CBS has renamed Paramount Television to incorporate CBS into its name and has incorporated the Star Trek franchise into the CBS Paramount Television group.
StarTrek.com explained that after Viacom Inc. split into two companies, Viacom (which continues to control Paramount Pictures) and CBS (which now controls all of Paramount’s television properties), the television division took possession of all the Star Trek TV series. StarTrek.com also promised an announcement soon regarding the future of the web site, which had been part of a now-defunct Paramount digital division.
Daily Variety asserted that keeping Paramount in the new television division’s name “was a nod to history as well as recognition that the [Paramount] brand still has some equity among viewers. Studio is associated with a number of franchises, from Star Trek to Frasier.” CBS pointed out that the new name merges two iconic symbols of entertainment, the CBS Eye and the Paramount mountain.
Paramount Television was created in the 1960s when Paramount Pictures acquired Desilu Productions, whose logo can still be seen at the end of the original Star Trek episodes on DVD. CBS Paramount Television currently produces such hits as the CSI series for CBS and Everybody Hates Chris for UPN, plus several shows that air on other networks and syndicated series.
Licensing for Star Trek will now be administrated by CBS Consumer Products, but Viacom’s Paramount Home Entertainment will continue to distribute Star Trek on DVD for the time being. Since Pocket Books and Star Trek: The Experience are controlled by divisions that are part of the new CBS Corp., the split should cause no immediate changes in either book publication or theme park activities.
Meanwhile, Viacom may set up its own television unit, according to Variety, which cited published speculation that Paramount Pictures president Brad Grey might try to start his own TV division at Paramount. There is no word, however, on whether CBS will set up its own movie unit – leaving one to wonder what will happen to Star Trek’s movie future if they do.
CBS Paramount Television’s press release is posted at the new CBS corporate page.