TCA: Showtime's Nevins Cool on Limited Series, 'Believes In Pilots'Premium Network's Entertainment President Prefers Renewable Programming Resources 1/16/2014 2:07 PM Eastern
Pasadena, Calif. -- Showtime entertainment president David Nevins threw some cold water on the recent excitement over limited series Thursday during the pay cabler's portion of the TCA winter press tour here.
“I think it's an interesting trend,” Nevins said at his executive session, before noting that limited series (miniseries) are also not new to TV. “I still think the best thing for us is to get shows that we can really get people in love with then bring them back a year from now. I believe fundamentally in renewable resources. ”
Nevins comments followed days of enthusiastic limited or "event" series announcements from broadcast and cable networks such as CBS, the CW, and FX.
But he didn't completely rule out trying the format in the future and praised the way FX's American Horror Story franchise approaches it. "There is a basic framework and concept.," he said. "And they can do different stories with different casts against that."
The Showtime exec also chimed in on the pilot process, another topic that has come up repeatedly in TCA sessions.
“I believe in pilots,” Nevins said. “You learn a lot from pilots.” Showtime makes few pilots that don’t go to series, but had a recent high-profile bust with The Vatican, which the network announced last December would never air. Nevins blamed the shift inside the actual Vatican that occurred when Pope Benedict stepped down and was replaced by Pope Francis for the decision. “I’m glad we didn’t make 13 episodes of that.”
Speaking with reporters onstage after his session ended, Nevins also addressed the possibility of a spinoff of the recently-wrapped drama series Dexter, saying that any new show would have to involve star Michael C. Hall. “I think that show is that character,” he said. “It’s not been done in television. If I were to do something, I would want to do Dexter in a new concept and configuration.”
Showtime also announced series pickups for new shows Happyish and The Affair, and premiere dates for new series Penny Dreadful (May 11), returning series Californication and Nurse Jackie, and docu-series Years of Living Dangerously (April 13).
Stephanie Robbins contributed to this story.