As has been seen many times recently, mergers between entertainment providers come with a high number of casualties, much to the disappointment of viewers. The latest merger will see Showtime becoming part of the newly branded Paramount+ with Showtime. Following announcements that popular shows like American Gigolo and Let the Right One In will not be returning for more seasons, Showtime has canceled new series Three Women and will not be airing any of the completed episodes, via Deadline.
Like a number of recently cases with HBO Max and Netflix, Three Women, a new series based on the book by Lisa Taddeo, was all ready to go with filming and post-production complete, but now the series will not see light of day – at least not on Showtime or as part of the new set-up. The drama was set to star Shailene Woodley, Betty Gilpin, DeWanda Wise, Gabrielle Creevy and Blair Underwood, and according to the synopsis of the non-fiction book the story “covers the sexuality of three women [in the age groups of their 20s, 30s, and 40s]: Lina, a suburban Indiana mother whose teenage rape disrupts the course of her life; Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student in North Dakota who becomes entangled in an illegal affair with her married English teacher; and Sloane, a successful restaurant owner in the Northeast whose husband likes to watch her have sex with other men and women. Taddeo spent eight years writing the book, driving across the country six times to embed herself in the lives of the three women.”
As well as the new show cancelations, Showtime’s roster of available series has been reduced with a number of shows dropping off the platform in the wake of the merger’s announcement. These include the Jim Carrey series Kidding, American Rust, Super Pumped, The End and Wakefield. As the streamlining continues it has not been made clear which other shows could fall off Showtime’s available shows, and which shows will inevitably be abandoned by Paramount+ as they accommodate the new addition.
Showtime is owned by Paramount Global, and as with many big entertainment companies, having more than one platform vying for attention in an increasingly crowded market, combining as many of these as possible seems like a necessity in order to offer greater volumes of content to more people under one paid channel. Paramount CEO Bob Bakish commented at the time of the merger’s announcement: