Now that CBS is no longer part of Viacom (it happened early this year, where you been?), and thereby no longer affiliated with Paramount Pictures, it needs a movie studio of its own. The company's CEO, Les Moonves, discussed this need at a PricewaterhouseCoopers event on Wednesday, stating that they are looking into the prospect, which would consist of either the acquisition of another already existing company or the establishment of a brand new entity. The one thing that is for certain is that the studio will start off fairly small with 6-8 productions a year with lower budgets of $20-30 million each. No blockbusters just yet.
As surprised as I was about Viacom's split, I have been mostly curious about the CBS Corp. half of the deal being without a film division. After all, no media corporation is complete without one. CBS only came away from the split with the CBS and UPN networks (which will soon no longer exist, but CBS will own half of the new CW channel), the television studios of CBS, Paramount and King World, and the Paramount Parks. I guess with nothing but TV experience, Moonves might not be the greatest new hope for film production, but every time there's talk of a new studio, I always dream that it can become a saving grace for the quality of new movies. I imagine something along the lines of the Robert Evans era at Paramount, of course. Instead we're likely to get Survivor: The Movie.