Showtime’s Matt Blank at TCA: ‘We’ve Had Some Changes’

But other than that, the network’s president and CEO mostly wanted to talk new shows and Emmy nominations

Last Updated: August 5, 2011 @ 3:38 PM

Matt Blank didn't have much to say about the transfer of power at Showtime between longtime entertainment president Bob Greenblatt and his successor David Nevins in his speech at the annual TCA press tour.

Instead, the Showtime president and CEO Thursday morning touted Showtime's lineup of new shows and growing Emmy clout.

Greenblatt's departure from Showtime was announced in June. During his seven-year tenure, he shepherded the network through a period of major growth spurred by a run of successful original series including "Dexter," "Weeds," "The Tudors," "Californication" and "Nurse Jackie."

His replacement, David Nevins, was the president of Imagine TV where he produced such critically acclaimed fare as "Friday Night Lights" and "Arrested Development."

Blank kicked off Showtime's TCA by saying, "As you know we've had some changes at Showtime of late" before welcoming the crowd on behalf of "Bob Greenblatt whose programming we celebrate today and on behalf of David Nevins whose programming we hope to celebrate."

Blank made no further reference to Showtime's recent changing of the guard, but he was eager to talk about several other recent development at the network. "in case you haven't noticed, Showtime continues to thrive with resounding successes in every part of our business, specifically original programming," Blank said.

Showtime's current lineup led the network to bring home more original series Emmy nominations than any other premium cable network in July. Along with the critical recognition, Showtime's shows have led to audience growth. "We were the only premium network to significantly grow subscribers last year bringing our subscriber base to 18 million homes," Blank said.

In addition to original programming, Blank boasted about recent feature film acquisitions, including 2009 Best Picture Oscar winner "Hurt Locker," and "expanded" sports offerings, which include boxing, MMA and the new series "Inside Nascar."

Blank also crowed about Showtime's web traffic and social media efforts. "Our fans are embracing the new media," Blank said.

He concluded by going over Showtime's upcoming offerings. The network has several new shows in the pipeline including cancer dramedy "The Big C," "Shameless" and renaissance Italy drama "The Borgias," which is being billed as "the original crime family." Two of Showtime's future shows feature alums from "Friends" — Matt LeBlanc's "Episodes" and "Web Therapy," which began as a series of internet videos starring Lisa Kudrow.

Blank played footage from the set of "The Borgias," saying he had high hopes it would "be with us for many years" and provide the network with the same boost it got from its last period piece, "The Tudors."

"There's that same feeling of anticipation," Blank said.  

Previously: CBS Showcases Sitcoms, 'Hawaii Five-O'