TCA: Showtime’s Nevins: ‘There Is Never Enough Great TV’

Pay cabler head says MVPD business is encouraging, addresses David Lynch ‘Twin Peaks’ conflict
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Beverly Hills, Calif. — David Nevins, president, Showtime Networks, countered FX Networks head John Landgraf’s comments last week about a saturation of programing in the market saying, “There is never enough great TV,” during his executive session at TCA Tuesday.

“There may be too much good TV,” he said. “But I can’t imagine anyone saying there is too much great TV. There is a lot of stupid money going in a lot of directions. “

Showtime programming growth is clearly not slowing down as the pay cabler announced the renewals of Masters of Sex and Ray Donovan and picked up a slew of new series.

“We are in expansion mode but at a rate to [create] great, meaningful television,” he said.

Nevins was also peppered with questions about the highly-anticipated Twin Peaks reboot, specifically the Twitter conflict with director David Lynch last April where he proclaimed he left the project due to a financial dispute.

“I never had any doubt I would get him back,” Nevins said.

Nevins said the series – which begins shooting in Sept. -- looks in “great shape,” as it became clear that it would now be more than nine episodes, likening it to “one long movie.”

“I will let [Lynch] cut as many episodes as he feels comfortable,” Nevins said.  

Lynch will be the sole director on the project, and Nevins wouldn’t comment on further casting other than previously-announced Kyle MacLachlan, who starred in the original.

But, he teased: “You should be optimistic about the people you want to be there … and there will be surprises. It’s not fully cast but it’s fairly clear where it’s going.”

The Showtime topper briefly touched on its new OTT service – Showtime – which was launched July, noting that the pay cabler’s subscription MVPD business is 23 million-plus.

“We have a lot of room for expansion and the early demand is encouraging,” he said. The company is expected to announce more partners – currently, Apple, Roku, Sony and Hulu – pegged for the new season premieres of Homeland and The Affair on Oct. 4, Nevins said.

Also on the business side, Showtime inked a multi-year deal with Canada’s Bell Media which will bring the brand to more Canadian households, Nevins said, hinting at more international deals to come.

Nevins also addressed the upcoming change in leadership this January which will see him upped to CEO – current CEO and chairman Matt Blank will retain his chairman title.

“[Matt] has taught me a hell of a lot,” he said. The seamless transition, “speaks to the strength and leadership in the company and corporation,” Nevins said.

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