Networks To Air Streaming Series Because They Are Out Of Content?

CBS is considering airing Paramount+ exclusives in lieu of the ongoing writers' strike.

By Douglas Helm | Updated


Networks like Fox, CBS, NBC, and the like get by because of sports, talk shows, and primetime TV. With the latter two categories being affected by the ongoing Writer’s Guild of America strike, it looks like some networks may turn to streaming shows to keep revenue afloat. According to ScreenRant, CBS is considering the option of airing Paramount+ original content in its programming blocks if the fall 2023 TV schedule isn’t on track.

ScreenRant reported on George Cheeks’, President and CEO of CBS and Chief Content Officer, News and Sports of Paramount+, recent keynote where he revealed the plan if the WGA strike continues on into fall, saying, We’re looking at some of the Paramount+ originals,” and “We’re spending a lot of time looking at research and figuring out which are the ones that A, have the best shot keeping our audience engaged but also that could really help drive awareness.” Undoubtedly, the plan is not only to get people to tune into CBS even though there aren’t new episodes of primetime shows but also to convert those people into potential streaming customers in the future. Ironically, CBS wouldn’t have those shows available if it weren’t for the writer’s striking for more pay from streaming channels.

It’s very possible that the Writer’s Guild of America strike could go into the fall 2023 TV season, considering the previous WGA strike lasted over three months before things were resolved. Amongst the issues in contention are regulation around AI in the industry, better benefits, and a larger piece of the streaming revenue from the shows they create. Unless the studios play ball soon, the fall 2023 TV schedule likely won’t remain on track for CBS and various other networks.

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CBS is clearly scrambling a bit here, considering the network released its fall 2023 TV schedule after the writer’s strike already began. Needless to say, this was jumping the gun a bit, as these shows won’t be able to get made in time with the WGA on strike. While airing streaming content in lieu of regular primetime shows is better than nothing, it doesn’t do much for people that want to see those new episodes of their favorite shows or people that already have a Paramount+ subscription.

While Paramount+ does have some very popular original content, it doesn’t have quite the deep bench of longer-running streaming platforms like Netflix or Hulu. In other words, the choices are pretty limited when it comes to choosing which originals the network will air in the fall. The biggest shows that Paramount has in its pocket are probably the various Star Trek shows and the Yellowstone spin-offs.

However, they would likely want to choose shows that haven’t already ended, such as Star Trek: Discovery which is airing its final season in 2024. Other options could be the Taylor Sheridan-verse of shows that include the Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren-starring 1923 or the Sylvester Stallone-starring Tulsa King. Airing these could drum up excitement for the other streaming shows from Taylor Sheridan and potentially get people interested in subscribing to the streaming platform once primetime TV schedules are back on track.