A month ago, negotiations were happening to move the crime thriller from CBS to Paramount+, which seemed like a viable option for the show that likely would have granted it more creative freedom than broadcast television allows. CBS had also been working to shuffle some of its other series to its streaming service, like SEAL Team and Evil (both of which have officially made the jump for anyone concerned).
But the same cannot be said for Clarice Season 2. Negotiations between the streaming service and its co-producer MGM have now reached a stalemate, and Deadline reporter Nellie Andreeva says that CBS wouldn’t be able to take Clarice back because the network already has a full slate planned for next season.
Basically, it looks like it’s over for Clarice unless a breakthrough happens in the negotiations. Andreeva notes that is unlikely to happen, although reps from MGM and Paramount+ have yet to comment.
Additional intel as follows:
"Depending who you talk to, MGM either abruptly stopped good-faith negotiations that were closing in on an agreement, or the studio opted to walk away after being offered a “mediocre” deal it could not accept."
When the initial announcement was made in mid-May, it sounded like MGM and ViacomCBS would come to a deal, but they never reached an agreement. Sources say that licensing fees hiked to $3.8 million an episode at Paramount+ versus the $1.2-1.3 million it cost on CBS, and MGM refused to budget or concede on that price point.
"Like with CBS, the proposed Paramount+ deal is domestic, with MGM handling international sales for the series (MGM Television and CBS Studios split the proceeds as 50-50 co-producers). In becoming a Paramount+ original, Clarice would no longer be able to pursue an off-network streaming deal in the U.S., though, according to industry experts, the Paramount+ license fee more than covers for that."
Is the Amazon-MGM merger at fault for dooming Clarice Season 2?
Basically, MGM didn’t appreciate getting a lesser offer than the one CBS made for SEAL Team and Evil, but both of those shows are fully owned by CBS versus the sharing licensing for Clarice. MGM also wanted a guarantee that more episodes of Clarice would be made, at least 15, which is in line with Evil and SEAL Team seasons which range from 13-14 for their upcoming seasons. Paramount+ was supposedly willing to size up the order, but discussions were dropped.
Another issue came from MGM wanting to have a second window for their premium cable service EPIX, but they would only be granted it if there was a multi-year hold on the series. That means Clarice would have a serious delay before airing on EPIX, making it pretty much worthless.
The Amazon-MGM merger could also affect the deal because MGM might not want to give up such a notable IP in case future projects are ever explored, so they’re not necessarily inclined to sell the rights to CBS.
Could another streaming service pick up Clarice Season 2?
Even though Paramount+ and CBS are no longer viable options for the show, could another service — like Netflix or Hulu — save the series? At this stage, that seems very unlikely. The show’s best option at a sophomore season was definitely from ViacomCBS.
Are you disappointed that Clarice Season 2 is now likely not going to happen? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.