Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Paramount Pictures Launches Paramount Players, A New Production Division Headed By Brian Robbins

Paramount Players will produce features in conjunction with Viacom-owned networks like MTV, BET and Comedy Central.


Brian Robbins. Getty Images


Paramount Studios has unveiled the creation of a new production division that will develop and produce features in conjunction with Viacom-owned brands Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and BET.

The division, branded Paramount Players, will be headed by veteran producer and executive Brian Robbins, who will work closely with the heads of the Viacom brands to create a slate of films that will aim for younger audiences and will be distributed by Paramount.

As for marketing, emphasis will be placed on digital and social media campaigns in order to capitalize on the already established online following of the networks.

The new division was announced today by Jim Gianopulos, Paramount's new chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to whom Robbins will report when he joins the company later this month.

Developing more films with popular Viacom properties was one of the goals that Bob Bakish announced when he was named Viacom CEO in December 2016.

Robbins first entered the entertainment business as an actor in Head of the Class before transitioning into a role as a producer, first for Nickelodeon shows such as All That and Kenan & Kel. His Tollin/Robbins shingle later produced Nickelodeon series Cousin Skeeter, WB series One Tree Hill and Smallville. Robbins co-founded AwesomenessTV in 2012 as a YouTube channel for tweens and teens, and subsequently sold the business to DreamWorks Animation for at least $33 million.

Over the next several years, Robbins grew the business into a $650 million brand that drew on his traditional Hollywood experience to produce such films at Before I Fall and Shovel Buddies and sell a number of kid-friendly shows to Netflix and Hulu. Under his creative direction, ATV also expanded onto linear television with a comedy sketch show on Nickelodeon, as well as into merchandise, a book imprint and other businesses. But after the sale of DWA to Comcast’s NBCUniversal last year, Robbins made the decision to leave the company. He announced his departure in February, noting that it was time for him “to pass the baton and seek new challenges.” At the time, he was said to be working on a new venture.

"In the past five years at Awesomeness I learned that new distribution has created so many more opportunities to find/watch content as a consumer and feed/market content as a creator," said Robbins in a statement. "But, at the end of the day, it's still about the creative: making good films that people will show up to watch. From there you can build a brand that people will trust and care about. I can’t wait to disrupt the status quo with a new approach to filmmaking.”

Said Gianopulos: “Brian is a true creative force in the entertainment and digital media industries. We are fortunate to draw from his vast experience to launch a new production paradigm with Paramount Players, which embraces the studio’s history and DNA through its name, but will focus, in distinctive ways, on contemporary talent and properties for young audiences while drawing upon the vast resources of the Viacom brands.”

Original source: The Hollywood Reporter.

Also, via Variety:

Paramount Pictures Launches New Production Division Headed by Brian Robbins

Looking to ramp up production, Paramount is launching a Paramount Players Division with veteran producer and executive Brian Robbins in charge.

Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, who took over the studio in March, made the announcement Wednesday. Robbins will work with Viacom’s Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and BET operations to generate projects while the new division focuses on contemporary properties.

Robbins founded digital media company Awesomeness and headed it up for five years. He will serve as president of Paramount Players, reporting to Gianopulos and joining the studio later this month.

Paramount has lagged behind the competition in box office returns and in creating the kind of global franchises that are prized by studios. Its top franchise is Michael Bay’s Transformers, with its latest film “Transformers: The Last Knight” opening on June 21. The studio is teamed with Tom Cruise for a sixth “Mission: Impossible,” opening July 27, 2018, and is working with J.J. Abrams on a fourth film in the rebooted “Star Trek” series.

Paramount’s 2017 slate so far — consisting of “Baywatch,” “Ghost in the Shell,” “Monster Trucks,” “Rings” and ‘xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” — has under-performed and generated about $190 million in domestic grosses. After “The Last Knight,” Paramount won’t open another movie until Oct. 13, when it launches Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother” on Oct. 13, followed by the lastest Cloverfield movie on Oct. 27.

Gianopulos said in a statement: “Brian is a true creative force in the entertainment and digital media industries. We are fortunate to draw from his vast experience to launch a new production paradigm with Paramount Players, which embraces the studio’s history and DNA through its name, but will focus, in distinctive ways, on contemporary talent and properties for young audiences while drawing upon the vast resources of the Viacom brands.”

Robbins said, “In the past five years at Awesomeness I learned that new distribution has created so many more opportunities to find/watch content as a consumer and feed/market content as a creator. But, at the end of the day, it’s still about the creative: making good films that people will show up to watch. From there you can build a brand that people will trust and care about. I can’t wait to disrupt the status quo with a new approach to filmmaking. It also feels really good to be reunited with my Nickelodeon and MTV families and to work with all my new colleagues.”

