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Showtime veteran Gary Levine is being upped to programming president.
With boss David Nevins moving into the role of CEO, Levine will now oversee casting and program operations for the premium network. He will continue with his prior duties, too, including being responsible for the development and creative oversight of all Showtime original series, docs and specials.
Levine, a highly-respected programming exec, has been with Showtime since 2001, and has been a key player in expanding the network’s reach in recent years with hits including Homeland, Ray Donovan and Golden Globe winner The Affair. He has also overseen the network’s original movies and docs push, which has had him intimately involved with current Oscar contenders Listen To Me Marlon and Prophet’s Prey as well as Emmy-winning environmental docu-series Years of Living Dangerously.
“Gary has been an integral part of building Showtime Networks’ stellar original programming brand. He also happens to be one of the most respected creative executives in the business because he knows how to bring out the best in everyone who works with him,” said Nevins in a statement announcing the news Tuesday. “Gary has proven to be an invaluable creative partner to me since the day I arrived at Showtime. I am confident that in his expanded role he will lead our programming team to outstanding new heights.”
In a spring 2012 Hollywood Reporter cover story, Levine, then executive VP original programming and a holdover from Showtime’s Bob Greenblatt era, was vocal about the initial “tug of war” that he had with Nevins as it pertains to the network’s programming brand. “I’m trying to keep what we’ve been building in that rarefied atmosphere,” Levine said at the time, “and he’s saying, ‘No, no, we can now move it a little more to the mainstream without losing the essence of what is a Showtime show.” (In the three-and-a-half years since, Nevins‘ strategy has yielded record ratings and has been expanded upon.)
Prior to joining Showtime, Levine ran pioneering Internet entertainment company Icebox, for whom he produced 30 flash-animated web series. Before that, the practicing lay cantor headed development at Warner Bros. TV, Witt-Thomas Productions and ABC, which had him involved in shows including The West Wing, Blossom and Twin Peaks. The latter is currently being revived as a limited series at Showtime.
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