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Paramount hires Awesomeness founder

US studio Paramount has launched a new production division and hired AwesomenessTV founder Brian Robbins to lead it.

Brian Robbins

Paramount Players will focus on producing programming based on content from sibling Viacom networks including Nickelodeon, MTV, BET and Comedy Central.

Robbins will work closely with network heads to create shows aimed at younger audiences, with resulting programming being distributed by Paramount.

The launch follows the appointment of Jim Gianopulos as Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO, to whom Robbins will report.

It forms part of Viacom’s strategy to cross-promote its brands under CEO Bob Bakish, who was appointed in 2016 and said earlier this year that the company had become too “siloed.”

Robbins founded AwesomenessTV in 2012 having already launched prodco Tollin/Robbins, which was behind Warner Bros show One Tree Hill.

He revealed in February that he would be leaving the youth-skewing digital network, which is part of DreamWorks Animation, to be replaced by Brett Bouttier.

“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,” Robbins said.

“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.”

Gianopulos added: “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.”


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