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Paramount+ Launch Date Revealed

Paramount+ is launching in the United States and Latin America on March 4th. ViacomCBS today officially announced the date that the CBS All Access streaming service will become Paramount+. The rebranding follows the merger of CBS and Viacom into ViacomCBS, allowing for the streaming platform to expand its library to include content from the CBS, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and Paramount Pictures' back catalogs. ViacomCBS will offer a glimpse at Paramount+ and explain its streaming strategy to investors at a presentation on February 24th, where it will also report its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results for 2020.

"Paramount is an iconic and storied brand beloved by consumers all over the world, and it is synonymous with quality, integrity and world-class storytelling," said Bob Bakish, President and CEO, ViacomCBS in a press release announcing the rebranding in September 2020. "With Paramount+, we're excited to establish one global streaming brand in the broad-pay segment that will draw on the sheer breadth and depth of the ViacomCBS portfolio to offer an extraordinary collection of content for everyone to enjoy."

"The response from consumers in just the early weeks of the service's expansion already illustrates the tremendous opportunity ahead of us in bringing these phenomenal ViacomCBS brands together in one premium streaming home under the new Paramount+ name," said Marc DeBevoise, Chief Digital Officer, ViacomCBS and President & Chief Executive Officer, ViacomCBS Digital. "With the addition of even more content from across the portfolio as well as the new exclusive originals we are announcing today, we look forward to the early 2021 rebrand and bringing existing and new subscribers more of the compelling, genre-spanning live sports, breaking news and mountain of entertainment ViacomCBS has to offer."

At the same as it announced the rebrand, ViacomCBS revealed a handful of upcoming original series set for the service. They include:

  • The Offer, a scripted limited event series from Paramount Television Studios, based on Oscar-winning producer Al Ruddy's extraordinary, never-revealed experiences of making The Godfather. The 10-episode event series is written and executive produced by Michael Tolkin (Escape at Dannemora and The Player). Ruddy will also serve as executive producer, and Emmy-winning producer Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) will executive produce and be a writer on the series.
  • Lioness, a spy drama created by Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone) with Sheridan, Jill Wagner, David Glasser, David Hutkin, and Bob Yari set to executive produce. Based on a real-life CIA program, Lioness follows a young Marine recruited to befriend the daughter of a terrorist to bring the organization down from within. The series is produced by Paramount Network and 101 Studios.
  • A reimagination of the Emmy-nominated series Behind the Music entitled MTV's Behind the Music - Top 40, which will unlock MTV's vault from the past 40 years for a unique and intimate look at the 40 biggest artists of all time, through their voices and their eyes. The series will be produced by Creature Films and MTV Studios.
  • The Real Criminal Minds, a true crime docuseries based on the hit CBS Television series, and produced by XG Productions in association with CBS Television Studios and ABC Signature.
  • The service is also developing a revival of The Game as part of BET's programming on Paramount+ from CBS Television Studios and Grammnet Productions.
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Peaky Blinders Movie Is Going to Happen According to Creator

Monday brought some difficult news for fans of BBC and Netflix's Peaky Blinders, as it was revealed that the beloved crime series would be coming to an end after the sixth season, which finally started production this week. There won't be any more episodes of the Cillian Murphy-starring series after Season 6, but creator Steven Knight promised in the final season announcement that the story of the Shelby family would continue in "another format." Now we know what he was talking about.

On Tuesday, just one day after the final season of Peaky Blinders was announced, Knight confirmed that there would be a feature film following Season 6. Initially, there were supposed to be seven seasons before the movie, but those plans were altered due to Covid-related production delays.

"Covid changed our plans," Knight told Deadline. "But I can say that my plan from the beginning was to end Peaky with a movie. That is what is going to happen."

“This final season of our beloved Peaky Blinders is going to be the best one yet," added executive producer Caryn Mandabach. "Steve’s uncanny ability to be prescient about world events is only matched by his ability to make Tommy Shelby the most indelible character of our times.”

