Following intense talks, Paramount+ has closed deals with Evil and SEAL Team producer CBS Studios. Negotiations for the move of another CBS Studios-produced CBS drama to Paramount+, Clarice, are still ongoing. All three shows had been on the bubble at CBS and all three have been strong digital performers. SEAL Team ranks among the most-watched CBS dramas on Paramount+ this season, and Evil ranked similarly as one of the most-watched during its debut season last year.
“Our Studio and Network have a strong track record of developing high-quality dramas that have multiplatform success, and these series speak to that strength,” said George Cheeks, President & CEO of the CBS Entertainment Group. “These moves mark another example of how our linear and streaming ecosystem can strategically work together to maximize value for the content and benefit the series and its creators.”
The David Boreanaz-starring military drama, which is wrapping its fourth season, will kick off its fifth season on CBS next fall and air its first several episodes — likely four — on the broadcast network before migrating to Paramount+. The second season of Evil will debut exclusively on the service. In addition, prior seasons of both series are available to stream now on Paramount+.
For CBS, it came down to shelf space, as the network already has picked up three new franchise dramas for next season, offshoots from CSI, NCIS and FBI, in addition to medical drama Good Sam. CBS also has been diversifying its schedule, decreasing its reliance on expensive scripted series and adding more unscripted fare to the mix.
Additionally, ViacomCBS has been strategic about switching platforms to maximize a series’ potential as seen with the recent moves of Younger as well as Halo from Showtime to Paramount+ and CBS Studios’ The Man Who Fell To Earth from Paramount+ to Showtime.
SEAL Team has been very well liked creatively within the extended CBS family. The series has a devoted fan following and enjoys strong support among veterans. CBS procedurals, like SEAL Team, do very well on streaming platforms, as evidenced by Criminal Minds and NCIS repeats on Netflix regularly appearing in the Nielsen weekly Top 10 streaming rankings. (Those shows also are available on Paramount+ and do well there too.)
Additionally, SEAL Team has passionate CBS audience some of whom may not be familiar with Paramount+ but who would follow their favorite show there, potentially bringing new viewers to the platform.
SEAL Team was the highest rated among the remaining CBS series whose fate had not been decided.
Meanwhile, Evil, one of the best reviewed new broadcast series of the 2019-20 season, struggled to draw strong linear ratings in the Thursday 10 PM hour on CBS last season but has excelled on digital and comes from top producers on the CBS Studios roster that helped launch Paramount+ predecessor CBS All Access, Robert and Michelle King with The Good Fight.
CBS Studios already has a good idea how Evil would do on streaming from its run on CBS All Access as well as the one-year deal the studio made last year with Netflix for Evil and The Unicorn. Evil did very well during its promotional window on Netflix, sources said.
The moves from CBS to Paramount+ are be encouraging news for creators whose shows don’t necessarily get traction in linear ratings but are creatively strong streaming performers.
“We are thrilled to bring new seasons of these phenomenal series to Paramount+,” said Julie McNamara, EVP and Head of Programming, Paramount+. “We have a strong record of building incredible audiences with these creative teams, including Robert and Michelle King’s incomparable The Good Fight, and look forward to bringing our subscribers even more seasons of series they love.”
EVIL is a psychological mystery that examines the origins of evil along the dividing line between science and religion. The series focuses on a skeptical female psychologist who joins a priest-in-training and a contractor as they investigate the Church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries, including supposed miracles, demonic possessions and hauntings. Their job is to assess if there is a logical explanation or if something truly supernatural is at work.
EVIL stars Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, Aasif Mandvi, Michael Emerson, Christine Lahti, Kurt Fuller, Brooklyn Shuck, Skylar Gray, Maddy Crocco and Dalya Knapp. EVIL is produced by CBS Studios in association with King Size Productions. Robert King, Michelle King, Liz Glotzer and Rockne S. O’Bannon serve as executive producers.
SEAL TEAM is a military drama that follows the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan and execute the most dangerous, high-stakes missions our country can ask of them. Jason Hayes is the respected, intense leader of the Tier One team whose home life has suffered as a result of his extensive warrior’s existence. His team includes his trusted confidant, Ray Perry, the longest-tenured operator with whom Jason shares an ingrained shorthand; Sonny Quinn, an exceptional, loyal soldier with a checkered past who still combats self-destructive tendencies; and Clay Spenser, a young, multilingual, second-generation SEAL with insatiable drive and dedication. Vital to the team’s success is Ensign Lisa Davis, a no-nonsense, take-charge officer. Deployed on clandestine missions worldwide at a moment’s notice—and knowing the toll it takes on them and their families—this tight-knit SEAL team displays unwavering patriotism and fearless dedication even in the face of overwhelming odds.
SEAL TEAM stars David Boreanaz, Max Thieriot, Neil Brown Jr., AJ Buckley and Toni Trucks. The series is produced by CBS Studios. Spencer Hudnut, Christopher Chulack, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and David Boreanaz serve as executive producers.
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