Paramount+ Renew/Cancel: Ratings Junkie Talks Paramount’s Junk Rating, Part 1


This edition of Paramount+ Renew/Cancel comes after Paramount wipes nearly a dozen kids series from their catalog, including the originals Big Nate and Rugrats (2021). Big Nate’s cancelation was a correct prediction, while Rugrats received no prediction due to it having previously been announced as renewed for a third season. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment and voting in the poll!

Updated Prediction Record
Since switching to the new methodology of predicting scripted shows based mostly off their prominence on Paramount+’s home page and their Popular Shows rank in late 2022, below is our prediction record. Predictions are only made for shows with outstanding fates, meaning the un-renewals of Star Trek: Discovery and Rugrats were not predicted. 

Current Predictions
Paramount+ has not yet announced the fates of their highly-viewed-yet-expensive drama Halo or Taylor Sheridan-created Special Ops: Lioness, as well as the animated series Ark: The Animated Series and Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head. Big Nate and Rugrats (2021) are also included in the table to note their recent cancelations and removals from Paramount+.

Paramount+ finally has a true hit on their hands with Halo. It’s made the Nielsen streaming chart, something a Paramount+ original rarely achieves. The lone factor going against Halo is how expensive it is to produce. Given their poor financial standing, Paramount pay decide it’s simply too expensive to produce a third season, and instead hope any new subscribers are content with watching the first two. Streaming is a different facet than linear television; if Paramount doesn’t think a third season will pull in enough new subscribers to offset the costs of production, they’ll cancel it. It’s likely why the iCarly reboot got canceled after three seasons, despite sustained popularity. Still, with how popular Halo is, it’s more likely than not Paramount+ will do all they can to bring it back for a third installment. That may involve budget cuts, or it may involve cancelations of other series to make room. With six home page appearances, they clearly are still trying to direct viewers to the series. 

Ark: The Animated Series
Paramount+ dropped the first six episodes of Ark: The Animated Series on March 21 on zero promotion. The surprise release came over three years after the series was first announced, which was originally supposed to premiere in 2022 before being pushed back a couple times. With three appearances on the home page, Ark: The Animated Series is fairly low-promoted for a brand new series. Combine that with the mixed reviews and Paramount’s seemingly unwillingness to properly promote the series, and it heads straight to a Likely Cancel prediction. Plus, while most originals start off high on the Popular Shows list — even the ones that ultimately get canceled and removed — Ark: The Animated Series struggles to break the top 20 ten days after its premiere. 

Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head
It’s been nearly a year since the second season of Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head released on Paramount+, a season originally ordered in 2020 to air on Comedy Central. It currently appears zero times on the home page, even in the Adult Animation section. At this point, the writing is on the wall for Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head. The show that was originally supposed to be a Comedy Central original is not about to get renewed by Paramount+. 

Big Nate and Rugrats
Paramount is on a kids programming purge. Perhaps the timing of the news is supposed to take the attention off the Nickelodeon/Dan Schneider-centric Quiet on Set documentary, but ultimately Paramount may be headed for a sale. Their credit rating was recently downgraded to junk status, with S&P Global essentially citing their struggles in the streaming wars as the main reason. Paramount started with a couple cancelations at Nickelodeon, and later purged some of their kids programming from Paramount+ in what they are claiming is an effort to focus on globally popular programming. Two culprits of this were the Paramount+ original cartoon Big Nate as well as the previously-renewed Rugrats CGI revival. Needless to say, both make zero appearances on Paramount+’s home page and do not appear in the Popular Shows list. As far as the latter goes, Big Nate hardly ever did.

The writing was on the wall for Big Nate and Rugrats (2021) in early March when linear airings of new episodes premiered not on Nickelodeon, but on Nicktoons. While this is an abrupt end to the Rugrats revival, and while Big Nate probably could’ve lasted a while longer in better circumstances, it’s also proof of Paramount’s rather dire position. This is the first major cut they’ve made to their kids division, which also includes shows like Blues Clues & You and the recently-canceled That Girl Lay Lay, as well as many cartoons recently aired by Nickelodeon. As Paramount trims down their Nickelodeon offerings and leaves mostly older shows on Paramount+ (including Schneider’s entire catalog), one would have to wonder if a sale is imminent. 

Special Ops: Lioness
There’s not much that can be said about Special Ops: Lioness that hasn’t already been said. Its fate remains outstanding, rank remains mediocre, and appearances on the home page indicates Paramount+ is still promoting the series. This is likely going to come down to Taylor Sheridan’s schedule, particularly as productions resume from the stoppage caused by the 2023 strikes. How much of the budget a potential Halo renewal eats up may also be a factor in Special Ops: Lioness’s fate. 

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