It was four, five years ago that Showtime CEO Matt Blank saw the writing on the wall. In a fascinating interview with Bloomberg TV’s Deirdre Bolton, he notes that the prices for movie broadcast rights from certain Hollywood studios were becoming prohibitive at the time and led him, to the outcry of naysayers, to redirect that money into the development of original programming.
Today, Showtime is sitting pretty with the most decorated and buzzed about drama on TV, Homeland. It’s the show that, as Blank puts it, “people stop me on the street and want to talk about.”
He also acknowledges that everyone in the Hollywood smash-hit content business needs a little luck. It was just two weeks after the start of Showtime’s head of entertainment, David Nevins, that the Homeland duo of Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa walked in with a pitch that had been rejected all over town. But because Nevins had worked with the pair before, he was able to grasp the project’s full potential.