Dec 19, 2018

By Nicole Bitette
Fans flocked to Paramount Network’s ‘Yellowstone’ debut and the return of MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore,' while #blackgirlmagic and Millie Bobby Brown turned movements into moments that captivated the cultural zeitgeist.

Viacom maintained its mission of creating quality content in 2018 — on its own platforms and others. Whether it’s the buzzed-about film To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix or the continued success of the Love & Hip Hop franchise, the company’s series and movies have sparked moments in culture and got people talking this year.

To honor the talent and creativity behind the scenes—as well as the passion of millions of fans in front of screens and stages around the world—here’s a look at some of the biggest content moments of the year.

 

The Series of Summer: ‘Yellowstone’

Paramount Network’s original series Yellowstone became the most-watched cable series of the summer. The Western ranch drama, which stars Kevin Costner as the patriarch of the Dutton family, reached an average of 5.1 million viewers weekly throughout its nine-episode first season—and garnered more than 20 million digital views.

Yellowstone, written and directed by Oscar-nominee Tyler Sheridan (Wind River, Sicario), was the most-watched show in Paramount TV’s brief history, as well as in the 15-year-run of its predecessor network, Spike TV. The series only trailed behind The Walking Dead to land as the second most-watched scripted series on ad-supported cable by the end of August. Season 2 is already in the works, set to premiere in 2019.

The Return of #Jerzday: ‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’

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The beloved cast of the Jersey Shore returned to MTV this summer much older than when the series first aired in 2009, but just as fun.

The Jersey Shore: Family Vacation premiere in April became the number 1 unscripted show on television for the 18-24 demographic. The reality show beats out all competitors in the 18-49 demographic, with 8 in 10 viewers in that range. Season 2 was the fifth highest-rated cable series on TV for adults ages 18-49.

The second season, which hit the air in August, peaked at 1.47 million viewers in the U.S. And there's more to come: it was recently announced that the shore-loving guidos would return for a third season.

The Most-Watched Show for Kids: ‘Double Dare’

The reboot of the game show Double Dare, which aired on Nickelodeon in July, turned out to be the most-viewed series on kids' TV in 2018. The June 25 premiere was also Nick’s best series launch among adults 18-49 in more than five years, according to Nielsen — and the series averaged 1.6 million viewers per premiere airing.

The Reality Franchise That Dominated The Charts: ‘Love & Hip Hop’

Love & Hip Hop is dominating the unscripted TV charts. Multiple iterations of the hit reality series have been among the most-viewed shows on television this year — helping solidify Viacom’s presence as a leading network for unscripted content.

The series — which follows the lives of hip hop artists (Cardi B got her start on the show) — is based in Miami, New York, Hollywood and Atlanta. The latest season of Love & Hip Hop: New York aired in November.

Love & Hip Hop is consistently the No. 1 cable entertainment program on Monday nights with Adults 18-49, landing a spot in the Top 10 of Unscripted series for 2018. On average, 1.3 million adults age 18-49 tune in to each premiere.

The Movie at the Top of the Queue: ‘To All The Boys I've Loved Before’

Viacom acquired the Gen Z-focused content creator Awesomeness TV earlier this year and the company’s recent film To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is one of Netflix’s most-viewed original films ever with strong repeat viewing, according to the streaming service.

The rom-com, which starred Lana Condor and Noah Centineo, was adapted from the young adult novel of the same name by author Jenny Han.

Centineo joined Viacom President and CEO Bob Bakish, and Awesomeness executives, for a live session at the company’s NYC headquarters earlier this month where the young actor spoke excitedly about his involvement with both the Viacom and Awesomeness brands. A sequel to To All The Boys, called P.S. I Love You, is already in the works as part of Paramount’s multi-picture deal with Netflix.

The Most Successful Ethan Hunt Movie Yet: ‘Mission: Impossible - Fallout’

The sixth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise premiered this summer — and it was the most successful one for Paramount Pictures yet. Mission: Impossible - Fallout, starring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, made $791 million worldwide on a budget of $178 million.

