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Showtime Promotes Gary Levine to Programming President

Showtime veteran Gary Levine has been promoted to president of programming.

Levine has been a force at Showtime since joining the company as exec VP of original programming 2001. He’s been a constant through the tenures of three entertainment chiefs at the premium cabler, starting with Jerry Offsay and continuing through Bob Greenblatt and current Showtime Networks president David Nevins.

“Gary has been an integral part of building Showtime Networks’ stellar original programming brand,” Nevins said. “He also happens to be one of the most respected creative executives in the business because he knows how to bring out the best in everyone who works with him. Gary has proven to be an invaluable creative partner to me since the day I arrived at Showtime. I am confident that in his expanded role he will lead our programming team to outstanding new heights.”

Levine is widely admired in the TV biz by showrunners and other creatives as a straight-shooter with strong instincts. He’s had a hand in all of the cabler’s major series and documentary productions, from “Dexter,” “The Tudors,” “Californication” and “The L Word” to recent hits “Homeland,” “Shameless,” “Ray Donovan” and “The Affair.”

“Every conversation with Gary is just that — it’s a conversation, not the network executive hammering down with notes,” said Clyde Phillips, who worked with Levine as showrunner of Showtime’s “Dexter” and “Nurse Jackie.” “When hegives a note that he wants a change in something, he always starts it with ‘What do you think about this idea?’ “

Phillips noted that Levine remained as engaged on “Nurse Jackie” through the series final episodes as he did in its earlier seasons. “He cares so deeply,” he said. Levine’s focus on the work has been so thorough that Phillips noted the promotion to president marks the first title bump in his 15 years with Showtime.

Among Levine’s many talents is his skill as a lay cantor. Phillips tapped his longtime friend to sing some years ago at the naming ceremony for his daughter, Claire. “He has a beautiful voice,” Phillips said.

Before Showtime, Levine was president of the pioneering Internet content company Icebox. He held development posts at Warner Bros. TV, Witt-Thomas Productions and at ABC. During his time at the Alphabet, Levine championed the David Lynch-Mark Frost drama “Twin Peaks,” which became a cult favorite and is now being revived as limited sequel series at Showtime.

Early on his career, Levine worked as a producer for New York’s Roundabout Theater and spent five years as managing director of the Williamstown Theatre festival.

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