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Originally known as The Nashville Network (TNN) before relaunching as Spike TV in 2003 and then Paramount Network in 2018, the ViacomCBS owned basic cable channel is now relaunching as Paramount Movie Network. As part of Paramount’s rebranding efforts, the network plans to scrap popular reality series such as Ink Master and Wife Swap and move other shows to focus more on made-for-TV movies.
‘Ink Master’ ran for 13 seasons
The tattooing reality competition series premiered on Paramount, then Spike, in 2012 and revolved around artists competing in different challenges to prove they were the best tattooer.
Artists are eliminated every week by the judges, tattoo enthusiast and guitarist Dave Navarro and renowned tattoo artists Chris Nuñez and Oliver Peck, until the last person standing receives the title, a feature in Inked Magazine, and $100,000.
Several of the 13 seasons included twists such as rivals, a battle of the sexes, and “turf wars,” where the artists teamed up based on where they lived. Additionally, the show’s success spun off Ink Master: Redemption, in which contestants were tasked with covering up tattoos the canvas didn’t like.
Ink Master: Angels followed four fan-favorite female artists from season 8 as they looked for someone to compete in season 10. Most recently, former contestants got their revenge on their biggest rival in Ink Master: Grudge Match.
The latter spinoff only lasted one season while Angels and Redemption aired two seasons. Shortly before the premiere of Ink Master 13, multiple pictures from Peck’s MySpace resurfaced, showing the tattoo artist wearing blackface.
As a result, the show announced they would part ways with the longtime judge. It never revealed if they already found someone else to replace Peck or began looking. However, due to the rebranding of its network, Paramount, the show has been canceled altogether.
‘Ink Master’ and other unscripted Paramount shows canceled
According to Variety, Paramount Network is rebranding as Paramount Movie Network with plans to focus more on made-for-TV movies with known celebrities instead of long-form series television.
The company currently wants to launch one movie per week and a scripted show or miniseries once a quarter. Additionally, the ViacomCBS-owned network will phase out unscripted shows, including Ink Master, Wife Swap, and Battle of the Fittest Couples.
The network already canceled Cops after 32 seasons in June 2020 due to mounting protests after the police killing of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd.
Reality competition series Battle of the Fittest Couples invited 12 “swole mates” to compete in challenges for $100,000. Hosted by The Bachelorette couple JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers, the show only aired on Paramount for three episodes before the network pulled it and posted the remaining episodes online.
The family-based reality show Wife Swap initially premiered on ABC before making its way to Paramount Network. It’s currently airing it’s 12th and final season unless another network picks it up. Ink Master could find another home as well.
More popular reality series Bar Rescue and music-based competition hit show Lip Sync Battle will not get the ax but move to another ViacomCBS network.
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