GHOSTS’ SUCCESS STORY CONTINUES TO GROW
Paramount+ and Lionsgate Partner in Exclusive SVOD Licensing Deal for Smash Half-Hour Comedy
Viewership Continues to Build for Highest-Rated New Comedy of the Year;
Series Is produced by Lionsgate, BBC Studios Los Angeles Productions and CBS Studios
LOS ANGELES, CALIF., May 10, 2022 – Paramount Global (NASDAQ: PARA) and its streaming service Paramount+ today announced it has partnered with Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) for the exclusive U.S. subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) rights to the hit comedy, GHOSTS, from BBC Studios, CBS Studios and Lionsgate. The highly coveted streaming deal underscores the show’s breakout success and follows its renewal for a second season on CBS after emerging as the highest rated new comedy of the year.
In addition to Paramount+’s existing in-season rights to GHOSTS, under the terms of the new agreement starting Fall 2022, the service will be the exclusive year-round SVOD home to all episodes of Ghosts. Ghosts has been the number one most-watched new broadcast half-hour comedy in four years as well as the number one comedy on Paramount+ year-to-date.
Part of Lionsgate’s partnership with BBC Studios Los Angeles Productions, Ghosts is based on the British series of the same name and follows Samantha (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), a couple who learn that their new dream house is inhabited by ghosts that only Samantha can see and hear. Brandon Scott Jones, Richie Moriarty, Asher Grodman, Rebecca Wisocky, Sheila Carrasco, Danielle Pinnock, Roman Zaragoza and Devan Chandler Long also star, with Joe Port and Joe Wiseman serving as showrunners. The series is produced by Lionsgate Television, BBC Studios Los Angeles Productions and CBS Studios.
“Ghosts is one of the biggest comedy hits in years and one of the most talked about shows. It is the perfect addition to the fantastic pipeline of content driving peak streaming at Paramount+,” said Tanya Giles, chief programming officer at Paramount+.
“With fresh story lines, an incredible cast and a brilliant creative team, Ghosts is that rare television series that taps into the popular zeitgeist to become a cultural phenomenon,” said Jim Packer, president of the Lionsgate Worldwide Television Distribution Group, who negotiated the deal with Barbara Zaneri, chief program acquisitions officer for Paramount Global.
“Kevin Beggs, Sandra Stern, Scott Herbst and their teams have formed an amazing collaboration with Valerie Bruce and Angie Stephenson from BBC Studios, along with Rachel Bendavid, who leads our co-production partnership, and the CBS Studios team to adapt their hit British format into a blockbuster success in the U.S.,” said Packer. “And we built on our longstanding relationship with Paramount Global to orchestrate a complex, multi-faceted agreement that brings Ghosts to Paramount+ for years to come.”
“Since the series premiere, Ghosts has found passionate viewers – both on CBS and Paramount+,” said David Stapf, president of CBS Studios. “Ratings and online conversation about the show have grown virtually every week, and the series is the #1 new comedy by a huge margin. The best part is that viewers are still finding this unique and brilliant series, and this new SVOD agreement will help further that discovery process in a big way.”
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) encompasses world-class motion picture and television studio operations aligned with the STARZ premium global subscription platform to bring a unique and varied portfolio of entertainment to consumers around the world. The Company’s film, television, subscription and location-based entertainment businesses are backed by a 17,000-title library and a valuable collection of iconic film and television franchises. A digital age company driven by its entrepreneurial culture and commitment to innovation, the Lionsgate brand is synonymous with bold, original, relatable entertainment for audiences worldwide.
Paramount+, a direct-to-consumer digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, combines live sports, breaking news and a mountain of entertainment. The premium streaming service features an expansive library of original series, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel. The service is also the streaming home to unmatched sports programming, including every CBS Sports event, from golf to football to basketball and more, plus exclusive streaming rights for major sports properties, including some of the world’s biggest and most popular soccer leagues. Paramount+ also enables subscribers to stream local CBS stations live across the U.S. in addition to the ability to stream the company’s other live channels: CBS News Streaming Network, the 24/7, premiere global-to-local streaming news service CBS News Streaming Network for 24/7 news, CBS Sports HQ for sports news and analysis, and ET Live for entertainment coverage.
About CBS Studios
CBS Studios is one of the world’s leading suppliers of entertainment programming, with more than 70 series currently in production for broadcast and cable networks, streaming services and other emerging platforms. The Studio’s expansive portfolio spans a diverse slate of commercially successful and critically acclaimed scripted programming, which includes genre-defining franchises such as NCIS, CSI and the ever-growing STAR TREK universe, award-winning late night and daytime talk shows, as well as an extensive library of iconic intellectual property. The Studio also develops and produces local language and international content originating outside of the U.S. with series in the U.K., Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia.
About BBC Studios
BBC Studios, a global content company with bold British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC. Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, its activities span content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries across both its own productions and programs and formats made by high-quality UK independents. Award-winning British programs made by the business are internationally recognized across a broad range of genres and specializations, with brands like Dancing with the Stars/Strictly Come Dancing, Top Gear, and Doctor Who. BBC.com, BBC Studios’ global digital news platform, provides up-to-the-minute international news, in-depth analysis and features to more than 139 million unique browsers each month. BBC Studios has offices in 20 markets globally, including ten production bases in the UK and production bases or partnerships in a further nine countries around the world. The company, which ordinarily makes around 2,000 hours of content a year for both the BBC and third parties including Apple, Netflix, and Migu, is a champion for British creativity around the world. It is also a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector through a mix of equity partnerships, content investment, and international distribution for program titles.
In the U.S, BBC Studios operates both a distribution business and one of its major production units. The production unit, based in Los Angeles, creates and produces adaptations of UK programs, as well as all new original programs, for linear and digital platforms in the U.S. This production unit is responsible for the phenomenally successful, Emmy®-winning Dancing with the Stars, the multi-award-winning Life Below Zero franchise, the revved up Top Gear America, and the popular reboot of the classic quiz show Weakest Link, among others. In scripted, the team has achieved success adapting British hits, including Call Me Kat (based on the UK format Miranda), Welcome to Flatch (This Country in the UK), and Ghosts for top U.S. broadcast networks.