Robbins co-founded Awesomeness with Joe Davola in 2012 and most recently served as CEO of the multi-platform media company. Robbins produced “Expelled,” “Guidance,” “Foursome,” “t@gged,” “Freakish” and the recent theatrical release “Before I Fall.”

He was the co-founder of Tollin/Robbins Productions and the founder and president of Varsity Pictures. His TV credits include the CW series “Smallville” and “One Tree Hill”; Disney Channel’s “Sonny With a Chance” and “So Random”; Nickelodeon’s “All That” and “Kenan and Kel”; and Spike TV’s “Blue Mountain State.”

Feature credits include Disney’s “Wild Hogs” and “Shaggy Dog”; Paramount’s “Coach Carter,” “Hardball” and “Varsity Blues”; and DreamWorks’ “Norbit.”

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Also, via Deadline:

AwesomenessTV Founder Brian Robbins Hired By Paramount To Run New Division

Brian Robbins, who founded AwesomenessTV, has been hired to oversee a new venture called Paramount Players devoted entirely to producing films derived from the Viacom flagship brands, including Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and BET. The deal is the first major one to be done under new Paramount Pictures’ chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos and is line with Viacom’s overall strategy to cross-promote brands and getting divisions working more closely together.

Under the Paramount Players umbrella, Robbins and his team will develop, produce and market features based on properties already owned by Viacom. Robbins, who is president of the new division, will report to Gianopulos. He will officially join the company later this month and will work closely with the leaders of each of Viacom’s flagship brands to focus on talent and properties to be developed by Paramount Players.

Paramount Pictures then will bring these to market, both building campaigns and then distributing what will be co-branded films. It will also emphasis digital and social media campaigns.

Robbins, who was a well-known manager and co-founder of Tollin/Robbins before founding Awesomeness drove all creative at Awesomeness and produced Expelled, Guidance, Foursome, t@gged, Freakish and the recent theatrical release Before I Fall.

While at Tollin/Robbins Productions and the Founder and President of Varsity Pictures, Robbins really concentrated on the teen and YA demographic. He produced the CW series Smallville and One Tree Hill; Disney Channel’s Sonny With a Chance and So Random; Nickelodeon’s All That and Kenan and Kel; and Spike TV’s Blue Mountain State.

Robbins also was the producing force behind the popular WB series What I Like About You and HBO’s Arli$$. Robbins also directed and/or produced Disney’s feature films Wild Hogs and Shaggy Dog, Paramount’s Coach Carter, Hardball and Varsity Blues and DreamWorks’ Norbit and A Thousand Words; and Sony’s Radio.

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Also, via The Wrap:

Paramount Hires AwesomenessTV Founder Brian Robbins to Lead New Production Division

Paramount Players is new move toward Viacom synergy

Paramount will launch a new production division called Paramount Players which will be run by former AwesomnessTV founder Brian Robbins, Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos announced Wednesday.

Robbins and his team will develop, produce and market distinctive feature films in conjunction with Viacom units such as Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and BET.

Robbins, who most recently served as the founder of digital media company AwesomenessTV, will serve as the President of Paramount Players, reporting to Gianopulos.

Robbins will work closely with the leaders of each Viacom brand to focus on properties to be developed by Paramount Players.

The co-branded films will be distributed and marketed through Paramount’s worldwide operations and will emphasize digital and social media campaigns enabled by the global reach of Viacom networks.

A good example of this synergy between TV and film is Paramount’s plan to turn the studio’s upcoming animated release “Amusement Park” into a TV series at Nickelodeon. The project has a voice cast that includes Mila Kunis, Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Garner, Ken Jeong and Jeffrey Tambor.

“Brian is a true creative force in the entertainment and digital media industries,” said Gianopulos. “We are fortunate to draw from his vast experience to launch a new production paradigm with Paramount Players, which embraces the studio’s history and DNA through its name, but will focus, in distinctive ways, on contemporary talent and properties for young audiences while drawing upon the vast resources of the Viacom brands.”

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish gave a mandate for more synergy across the company brands — he was particularly burnt over former Comedy Central star Jordan Peele taking his phenomenon “Get Out” to Universal with Blumhouse — and this animated slate at Paramount is just the beginning.

Robbins co-founded Awesomeness with Joe Davola in 2012 and has also executive produced numerous television hits like “Smallville,” “One Tree Hill,” “All That” and “Kenan and Kel.” In the feature film spectrum, he has directed and/or produced Disney’s “Wild Hogs,” Paramount’s “Coach Carter,” “Hardball” and “Varsity Blues” as well as DreamWorks’ “Norbit.”

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More Nick: Nickelodeon Announces Plans For "Henry Danger" Movie; Confirms "SpongeBob SquarePants" And "The Loud House" Movies!

Additional source: Wikipedia.
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