Paramount Pictures: Change of Guards–Gianopulos Exits

Jim Gianopulos to Exit Paramount Pictures, Brian Robbins to Take Over as Chair and CEO

Robbins currently runs kids network Nickelodeon for parent company ViacomCBS.

Jim Gianopulos will be leaving Paramount as Chairman and CEO.

Brian Robbins, who currently runs kids network Nickelodeon for parent company ViacomCBS, will take over. A source familiar with the situation says Robbins will continue to oversee Nickelodeon and kids and family content at streaming service Paramount+.

Gianopulos took the reins of Paramount in 2017 after the departure of Brad Grey. He joined the company at a precarious time, following a string of financial failures at the box office, heading the studio following a long tenure at 20th Century Fox Film, which he chaired for 16 years before Stacey Snider was named his successor by Lachlan and James Murdoch. In 2019, ViacomCBS announced that Gianopulos would oversee the filmed entertainment that, in addition to Paramount Pictures, would include oversight of Paramount Animation, Paramount Features, Paramount Players, and Paramount TV.

Robbins, a former actor who starred in ABC sitcom Head of the Class before turning his attention to producing, has been a rising star at Viacom since joining the conglomerate as president of Paramount Players in 2017 to produce films inspired by Viacom brands like Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.

He developed co-branded films for Paramount Players including the live-action Dora the Explorer movie, after being tapped as president of Nickelodeon in 2018 — reporting to ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish — greenlit the Paw Patrol feature, which opened this month to a better-than-expected $13 million domestically despite the fact that it also debuted day and date on Paramount+.

In June, when ViacomCBS restructured its exec ranks to prioritize streaming, Robbins was among the executives who were given greenlight power at Paramount+ as content chiefs in their respective areas of focus. Robbins oversees kids and family fare for the streamer on top of his duties at Nickelodeon. Gianopulos at the same time added the content chief title for movies at Paramount+.