Gary Levine Executive Lair
Alex Hoerner for Variety

We laugh a lot in here,” says Gary Levine, Showtime’s executive vice president of original programming, “even though we’re doing some dark and twisted things.” That’s not hard to imagine, as his office, which overlooks Wilshire Boulevard, reflects Levine’s infectious sense of humor. “It’s messy, it’s comfortable — those are the defining attributes that I have in common with my office,” he says. “And the door’s always open. I think people who come in enjoy the experience.”

Gary Levine
Executive president of original programming, Showtime
Current position since 2001
Before that: Icebox, Warner Bros., Witt-Thomas, ABC

TAKE THIS JOB…: It’s hard to miss the shovel hanging above his desk — a parting gift, he explains, when he left ABC. “Whereas some companies might give a Rolex or something of value, I got a lovely shovel,” he says. “Unbeknownst to me, I would start every meeting by saying, ‘Let’s dig in.’ So they engraved a shovel with those words. I have treasured it ever since.”

HARD TIMES: Sitting atop his coffee table is a hard hat, a souvenir of his days working on the assembly line in Queens at the Kirsch No-Cal Soda factory. “I keep it there to remind me of what real hard work is,” he explains. “I was literally a piece of the machinery, lifting empty bottles, putting them on the conveyor belt. And sadly, that’s what work is for a lot of people. We are all really lucky to be doing work that stimulates us. Any time that I feel like work is getting crazy and feeling sorry for myself, I just look at the hard hat and get a little reality check.”

THE FIRST CUT: Along with his more benign collection of show memorabilia, he owns one of Dexter’s knives. “It was a tough one to make America fall in love with a serial killer,” he says. “But we were able to thread that needle in a way I’ll always be enormously proud of.”

Photos by Alex Hoerner for Variety

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