Showtime is about to get a new CEO for the first time in two decades. On Jan. 1, Showtime Networks president David Nevins will take over the job from current CEO Matthew Blank, who has held the title since 1995 and will continue in this role as chairman.
As president and CEO of Showtime Networks, Nevins will oversee the division's daily and strategic management. With the new title, CBS Corp. has also extended Nevins' contract through 2018.
"David is quite simply one of the most brilliant creative minds in our business today, and a great business manager as well, a combination that is both rare and incredibly valuable," said Les Moonves, president and CEO, CBS Corp. "In this world that is flooding with content, he is a peerless programmer whose work immediately rises to the top, be it in entertainment, in documentaries or in sports, all of which have blossomed under his leadership at Showtime."
Moonves added that Blank's "patience, energy and dedication were central to building Showtime into the powerhouse it is today. He is passing the CEO torch at a terrific time, with Showtime now poised for significant new growth over the Internet."
Nevins arrived at Showtime in 2010 after serving as president, Imagine Television, where he oversaw shows like Arrested Development and 24. "I almost made the mistake of turning down this opportunity because I loved being a producer, but then I thought better of it," Nevins told Adweek in April.
At Showtime, he launched Homeland, Shameless, Ray Donovan and The Affair, which have given the premium cable network critical accolades and established its reputation for quality programming, something it had long sought since it competes for subscribers with HBO.
"Our biggest calling card is breadth and depth of our original series," Nevins told Adweek in April. "Last year, eight of our nine shows were Emmy-nominated. So it's not all concentrated on one or two shows."
Nevins also convinced David Lynch to revive Twin Peaks as a limited series in 2016—and then brought Lynch back on board after he had publicly decided to step away from the project.
Showtime's transition plan was announced as the network prepares to launch its standalone streaming service, which will also be called Showtime, early next month.
While Nevins' predecessor, Robert Greenblatt, had left Showtime in 2010 for NBC, Nevins told Adweek that running a broadcast network had never interested him. "Those are still appealing jobs, and a lot of people would want them. Personally, I made that decision a long time ago to turn down those opportunities," he said. "Long ago, I decided, 'Broadcast, not so much for me.'"