Three Pop TV Original Series Not Moving Forward as ViacomCBS Shifts Toward Owned IP (EXCLUSIVE)03/05/2020
Pop TV is paring down its scripted programming commitments as dust continues to settle from the Viacom-CBS merger. Variety has learned exclusively that three original series — “Flack,” “Florida Girls,” and “Best Intentions” — will not move ahead at the network. Their respective studios will be free to shop the shows to other outlets.
According to multiple sources, studio partners were informed at the beginning of this week that the shows would not be continuing at Pop. Production on at least two of the shows was scheduled to begin soon.
Pop’s breakout hit series “Schitt’s Creek” remains the cornerstone of the network, with the show currently airing its sixth and final season. The series finale is scheduled to air April 7 and will be simulcast on Pop, Comedy Central, and Logo. In addition, Pop is moving forward with plans to air a fourth season of “One Day at a Time,” the critically-acclaimed reboot of the classic sitcom that Pop famously revived after the show was canceled at Netflix. Season 4 of the series will air exclusively on Pop beginning March 24.
Pop announced that “Florida Girls” had been renewed for a second season back in October, while the Anna Paquin-led “Flack” was renewed for a second season in August that is scheduled to begin airing next week. The network had announced a series order for “Best Intentions,” which hails from A+E Studios and “American Pie” writer Adam Herz, in July.
“We are extremely disappointed in Pop’s decision to not move forward with ‘Best Intentions,’” an A+E Studios spokesperson said in a statement. “We have complete confidence in our creative team and are actively shopping the series to other outlets.”
The move is not altogether unexpected, as ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish has made it clear that making use of IP controlled by the company will be a priority now that the merger is complete. All three of the shows not moving forward were produced by outside studios.
“Our content strategy isn’t about spending more,” Bakish said on ViacomCBS earnings call on Feb. 20. “It’s about better aligning the combined company spending with growth potential and maximizing the value of our content, IP and franchises across our now larger asset base”
Pop announced a round of layoffs last week, part of a first round of layoffs at ViacomCBS that were already in the works; as Variety previously reported, the company had been preparing to let go of around 100 employees as early as Feb. 26.
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