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Showtime Wooing Men, to Develop Gambler, Executioner, Ben Silverman Projects (Exclusive)

David Nevins - P
The Hollywood Reporter

The cable network is taking a decidedly macho turn under the leadership of David Nevins.

If the latest batch of development projects is an indication, David Nevins is taking Showtime in a decidedly different direction. A year and a half into his tenure as entertainment chief, the former producer continues to add projects that not only feature male characters but also look to appeal to male viewers.

It's a shift in focus from the network's Nurse Jackie, The Big C, Weeds and United States of Tara, all part of predecessor Bob Greenblatt's roster of female-skewing shows about middle-aged female antiheroes. Here's an exclusive first look at six projects Showtime has in development:

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The Executioner: Based on the true story of Anatole Deibler, the official Executioner of Paris in the late 1800s and a celebrity in his own right. The hourlong drama takes a dark look at a conflicted man who is forced to mete out Old World justice in an increasingly modern age while grappling with death and his own infamy. Tim Sexton is attached to write and executive produce the project from Grady Twins and Warner Horizon, with Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Dawn Parouse (Prison Break) on board as non-writing executive producers.

Walking Through Walls: Based on a memoir by Philip Smith about his relationship with his father, a psychic healer. The half-hour from Groundswell is being executive produced and written by Nicholas Wootton (Chuck, Law & Order, NYPD Blue), with Michael London and Smith as a non-writing executive producer and co-executive producer, respectively.

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Untitled Nick Cassavetes Project: The hourlong drama is based on the life of Benny Binion, a well-known casino owner, mobster, poker player and convicted felon. An avid poker player himself, Cassavetes (The Notebook, My Sister's Keeper) is attached to write, direct and executive produce.

Untitled Ben Silverman Project: A half-hour comedy about a family man who happens to be the editor of a racy men's magazine. Playboy editor Jimmy Jellinek will serve as an executive producer alongside Silverman on the project from Silverman's Electus.

Blackout: A half-hour comedy that explores race relations through the eyes of a repressed middle-class white woman and her alter ego, a black man. John Gordillo and Reginald Hunter are attached as writers and executive producers, with Friends' Marta Kauffman and Michael Rizzo as non-writing EPs.

Chess: Showing that Nevins hasn't abandoned women, he has a drama about a mafia wife who helps the FBI get rid of her husband so she can take over his business. The Bad Hat Harry production will count Jim Manos as a writer and executive producer, with Bryan Singer and Matthew Williams on board as non-writing executive producers.