal, or the studio chose to walk away after being offered a “mediocre” deal that it couldn’t accept.
The saga started with Clarice Spending the spring in the bubble on CBS, where freshman was the lowest-rated and least-viewed scripted series on linear ratings. However, the serialized drama, considered more suitable for broadcast, has performed well on Paramount +.
On May 14, five days before CBS’s initial presentation, the deadline reported that network dramas Seal team other Clarice addressed their brother Paramount + (soon to join Evil). According to sources, MGM Television, which co-produces Clarice With CBS Studios, he was notified that day of the plan to relocate the show.
I heard there was a lot of discussion between MGM Television and Paramount + / CBS Studios about a deal between May 14 and May 21, an eventful week that included news about Amazon’s pending acquisition of MGM (May 17), Paramount + announces the collection of Seal team other Evil (May 18) and CBS holding up their sneak peek (May 19).
However, there is no agreement to Clarice what it reached. Each side sees the reasons why differently.
According to sources close to ViacomCBS, Paramount + and CBS Studios made most, if not all, of the concessions that MGM requested in the commercial terms, but MGM has yet to agree to a deal. I heard the license fee for the show went from $ 1.2 million- $ 1.3 million per episode on CBS, where the business model is based on deficit financing, to $ 3.8 million per episode on Paramount +, which, as a streamer , it sticks more. to a cost-plus model.
As with CBS, the proposed deal for Paramount + is national, with MGM handling international sales for the series (MGM Television and CBS Studios split the proceeds as 50-50 co-producers). By becoming a Paramount + original, Clarice It would no longer be able to pursue an off-grid streaming deal in the US, however, according to industry experts, the Paramount + license fee more than covers that.
Sources close to MGM point out that the study considered the Clarice Deal offered by Paramount + inferior to what the streamer gave to the other two dramas that moved from CBS to Paramount +, both owned by CBS. According to those sources, Paramount + pays a license fee that covers about 90% of Seal team other Evil ‘s costs.
I listen to the offer in Clarice it was to cover 78% of the budget ($ 3.6 million per episode), which, after negotiations, rose to 82% ($ 3.8 million).
Sources close to CBS argue that 82% are within the standard range for a premium series, which varies from show to show based on performance data analyzed by the streamer / pay cable network. I listen to the internal projection of Paramount + for Clarice it was breaking even with a 78% license fee and losing money with 82%, the figure he eventually agreed to.
The size of the order was also a point of contention, with Paramount + offering 10 episodes. I heard that MGM requested a minimum guarantee of 15 episodes per season (there is a discrepancy if the request was for Season 3 and later or starting with Season 2).
Heard Paramount + response was that 10-episode seasons are standard on the streamer. Complicating the problem is the fact that Evil It went from CBS to Paramount + after its second season had already been produced for broadcast, so it consists of 13 episodes. Meanwhile I listen Seal teamThe next fifth season will consist of 14 episodes; the first four will air for the first time on CBS and the remaining 10 will premiere on Paramount +. (The drama has had a solid audience on the linear network.) According to multiple sources, Paramount + was willing to increase the order size of Clarice, but the subject was not deepened any further.
Also, MGM’s request for a second window to Clarice On its own premium network, Epix was countered by a multi-year suspension on episodes. The delay in making produced seasons of the show available on Epix was not acceptable to MGM, sources said.
I heard early in the negotiations, there was enthusiasm expressed by MGM Television executives about the prospect of Clarice moving on to broadcast, where he could have a chance for a longer run and the creative freedom to explore characters and stories without the restrictions of broadcast television. After the flurry of activity between the two parties and a series of concessions made, MGM TV indicated that a deal was looking good. But that never materialized.
CBS Studios was motivated to make the deal work like Clarice comes from the studio’s lead producer, Kurtzman. Helped build CBS All Access predecessor to Paramount + with the Star trek universe whose continual expansion you are monitoring.
It is unclear who exactly at MGM made the decision not to proceed with the Clarice offer on Paramount +. I heard the streamer was led to believe that the deal had been rejected by the board, while sources close to MGM claim the matter was never brought to the board, but instead was reviewed by a committee within the company that oversees the properties. with licence.
The conversations were originally handled by senior executives from Paramount +, CBS Studios, and MGM Television. When the talks stalled, I heard that CBS Entertainment Group President and CEO George Cheeks, CAA, representing Kurtzman, and MGM President Kevin Ulrich got involved. However, an agreement was out of reach.
While the MGM-Amazon deal was announced while MGM and CBS were negotiating Clarice, the pending acquisition is not believed to have played a direct role in MGM’s decision not to agree to move the show to Paramount +, which is a competitor to Amazon’s Prime Video.
Still, Amazon’s $ 8.45 billion purchase of MGM is based on the MGM library, so the company trying to hold on to one of its best-known pieces of intellectual property to possibly explore it in the near future with a new one. series on Prime Video would fall within the realm of plausible business moves in the situation. While outside industry watchers point to the possible connection, given the timing of the negotiations collapse, sources within MGM insist that everything remains as usual in the study, which continues to sell to outside buyers as the Amazon’s proposed acquisition is undergoing regulation. process.
There have been several unsuccessful attempts to bring Silence of inocents on television until Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet came up with the idea of Clarice.
I heard MGM executives are happy with the duo’s creative vision, but the studio is interested in keeping the show on ViacomCBS only if it remains on the streaming network based on the assumption that even if it didn’t get a good rating on CBS , the company would get more in foreign sales with the series on a national broadcast network, a notion questioned by some industry experts. I heard that Ulrich’s belief is that a broadcast series brings more value to the entire MGM library and a movement of Clarice to a transmitter would negatively impact the studio’s library assets beyond that series.
Still, MGM would have made money from Clarice with a season 2 on Paramount +. Instead, he would now walk away with a deficit funding loss from a show canceled after one season, one of the worst-case scenarios in the broadcast network business.