The Paramount Network is canceling Ink Master, Wife Swap and Battle of the Fittest Couples as part of its rebranding process, according to a report by Variety. The cable network is shifting its focus towards miniseries and movies and saying goodbye to some of its serialized stand-by programs. The Paramount Network will rebrand as the Paramount Movie Network.
Paramount is dropping all of its unscripted programming in one way or another, but the three listed above will be gone for good. ViacomCBS' president of entertainment and youth brands, Chris McCarthy, explained that the company is focused on scripted programming to capitalize on the success of Yellowstone, leaving Ink Master, Wife Swap and Battle of the Fittest Couples behind. Other unscripted shows like Bar Rescue and Lip Sync Battle will move somewhere else in the ViacomCBS family, while Cops was canceled back in June.
McCarthy said that Paramount is "diversifying with made for TV movies, miniseries and blockbuster series with move stars like Yellowstone. Made-for-TV movies provide all the creative upside and ability to work with great talent, without the full-time commitment of a series or feature. Plus, we're maximizing our investment because we can build a valuable library to use across our streaming, cable and global footprints."
The Paramount Movie Network is on track to premiere 52 original movies per year, all reportedly with a budget in the low-to-mid-seven-figure range. The company also wants to program a miniseries or other scripted series on the scale of Yellowstone at least once per quarter. Characters from these projects could spin-off into their own production or cross over with each other.
McCarthy said that projects like this "are timeless and they work everywhere," and that they will be able to adapt to the COVID-19 restrictions around the world thanks to a global network of resources between ViacomCBS brands. He went on: "We have found projects around the world that make a lot of sense that we can tap into, particularly in the made-for-TV movie model. It enables us to access our global built-in infrastructure and expertise, particularly our facilities in Latin America."
McCarthy stressed the excitement of these new prospects for filmmakers and other creators, highlighting the resources that Paramount will mobilize for these efforts. Still, the current slate of programming on the Paramount Network has few scripted programs aside from Yellowstone, and the die-hard fans will miss Ink Master, Wife Swap and Battle of the Fittest Couples. Recent seasons of Ink Master are streaming now on the Paramount Network website.