Showtime Entertainment President David Nevins took a serious
look at History channel's recently-dropped miniseries The Kennedys, but ultimately passed because it didn't feel premium
cable, he told critics Friday at the TCA winter press tour.
"I thought it was well-acted and well-made and very
watchable," Nevins said. "What it really came down to is that it didn't feel
Showtime. I made the vow coming in that our focus is on renewable series and
you give up that focus at your peril."
He would not comment on why he thought History dropped the
Since being named Showtime entertainment president in June
2010, replacing Bob Greenblatt, Nevins said it's been a luxury coming into a
network with shows that are working.
"That's not usually how regime change happens," he said.
"It's interesting coming into a network that is healthy."
He plans to schedule programming so that there will be "no
fallow periods," with at least two or three shows on the air at all times of
Nevins noted that it's hard to pinpoint Showtime's brand in
programming terms, because it's not trying to appeal to a certain demo.
"We want women and men and anyone who wants to write a check
every month," he said. "It's about being deep and psychologically
sophisticated. Being surprising. We want to be premium and special and it's
When asked about the pay cabler's competition with HBO,
Nevins said that it has been a very good year for the network with the
competition swinging in Showtime's favor. He touted Showtime's almost 19
million subscribers, but added that such success ebbs and flows.
"HBO is aggressive and they always have good stuff in the
bull pen," he said.
Nevins made a slew of programming announcements including a
new unscripted series following the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco
Giants and the season five renewal of Californication.
Additionally, he said Lisa Kudrow's Web-to-Showtime series Web Therapy is going to go on the air in
either the second quarter of summer and if CBS orders more Big Brother, Showtime will likely order another installment of Big Brother After Dark.