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Nickelodeon head Brian Robbins expected to lead Paramount

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Paramount Pictures Chairman and Main Executive Jim Gianopulos will stage down from the ViacomCBS-owned studio, in accordance to two persons acquainted with the make a difference who were being not approved to comment.

Parent business ViacomCBS is expected to identify Brian Robbins, currently president and CEO of Nickelodeon, as Gianopulos’ substitute, the individuals acquainted with the designs explained. ViacomCBS could announce the appointment as quickly as up coming week.

Robbins, an government with chops honed in the worlds of digital leisure and conventional movie and television, is an suitable applicant for the task as ViacomCBS seems to the storied Paramount studio to assistance increase streaming providers these types of as Paramount+.

A former actor and film director, Robbins is noticed as a increasing star in just ViacomCBS. He took the occupation of president of Nickelodeon in 2018, placing him in the place of striving to revive a cable network that experienced long struggled to attain the heights of its 1990s heyday. The next yr, he was picked for a greater function as president of young ones and family enjoyment for the blended ViacomCBS.

He will keep on being in demand of the firm’s Nickelodeon Tv empire when he can take the reins at Paramount, 1 of the folks acquainted with the make a difference said.

Gianopulos joined Paramount in 2017 when Viacom was nevertheless independent from CBS. Viacom CEO Bob Bakish employed Gianopulos, who experienced before been pushed out of 20th Century Fox Movie just after a extensive operate overseeing hits this sort of as “Avatar” and “Deadpool.”

A respected executive acknowledged for his corporate capabilities, Gianopulos made it his mission to revive Paramount. The studio experienced struggled for yrs underneath Viacom’s prior leaders, who prioritized belt tightening and share buybacks, and was obtaining difficulty competing at the box place of work with rivals this kind of as Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. that had seriously invested in movie franchises.

Due to the fact then, the studio — acknowledged for its mountain symbol, its famed gates on Melrose Avenue and classic movies this sort of as “The Godfather” — has weathered the merger of its guardian company with CBS Corp., the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase of streaming that has fundamentally altered the small business of films.

Executives and brokers credited Gianopulos with improving upon Paramount’s filmmaker interactions. The studio returned to profitability beneath his leadership. But his desire to guard films and filmmakers from company mandates to strengthen the streaming enterprise triggered friction, folks acquainted with the subject claimed.

In contrast, Robbins is explained to be much more keen to embrace the electronic revolution in Hollywood. Robbins is widely credited with the good results of “Paw Patrol: The Motion picture,” primarily based on the Nickelodeon display of the similar identify, which drove major indication-ups to Paramount+ when it not too long ago premiered on the platform at the similar time as its theatrical launch.

In advance of the pandemic shut film theaters, Paramount experienced a significant accomplishment with “Sonic the Hedgehog,” a are living-action and personal computer animation hybrid dependent on the typical Sega video clip sport. The May perhaps release of “A Silent Area Element II” was a exceptional box business hit for an market that had endured persistently bad film theater attendance as theaters tried using to reopen. Other hits released underneath Gianopulos’ look at provided the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” and the sixth “Mission: Impossible” movie.

Amid the continuing coronavirus disaster, Paramount delayed several of its greatest motion pictures, which include “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Mission: Difficult 7.” Paramount recently delayed the launch of the “Top Gun” sequel, with Tom Cruise reprising his direct function, from November right up until Could. “Snake Eyes,” a spinoff based on a G.I. Joe villain, flopped in theaters when it was launched in July.

To handle via the pandemic, Paramount bought the Michael B. Jordan thriller “Without Remorse” and the Eddie Murphy sequel “Coming 2 America” to Amazon Prime.

ViacomCBS is creating a thrust to compete in streaming with Paramount+, rebranded from CBS All Entry earlier this yr. The company, which expenses $5 a thirty day period for its advert-supported tier, boasted it would have 2,500 movies by the conclusion of summer time, together with Paramount classics and films from other studios.

Having new movies at the same time as theaters has been a huge boost to WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, which place its total 2021 film lineup on the service and in theaters simultaneously and Disney+, which unveiled “Black Widow” and “Jungle Cruise” at the same time as multiplexes for a $30 cost. Common Pictures’ “Halloween Kills” is heading to guardian corporation NBCUniversal’s Peacock and theaters at the very same time in Oct.

Robbins, whose advertising was first described by the Wall Road Journal, is claimed to have been interested in the Paramount career for some time. His vocation, which spans Television set, film directing and digital media, helped make him a favored candidate inside of ViacomCBS, which is controlled by Shari Redstone, the daughter of the late media mogul Sumner Redstone.

The Brooklyn native started his career as a youngster actor in the 1980s, which include in an ABC sitcom, “Head of the Course.” He directed films which include “Varsity Blues” and “Norbit” and produced youthful adult demonstrates, like “Smallville,” “One Tree Hill” and “What I Like About You.”

In 2012, Robbins, with his creating lover Joe Davola, developed an online community known as AwesomenessTV with recreation exhibits and sketch comedies to catch the attention of viewers who had been turning absent from Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central and gravitating toward YouTube.

AwesomenessTV transformed ownership many times and confronted the very same issues as other providers that emerged for the duration of the short-lived boom of so-identified as multichannel networks. The business was bought by DreamWorks Animation, which was absorbed by Comcast Corp., which afterwards marketed AwesomenessTV to Viacom.

Though Robbins’ résumé features a number of directing credits, just one matter it lacks is working experience operating a major movie studio. Whilst that would’ve after been observed as a mark against him, in the modern-day streaming period, it might have been an gain, according to insiders.

Robbins is no stranger to Paramount. Before he joined Nickelodeon, he was head of Paramount Gamers, a device of the studio established to mine Viacom cable models such as MTV and Nickelodeon for film jobs.

Individuals who have worked with Robbins explain him as a modern and ahead-thinking enjoyment government, inclined to check out out new techniques of doing things and listening to employees’ suggestions.

When he was working Paramount Players, for illustration, he championed an thought to set a twist on the Mel Gibson movie “What Gals Want” by way of the Black amusement model Guess. Robbins’ division took the idea and produced “What Guys Want,” a revision of the concept from a Black woman viewpoint, casting Taraji P. Henson and Tracy Morgan.



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