Earlier this year, CBS made the choice to move several of their shows to the Paramount+ streaming service, including Evil, SEAL Team, and Clarice. While both SEAL Team and Evil made the shift with no issues, negotiations for Clarice to follow were ongoing, and now Deadline has reported that talks between the streaming service and co-producer MGM have reached a stalemate, effectively ending the series.
Taking place a year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs, the series takes a look at the untold personal story of FBI agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field and tackles new cases. As for why Clarice isn’t able to make the leap to Paramount+, that’s a little complicated, but an industry veteran told Deadline it was one of the “craziest situations they have seen.” Unlike Evil and SEAL Team, Clarice isn’t entirely owned by CBS, which makes it more difficult to come to an agreement. Paramount+ will reportedly pay a licensing fee that will cover about 90% of the costs for both Evil and SEAL Team, but as Clarice is co-produced with MGM, they don’t feel as though they should have to pay the same amount.
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“I hear the offer on Clarice was to cover 78% of the budget ($3.6 million an episode), which, after negotiations, went up to 82% ($3.8 million),” reads Deadline’s report. “Sources close to CBS argue that the 82% is within the standard range for a premium series, which varies from show to show based on performance data analyzed by the pay cable network/streamer. I hear Paramount+’s internal projection for Clarice was to break even at 78% license fee and to lose money at 82%, the number which it ultimately agreed to.” There’s also the fact that MGM is in the process of being acquired by Amazon, and although Deadline says they don’t believe that has anything to do the current deal falling apart, they also say that MGM could be trying to hang on to one of its more prominent IP’s for a future Amazon Prime Video series. “Depending who you talk to, MGM either abruptly stopped good-faith negotiations that were closing in on an agreement,” Deadline explains, “or the studio opted to walk away after being offered a ‘mediocre’ deal it could not accept.” Unless something changes, it would seem that Agent Starling has investigated her last case.