Nevins looks forward to Showtime gig

He'll approach job at pay cabler with humility and ambition

With a mixture of humility and great ambition, former Imagine TV prexy David Nevins is eagerly stepping into what he calls “one of the great gigs in the television business” as he prepares to succeed Robert Greenblatt as entertainment prexy of Showtime Networks.

“This is one of the only opportunities that could take me out of the producing stuff that I’ve really enjoyed doing,” Nevins told Daily Variety. “Clearly, Showtime has had enormous success and consistency the last several seasons. But I don’t think that they’re completely full yet. I feel like there’s still opportunity. I’m humble but creatively ambitious. I’ve spent my career looking for shows that really push the medium forward.”

The Nevins-Greenblatt transition, first reported Thursday by Variety.com, was made official on Monday with an announcement from Showtime Networks chairman and CEO Matthew Blank. Greenblatt leaves big shoes to fill after a strong, seven-year run that saw the pay cabler emerge from HBO’s shadow to be a player in its own right in original programming.

“The reason David is here is that he has developed some of my favorite shows,” Blank said, citing “24,” “Arrested Development” and “Friday Night Lights” — shows that Nevins shepherded during his eight years as prexy of the TV wing of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment.

Nevins will formally move to the CBS-owned pay cabler later this summer after a transition period for both Imagine and Showtime. Greenblatt’s contract runs through mid-July. He quietly let it be known several months ago to Blank and CBS Corp. boss Leslie Moonves that he was ready to move on after his contract expires next month.

Showtime already has several high-profile new originals on deck to bow during the next year, starting Aug. 16 with the Laura Linney starrer “The Big C.” The dysfunctional family drama “Shameless,” led by William H. Macy, will launch in the first quarter of next year, as will comedy “Episodes” starring Matt LeBlanc. Costume drama “The Borgias,” toplined by Jeremy Irons, is targeted for a second quarter bow.

“With a tremendous batch of new stuff coming over the next year, David has the luxury of getting involved with those shows and looking around for the best new material that would take us forward in a way that is tune with his sensibility,” Blank said. “One of the luxuries of the premium TV business is that we don’t have a development season per se. David doesn’t have to be ready to go with X number of pilots by any particular date.”

Blank emphasized his respect and appreciation for Greenblatt’s track record in keeping Showtime well stocked with distinctive skeins like “Dexter,” “Weeds,” “The Tudors,” “Californication,” “United States of Tara” and “Nurse Jackie.” He called Greenblatt “one of the finest executives in the business.”

Nevins said he would cast a wide net for new development, but would also make it a point “to make sure that the shows we have on the air and in development are well taken care of.” Gary Levine, Showtime exec veep of original programming, will be key in maintaining that consistency, Nevins said, noting that he’s known Levine for many years.

“I’m not going to be the guy who tries to fix what isn’t broken,” Nevins said. “But I plan to be fairly aggressive in terms of being open for business. The timetable is always a little slower in pay cable compared to what I’m used to in the broadcast environment. I plan to pick up the tempo a little bit.”

Prior to joining Imagine in 2002, Nevins was exec veep of programming at Fox Broadcasting, where he spearheaded comedy and drama development. Before that he was a programming exec at NBC working on series including “Will and Grace,” “The West Wing,” “Law and Order: SVU” and “Homicide: Life on the Street.”

More TV

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

  • FILE - In this April 5,

    CBS Claims Commitment to Ending Harassment. Its Actions Say Otherwise (Column)

    At this point, a new breaking sexual harassment case at CBS isn’t exactly a surprise. Over and over again, powerful CBS company men from producers to executives to the ex-CEO himself have made headlines for propagating decades of harassment and abuse, with dozens of witnesses affirming that the pattern was business as usual. But as [...]

  • Willow ShieldsVariety Portrait Studio, Beautycon Festival

    'Hunger Games' Alum Willow Shields Joins Netflix Drama Series 'Spinning Out'

    Willow Shields has been cast in a series regular role in “Spinning Out,” the upcoming ice skating drama series at Netflix. She joins a cast that also includes Kaya Scodelario, who was announced as the series lead on Thursday, taking over the role originally held by Emma Roberts. Shields will star as Serena, Kat Baker’s (Scodelario) [...]

  • Adam Levine Cardi B

    Maroon 5 and How the Super Bowl Halftime Show Became Music's Least Wanted Gig

    Who would have thought that the Super Bowl Halftime show, an American institution watched by more than 100 million people, would become the least wanted gig in music? But thanks to the ongoing controversy concerning the NFL’s stance on a player’s right to protest, brought to the forefront by football’s top conscientious objector Colin Kaepernick, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content