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Showtime sets dox

Exec sez channel jumped at chance to do more non-fiction programming

Showtime has joined forces with NYT Television, a division of the New York Times, to produce five one-hour documentaries with subject matter supporting Showtime’s summer lineup of original movies.

The first docu to be produced under the agreement is tentatively titled “Ratings, Morals and Sex on TV” and will accompany the June 7 Showtime premiere of “Armistead Maupin’s More Tales of the City.” Edward Gray is producing, while Steven Weinstock and Michael Rosenblum, co-presidents of NYT Television, will exec produce.

Sam Roberts, VP and general manager of TV programming for the New York Times Electronic Media Co., will supervise the project, while Steve Molton will oversee things for Showtime. Additional docus are planned to support Showtime Original Pictures through the year 2000.

“Showtime has been looking for an opportunity to move further into non-fiction programming,” said Mark Zakarin, exec VP of original programming for Showtime. “Our agreement with NYT Television represents the best opportunity we’ve had to wed our own original programming with its topical, real-life issues.”