Mark Zakarin, a top programming executive at Showtime Networks Inc., is leaving and will be succeeded by an Internet and television veteran, officials said last week.
Zakarin-Showtime's executive vice president of original programming since 1996-will be succeeded by Gary Levine, president of Icebox.
Icebox, an Internet entertainment company, creates original series for the Web and is responsible for the development of 30 animated online series, such as Zombie College
and Queer Duck.
Prior to joining Icebox, Levine worked at Warner Bros. Television, where he was responsible for the development of such primetime series as The West Wing
and Third Watch.
Zakarin, who will remain as a consultant for Showtime, has reached a pact with the premium service through which he will write two pilot scripts for potential series. Showtime also has a first-look deal on all projects Zakarin plans to write, develop or produce.
An ABC veteran, Zakarin spearheaded or supervised the development of such Showtime series as Queer as Folk,Resurrection Blvd.
and Soul Food.
"Mark is one of the most talented executives in the entertainment industry and in his five years at Showtime Networks, he has been instrumental in the development and production of many of our critically acclaimed and award-winning projects," Showtime president of programming Jerry Offsay said in a prepared statement.