You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Showtime kidpix strong o’seas

HOLLYWOOD — Almost twoand a half years after debuting a strategy to lure young viewers with new, low-budget kid pics each month, pay cable service Showtime is placing a higher emphasis on children’s programming than ever before.

Showtime’s Original Pictures for Kids series, which began in 1995, continues to churn out an original film in the $2 million budget range every month. “The Westing Game,” based on the popular Ellen Raskin novel and starring Ray Walston and Diane Ladd, is running this month, two more are slated to air this year, two others are in production for early ’98 and more are in development. Network execs say films for the Original Pictures for Kids series are slated to run well into 1999, and will likely continue indefinitely.

Coming to the network in October is “Shadow Zone: My Teacher Ate My Homework,” starring Shelley Duvall, and in December, “Doom Runners,” starring Tim Curry. Two other kid pics, “Goat Christmas” and “Running Wild,” are in production for ’98.

Showtime also unveiled a new, original 22-episode series this year — “My Life as a Dog” — aimed at youngsters 8-14 as part of its Family Series. It’s an example of the network’s belief that children’s programming makes good business sense for a pay-movie service.

“As we developed our original movie strategy for adults, it just seemed like a natural extension to do a series for kids,” says Ann Foley, Showtime exec VP for East Coast programming. “A big part of our audience is kids, so this programming is a critical part of having well-rounded offerings.”

More TV

  • American Son review

    'American Son' Set for Netflix Adaptation With Kerry Washington, Original Broadway Cast

    The Broadway play “American Son” is set to be adapted for Netflix. Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale, Jeremy Jordan, and Eugene Lee will reprise their roles in the Netflix production. Kenny Leon returns to direct and produce, with Jeffrey Richards and Rebecca Gold serving as producers. Washington and Pilar Savone of Washington’s Simpson Street banner will [...]

  • Anthony Scaramucci to participate in the

    Anthony Scaramucci Light on Trump Talk in 'Celebrity Big Brother' Premiere

    CBS reality show “Big Brother” loves to tell its audience to “expect the unexpected,” but things went pretty much according to the assumed with Anthony Scaramucci on the second season premiere of the celebrity edition of the show. Right from his introductory package, Scaramucci had to acknowledge he was fired from the White House, “for [...]


    Tyler Perry: 6 Lessons He Shared at NATPE's 'Living the Dream' Summit

    MIAMI — Tyler Perry took time out of his “Madea’s Farewell” live stage tour and spent his Martin Luther King Jr. holiday giving an inspiring speech to aspiring producers and students gathered here for the annual NATPE convention. Perry was the keynoter Monday at the conference’s first ever “Living the Dream: A Career in Content” session [...]

  • Why Megan Mullally Won't Talk Politics

    Q&A: Why Megan Mullally Won't Talk Politics While Hosting the SAG Awards

    Megan Mullally is funny. The “Will & Grace” star can also sing and dance. While she’s not picking up the Oscar hosting gig after the Kevin Hart fiasco, Mullally will take center stage on Sunday, Jan. 27 when she makes her debut as the host of the 25th annual SAG Awards. Variety caught up with [...]

  • New England Patriots running back Sony

    CBS and Fox Cheer Big Turnout for NFL Conference Championships

    Sunday’s AFC and NFC championship games were nail-biters that went into overtime and sent viewership into overdrive. CBS harvested a whopping 53.9 million viewers as New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady led his team to their third consecutive Super Bowl berth in a hard-fought primetime game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Viewership for the AFC [...]

  • RENT: Top L-R to Bottom L-R:

    TV Shows to Watch the Week of Jan. 21, 2019: 'Rent,' 'Celebrity Big Brother'

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Rent: Live” airs on Fox and “Celebrity Big Brother” returns for a second [...]

  • Black Monday: How Showtime Dusted Off

    'Black Monday': How Showtime Dusted Off An Old '80s Logo For Its New Comedy

    Cocaine’s a hell of a drug, but you’re not seeing things: That, indeed is Showtime’s old 1980s-era logo pasted all over marketing materials and promos for “Black Monday,” a tongue-in-cheek tale of the excesses exhibited by Wall Street traders in the lead-up to the stock market crash of 1987. The logo, which hasn’t been in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content