Fallout marked Viacom and Paramount’s biggest film release since Transformers: Age of Extinction in June 2014, and is in the Top 10 on the box office charts for 2018.

The Workplace Comedy For Dark Times: ‘Corporate’

Comedy Central’s dark comedy about the workplace, Corporate, nabbed itself a spot on the New York Times’ list of Best TV Shows of 2018.

The first season reached nearly 4 million unique viewers, performing particularly well with millennial men. Indiewire called it “the first great comedy of 2018.”

Now in Season 2, Corporate follows main characters Jake Weisman and Matt Ingebretson as up-and-coming executives at a miserable corporation, Hampton DeVille. Weisman and Ingebretson created the show, along with Pat Bishop.

The Horror Movie That Made a Bang: ‘A Quiet Place’

Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place was a sleeper hit. The low-budget horror directed by John Krasinski turned out to be blockbuster, raking in $340 million worldwide. With a low production budget of $17 million, it led to a considerable profit.

The film, which starred Krasinski and his real-life wife Emily Blunt, also made $50 million domestically in its opening weekend on April, which is the biggest opening weekend ever for an original horror story and the third-ever for a horror film opening, following behind 2017’s It and Paranormal Activity 3 in 2011.

It also became a pop culture sensation, inspiring spoofs from The Ellen Show, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Saturday Night Live.

Top of the Preschool Class: ‘Butterbean’s Café’

Butterbean’s Café is Nick Jr.s’ highest-rated preschool series debut since PAW Patrol in 2013.

The series premiered in November and raked in 1.3 million total viewers for the first episode. Butterbean’s Café follows a fairy named Butterbean, who runs a cafe with her friends in a community called Puddlebrook.

The Second Screen Award-winner: BET Social Awards

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The inaugural BET Social Awards in February caused a major spike in traffic on, you guessed it, social media. A night celebrating the best moments like “clapback,” “baewatch” and “best podcast,” ended up breaking the internet with a speech by Insecure star Amanda Seales.

Seales read a powerful Black Girl Magic poem, which grabbed people’s attention and caused a 257% spike in Google and YouTube searches for the social movement. The ceremony also garnered 2.2 million views across BET’s video platforms, according to BusinessWire.

The Series That Spooked Binge-Watchers: ‘The Haunting of Hill House’

The made-for-Netflix Paramount TV series, Haunting of Hill House, is the highest rated Netflix original series, according to IMDB user ratings. A spooky take on the 1959 Shirley Jackson novel, which follows siblings who called one of the most haunted houses their home.

Forbes even questioned if it was Netflix’s best original series of all time. The series currently has a 92% on RottenTomatoes and rumors have been swirling about a possible Season 2, though nothing has been confirmed.

The Award Show That Put Females First: CMT AOY

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This year, CMT decided to celebrate the women who make country music great. The genre, which has plenty of female stars, often recognizes its male artists, especially on the radio. CMT made it a priority to try and give its lady stars more glory with its the annual CMT Artist of the Year Award ceremony in October. The network honored all females for the first time ever, including Carrie Underwood, Loretta Lynn, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, and Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott.

“CMT has been bold about supporting female artists at a time where it’s been a challenge with terrestrial radio, internet radio, and streaming services,” says Leslie Fram, senior VP of music strategy for CMT. “We’ve been at the forefront of supporting female voices, so it made sense to turn ‘Artist of the Year’ into a celebration of women.”

The Moment Our Networks Went Dark: National School Walkout Day

One of Viacom’s most notable content moments this year was nothing at all. The company decided to go dark for 17 minutes on all networks on March 14 in solidarity with National School Walkout Day, a movement against gun violence and to remember the 17 victims of the Parkland, Fla. school shooting in February. The move was picked up by the Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair and Time.

In another showing of support for the movement, Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown made a statement just weeks later at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards by wearing a Calvin Klein embroidered outfit that supported March for Our Lives. The actress’ denim ensemble read “never again” on the front and listed the names of those killed in the Parkland shooting across the back.