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CBS may turn to Showtime

Network looking to sibling during strike

CBS has its Eye on “Dexter” — and other Showtime fare — as possible strike programming.

Speaking at a Gotham media conference Tuesday, CBS Corp. supremo Leslie Moonves confirmed that the network is getting ready to slot some skeins from sister net Showtime as soon as this winter. It’s long been speculated that the networks would turn to their cable siblings for programming, but Moonves’ remarks repped the first time an exec has flatly outlined specific plans to do so.

In his public remarks, Moonves didn’t mention any specific Showtime series. But afterward, Eye insiders said “Dexter” — with its crime theme — would be a good fit with CBS’ cops-and-robbers sked.

Another possibility would be “The Tudors.” It would be ironic if that show ended up on CBS since the skein was originally developed for the Eye before Showtime snapped it up.

CBS would edit the Showtime skeins to conform the broadcast net’s standards and practices.

Meanwhile, weeks after other studios started cutting scribes, Sony Pictures Television Tuesday began sending out a handful of suspension letters to its roster of writers.

Less than 10 scribes will have their overall deals suspended, while none of the studio’s nonwriting exec producers will be affected. Sony has waited longer than other studios before taking action to suspend scribes.

Studio is also working to avoid layoffs for assistants to the striking scribes. Rather than terminate the assistants, studio has opted to forgo the use of temp pools and will instead use the writers’ assistants to fill in around the studio.

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