“Along with our wonderful, supportive, partners at BBC and Netflix, we have been working diligently to ensure we can get Peaky safely back into production; the safety of our cast and crew is always our priority," Mandabach said when the final season was announced. "Thank you to all the Peaky fans who have been so unwaveringly supportive and patient. Steve’s scripts are incredible and mark the end of an epic story that has entranced audiences since it first started in 2013, but the world of Peaky Blinders will most definitely live on.”

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Balan Wonderworld Demo Announced

Square Enix has announced that it will release a free demo for the upcoming 3D action-platformer video game Balan Wonderworld next week starting January 28th on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC via Steam. If you've been wanting to give the title from former Sonic the Hedgehog developers like character designer Naoto Ohshima and director Yuji Naka a go, chances are good you have some sort of platform to do so with considering the wide range. The full title is set to release on March 26th.

More specifically, the demo will allow up to two players to explore several different worlds in local co-op or solo. Based on Square Enix's description, it would appear that all of World 1 will be playable in the demo with some parts of World 4 and World 6 available to play as well. All of these appear to be woven out of the hearts and memories of different people.

Here is how Square Enix officially describes the upcoming video game:

"Entering a whimsical and bizarre land through a mysterious theatre, players will take on the role of Leo and Emma as they embark on an adventure like no other. Led by an enigmatic maestro named Balan, they must navigate through Wonderworld to restore happiness and balance the hearts and minds of all they encounter here."

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New Fall Guys Feature Is Straight Out of Super Mario 64

Fall Guys is adding a new feature in the Season 3.5 update that’ll look familiar to anyone who’s played Super Mario 64 and had an inclination to toss a penguin over a cliff. The update will add a few of the battle royale game’s penguins to different levels that they weren’t normally in which will allow players to pick up the penguins and carry them about the obstacle courses. That also means that you can let them loose over the edge if you choose to do so.

Over on the Fall Guys Twitter account, Mediatonic offered a preview of the game’s upcoming Season 3.5 update. A video shared showed a player holding a penguin on what appeared to be the Tundra Run round, but instead of leaving the penguin be or escorting it to a safer location, the player chucked it over the side of the course.

The same will inevitably happen whenever that Season 3.5 update drops as well and players are able to get their hands on these penguins outside of the normal rounds they’re available in. There’ll be people who do it regardless of whether they played Super Mario 64 or not, but those who did play the classic Mario game will recall exactly why this moment is referred to as “THE THING” in the tweet above.

In Super Mario 64, players at one point have to carry a penguin back to its mother in exchange for a golden star. After you’ve obtained your reward, you’re free to toss that penguin over the edge of the icy level without worrying about any consequences. Other players within the replies to the initial tweet shared clips of the original moment unfolding for those who never played Super Mario 64 and are out of the loop.

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Star Wars Battlefront 3 May Be Announced Soon

Star Wars Battlefront 3 may be announced for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC soon, or at least that's what new speculation making the rounds claims. The speculation began last week when two Star Wars Battlefront 2 actors revealed they are working on a new and secret project together. Adding fuel to this speculation, a new rumor began to make the rounds over on Reddit claiming to have a scoop on the game and its development.

Up until recently, there wasn't much to this speculation, but recently a lot more fuel was poured onto the fire. Right in the middle of all this speculation, EA made Star Wars Battlefront 2 free on the Epic Games Store, which evolved the speculation from "Star Wars Battlefront 3 is in development" to "Star Wars Battlefront 3 is going to be announced soon."

There's more though. This week, one of the industry's most prominent insiders, Jeff Grubb, suggested there's truth to the rumors. Unfortunately, Grubb didn't say much of signifgance but noted that he expects EA's ongoing Star Wars series -- Battlefront and Jedi: Fallen Order -- to continue.

And this is where the speculation finally ends. At the moment of publishing, no party implicated -- EA and DICE -- have commented on the speculation, and at this point, it doesn't look like either will, which is typical of the pair that rarely comment on rumors and speculation. However, if, for some reason, this changes, we will update the story accordingly.

For what it's worth, Star Wars Battlefront 3 is going to happen. The first two games sold way too well for it not to happen. That said, the million-dollar question is when it will happen. At the launch of Star Wars Battlefront 2, the brand was in rough shape due to several different controversies involving the game. However, it appears EA has salvaged the brand and there's once again hype for more.