Time's up for a CBS favorite newsmagazine's spinoff plans. Paramount+ has reportedly canceled 60 Minutes Plus, the spinoff series for one of its most iconic shows on CBS, 60 Minutes. The streamer has been home to 60 Minutes Plus since March of 2021 but according to a report by Variety, the streaming companion to the CBS broadcast series was canceled abruptly last month.
Insiders said that the staff at 60 Minutes Plus was informed on Jan. 13 that the show was canceled. The company promised to find new jobs for those employees at other projects under the ViacomCBS — now Paramount, per The Hollywood Reporter — umbrella. A spokesperson for Paramount+ told Variety: "We are proud of the team at 60 Minutes Plus, and of the stories they produced, which informed the audience about some of the most important issues of our time. Their journalism was recognized with several awards, including a Gracie, National Headliner and NABJ Salute to Excellence Award. The excellent work that has been done by the 60 Plus team will continue to be on Paramount Plus."
Sources close to the 60 Minutes spinoff production said that the staff was informed on Thursday morning that the project was canceled. Those employees will be transferred to other jobs within ViacomCBS, and a Paramount+ spokesperson did offer a comment to Variety. They said: "We are proud of the team at 60 Minutes Plus, and of the stories they produced, which informed the audience about some of the most important issues of our time. Their journalism was recognized with several awards, including a Gracie, National Headliner and NABJ Salute to Excellence Award. The excellent work that has been done by the 60 Plus team will continue to be on Paramount Plus."
60 Minutes has been airing for over half a century and is one of the most esteemed titles in the news industry. The idea of 60 Minutes Plus was reportedly to build on that branding and hopefully ensnare the next generation of viewers with its recognizability and legitimacy.
Recently, 60 Minutes Plus has included CBS News correspondent Seth Doane, journalist Wesley Lowery, CBS News correspondent Enrique Acevedo and former CNN journalist Laurie Segall. Segall left the show at the end of 2021, and an insider said that CBS News is actively discussing different opportunities with all the other anchors.
60 Minutes premiered in 1968 and has been lauded as a staple of TV news reporting every since. It is referred to as a "news magazine" series and was initially set apart by centering the investigative journalists doing the reporting within their stories. That has led some of the most prominent voices of the last five decades to work on the series. Right now, the full-time hosts include Lesley Stahl, Scott Pelley, Bill Whitaker and John Dickerson.
Other spinoffs have found mixed success in the past. In the early 1980s, there was a short-lived series called 30 Minutes, which was made to engage children in real-world news. From 1996 to 1997 there was 60 Minutes More, which offered updates on popular stories from weeks past. There was also 60 Minutes II for a few years, 60 Minutes on CNBC for one season, 60 Minutes Sports and finally 60 in 6 – the shortened tie-in made for the short-lived mobile streaming service Quibi.
Right now, all the previous episodes of 60 Minutes Plus are still streaming on Paramount+. There is no word yet on where the on-air talent from the series is heading next.