The free, ad-supported platform will stream a two-week sampling of the premiere episodes of each show after their broadcast premieres. The Equalizer, starring Queen Latifah, will debut after Sunday’s Super Bowl, with Silence of the Lambs spinoff Clarice set to bow on February 11. The streams will be across multiple channels on Pluto, which offers hundreds of linear-style channels.
Beyond Pluto, the premieres will also be put in front of the subscription paywall on Amazon’s Prime Video Channels platform and for free on the CBS YouTube channel. Those streams will light up immediately after the broadcast premieres on the West Coast. Live and on-demand episodes of both shows will be available on CBS.com and subscription service CBS All Access, concurrently with their broadcast premieres.
ViacomCBS is getting set to rebrand CBS All Access as Paramount+ in early March, with the free and subscription parts of its streaming portfolio expected to work in closely coordinated fashion. That process has been under way since the Viacom-CBS merger was completed in December 2019. Episodes of CBS All Access and Showtime originals have streamed for free on Pluto as incentive for viewers to subscribe.
Pluto TV had more than 28 million active users as of last November and was on track to exceed its goal of 30 million by the end of 2020. CBS All Access and Showtime’s OTT service together had just shy of 18 million subscribers as of November. ViacomCBS will report updated streaming numbers and a wealth of details and forecasts for Paramount+ at an investor day later this month. Before reuniting with CBS, Viacom acquired Pluto in January 2019 for $340 million. At that point, it had 12 million monthly active users. Tom Ryan, who co-founded Pluto and ran it as CEO, has become the key streaming lieutenant of ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish, overseeing the Paramount+ rollout for the company.
The Equalizer reboot centers on a character familiar to TV viewers and moviegoers. In the new version, Queen Latifah plays Robyn McCall, a former CIA operative with a mysterious past who is able to troubleshoot for people lacking other options. Andrew W. Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller are executive producers/showrunners.
Clarice explores the personal story of FBI Agent Clarice Starling in a series starting in 1993, one year after the events depicted in film classic The Silence of the Lambs. Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet are executive producers and the title role is played by Rebecca Breeds, who is best known for Pretty Little Liars.