Programming

TCA: Showtime Execs Discuss Series, Weinstein Deal

Entertainment president Robert Greenblatt, CEO Matt Blank discussed future of programs, network's film slate. 7/18/2008 08:11:00 AM Eastern

Beverly Hills -- Showtime entertainment president Robert Greenblatt and CEO Matt Blank discussed the future of a number of their programs, as well as the network's film slate, at a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association press tour here.

While the network has not formally announced another season of This American Life, Greenblatt said it is in negotiations with creator Ira Glass for new episodes, although the form they take is still undecided.

"Because Ira is a perfectionist, he doesn't want to put any episode out that isn't extraordinary," Greenblatt said. "There may be a year when we do a couple of long-form specials and don't do the show per se. We are talking to him about how many [episodes] he wants to do and what form he wants them to take."

Greenblatt also said The Tudors has "another two seasons in it," noting that the series is running out of wives to spar with protagonist Henry the Eighth.

"The third season is the next two, Anna of Cleves and Jane Seymour. The final season will be the final two wives," Greenblatt said.

Also discussed was the network's recent deal with The Weinstein Co., which came in response to the departure of Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Lionsgate films to the new Viacom startup.

"If we did nothing, it would not be recognizable by our subscribers until the second half of 2011,” Blank said. ”So we didn't even need to do the Weinstein deal in the past week. It was just opportune to do so."

Blank added that since the deal was done, he had received calls from other producers looking to strike similar deals with the network.

Secret Diary of a Call Girl, the highest-rated premiere in the network's history, also appears to have a secure spot on the channel's schedule. Showtime acquired three seasons from the United Kingdom, and Greenblatt said it will look at acquiring additional episodes, depending on whether the cast stays on and the success of the program on the network.

For the latest news and video from the TCA press tour, click here.

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