ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”) today announced a leadership change at Paramount Pictures. Effective immediately, Jim Gianopulos, Chairman, and CEO of Paramount Pictures will transition oversight of Paramount to Brian Robbins, who has been appointed President and CEO of the studio in addition to maintaining his current responsibilities leading Nickelodeon. Gianopulos will serve in an advisory role at Paramount through the end of the year to help ensure a smooth transition. In addition, Paramount Television Studios (PTVS) will now become part of the premium network group under the leadership of David Nevins, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Showtime Networks, bringing together the divisions’ premium scripted content capabilities. Nicole Clemens will continue to lead PTVS in her capacity as President, PTVS, reporting directly to Nevins.
As part of this transition, and in line with ViacomCBS’s previously announced streaming content leadership structure, Robbins will assume oversight of films produced for Paramount+ as well as continue to be responsible for kids and family content globally for the streaming service. Nevins and Clemens will also continue to serve in their current Paramount+ roles of Chief Content Officer, Scripted Originals, and President of Original Scripted Series, respectively. “Paramount is one of ViacomCBS’s crown jewels, delivering some of the most iconic moments in entertainment for more than a century. The moves we’re making today will build on Paramount’s strong momentum, ensuring it continues to engage audiences at scale while embracing viewers’ evolving tastes and habits,” said Bob Bakish, President and CEO of ViacomCBS. “A passionate storyteller who takes a holistic view of the entertainment ecosystem, Brian is an expert at building powerhouse global franchises by leaning into the unique strengths of new and established platforms – including theatrical releases, streaming, linear, consumer products, and more.
With Brian drawing on his extensive experiences across animation and live-action, and David overseeing Paramount Television Studios, we will build on Paramount’s incredible legacy and chart a new path for the studio.” Bakish continued, “Jim is a towering figure in Hollywood who has successfully led Paramount through an extraordinary period in the film industry. From the wild success of the A Quiet Place franchise to the Oscar-winning Rocketman to fan favorites like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mission: Impossible – Fallout, he has overseen the creation of films that have achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Jim for his leadership in establishing a revitalized Paramount.”
Said Gianopulos, “I’ve been privileged to be part of this amazing world of film and television for almost 40 years, and at the heart, it was always driven by two principal things: the brilliant talent of storytellers, whose visionary expression excelled in every medium and whom I did my best to empower, and a fantastic team of colleagues who helped me make that happen. I’ve been honored to help guide the evolution and massive expansion of creative content, from the birth of video to global TV access, to the launch of iTunes, to ubiquitous internet availability, and now the streaming revolution. The opportunity to take the reins at Paramount and revitalize it, build first-class executive and creative teams, and restore it to both profitability and creative success has been a source of pride. Brian has a long and successful career and having worked closely with him, I know he and the team at Paramount will have great accomplishments in the future. I wish them all the very best success.”
“Jim is nothing less than legendary in this business, and I am humbled and grateful to him for his years of mentorship and friendship during our time working together,” said Robbins. “I am excited about the future for Paramount Pictures, and I want to thank Bob Bakish for the opportunity to use this incredibly powerful and broad canvas to produce films for every audience and deliver them in the ways today’s consumers want to experience them.” As President of Nickelodeon since October 2018, Robbins has overseen culture-defining content and franchises at the number-one entertainment brand for kids with a proven ability to successfully engage theatrical, streaming, and linear TV audiences by understanding the power of each platform. Franchises such as PAW Patrol and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reach hundreds of millions of young people around the world through TV shows, movies, and consumer products, while SpongeBob SquarePants has become one of the most popular animated characters of all time.
Under Robbins’ leadership, Nickelodeon has become a powerful driver of subscribers and engagement at Paramount+ since its launch in March 2021. Programming for young audiences, such as PAW Patrol: The Movie and the series and films in the SpongeBob SquarePants universe, account for a double-digit share of total streams, and the platform’s slate includes numerous highly anticipated releases from the likes of Nickelodeon’s Avatar Studios. Prior to his appointment at Nickelodeon, Robbins served as President of Paramount Pictures’ Paramount Players division, where he worked closely with legacy Viacom brands to identify talent and properties to be developed into co-branded feature films. Previously, Robbins co-founded the multiplatform media company Awesomeness in 2012 and served as its CEO. He also co-founded Tollins/Robbins Productions and was the Founder and President of Varsity Pictures.
Robbins has executive produced numerous television and movie hits, including Kenan and Kel and All That, the latter of which Robbins adapted into the Nickelodeon feature film Good Burger; directed the Paramount films Varsity Blues and Hardball; executive produced Blue Mountain State for Spike TV (now Paramount Network); and also produced the television series Smallville and One Tree Hill, among others. Robbins is the recipient of a Directors Guild Award, a Peabody Award, and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Pioneer Prize. He is also an Emmy Award nominee. Gianopulos’s distinguished career in the global entertainment industry spans nearly 40 years. Gianopulos took the reins of the studio in April 2017, revitalizing the studio and restoring profitability consistently throughout his tenure.
During his time at Paramount, Gianopulos has been responsible for creating and restoring massively successful franchises including A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II, with more films in the works; Sonic the Hedgehog, with a sequel slated for release next year; Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the most profitable and critically-acclaimed film in the franchise, with the seventh and eighth installments in production; the highly-anticipated Top Gun: Maverick; and Bumblebee, which marked a reinvigorated Transformers brand, returning the franchise to both profitability and critical acclaim. Additionally, Gianopulos rebuilt the popular Tom Clancy franchise across both film and television and was responsible for the award-winning 2018 hit Elton John biopic Rocketman.
During his tenure, Gianopulos built a first-class team of film and television executives, including his hiring of former Twentieth Century Studios chief executive Emma Watts to oversee the motion picture group, as well as bringing on seasoned marketing leaders, including Marc Weinstock and Mary Daily, and re-establishing Paramount Animation under the leadership of Mireille Soria, among other key roles. On the television side, Gianopulos built Paramount Television Studios, with Clemens at the helm, increasing output to more than 20 shows consistently in production and on the air. High-profile projects in production include The Offer, about the making of The Godfather, for Paramount+ and American Gigolo for Showtime.
Prior to joining Paramount, Gianopulos served as the Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment from 2000 to September 2016. In this role, he was responsible for feature film production, marketing, and global distribution of film and television content in all media. During his time as Chairman and CEO of Fox, the studio had its most profitable years ever, and in 2014, Twentieth Century Fox broke the all-time industry global box-office record, earning more than $5.5 billion. Gianopulos also has the distinction of having championed two of the biggest film successes in history, Titanic and Avatar. Gianopulos chairs the Board of the Motion Picture and Television Fund serves as Treasurer of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Board of Trustees and is a member of the board of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and a trustee of the American Film Institute.