Showtime Chief on Moonves Claims: ‘Nothing More Important’ Than Safe Workplace

David Nevins, President & CEO of Showtime Networks Inc., speaks at Showtime TCA Winter Press Tour 2018Showtime TCA Winter Press Tour 2018 at the The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, CA, USA - 6 January 2018
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Showtime CEO David Nevins spoke briefly about sexual misconduct allegations against CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves Monday.

“I understand you may have questions for which you want answers, and I do too,” Nevins told reporters in prepared remarks at the Television Critics Association press tour. Showtime is a division of CBS Corp. Nevins in a brief statement at the top of his press-tour executive session appeared to distance the culture of within the premium service from that of CBS at large.

He also avoided mentioning Moonves or the allegations against the CBS Corp. CEO.

The CBS board has retained two law firms to conduct a thorough, independent investigation,” he said. “As that goes on, I hope you understand that those are the types of questions that we won’t be able to answer today. What I can say is that when it comes to questions about the culture of where we work, I care very deeply. Who we are, what we do, and what we stand for in our daily operation really matters. We have a great deal of pride in the culture that we built at showtime. There is nothing more important than having a strong, safe, and inclusive environment. It is essential in and of itself, and it is essential to the core of our business, especially a business that depends so heavily on creativity.”

Nevins and Showtime programming president Gary Levine also discussed “Who Is America?” the controversial comedy series from Sacha Baron Cohen. Levine said that Showtime has has “casual conversations” with Cohen about a possible second season.

Levine was also asked about Sarah Palin and several other celebrities who came forward with stories of being interviewed by Cohen under false pretenses, but who have not yet appeared in any episodes of the series so far.

“There are several people who have thrown themselves in front of buses that may not be headed their way,” Levine said.

Nevins said of Cohen, “I think Sacha is one of the great comedians of our time. I think he’s the Daniel Day Lewis of comedy.”

The two execs also spoke to several programming questions:

• Regarding a potential revival of “The L Word,” Levine said that one remains in development, but warned that it is still too early to tell if it will be made. “If we can come up with something new to say, we will proceed,” he said.

• Nevins and Levine confirmed that the character of Master Chief will be the lead of the upcoming “Halo” series based on the video-game franchise.

• Of the network’s recent move toward limited series, Nevins said, “I still really believe that, that renewable resources, ongoing series are the backbone of a subscription service,” but that work being done in the limited-series space is too interesting to ignore the genre.