Showtime is shaking up its executive ranks, with Gary Levine taking on the role of senior creative advisor for the premium network and Jana Winograde departing, studio boss Chris McCarthy announced today. Both formerly co-presidents of entertainment at Showtime, the news comes amid the company’s eventual rebranding and integration with Paramount+ later this year.
As co-presidents, both Levine and Winograde were responsible for developing and supervising all aspects of Showtime Networks programming across all genres, including comedy, drama, unscripted, documentaries and films. The latter exec was also in charge of the company’s production, program operations, business affairs, casting, scheduling, research and home entertainment, operating as liaison to ViacomCBS Global Distribution. She worked closely on all programming related matters with the network’s marketing, creative, digital media, acquisitions and entertainment communications departments.
Given Showtime’s integration with Paramount+, McCarthy noted that many of the functions Winograde currently oversees — including business affairs, production, operations and casting — will be centralized and, therefore, she will be leaving.
“I could not have asked for a better partner than Gary Levine, and working with him and our entire creative team was a master class in premium content,” Winograde said in a memo to staffers, which you can read in full below. “Showtime’s commitment to the highest level of excellence is unsurpassed and this company’s unique culture encouraged us to take risks, whether with new voices, bold visionaries or diverse story telling. We were successful as a business, we made groundbreaking entertainment, and we had a great time doing it!”
Under Levine’s creative leadership, Showtime has released such programs as “Dexter,” “The Chi,” “Shameless,” “Homeland,” “Billions,” Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America,” “Weeds,” “The Affair,” “Ray Donovan,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Episodes,” “The L Word,” “Black Monday,” “The Tudors,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Californication,” “The Circus,” “Desus and Mero,” “Escape at Dannemora,” the return of “Twin Peaks,” “Your Honor” and “Yellowjackets.”
Winograde joined Showtime in 2017 as president of West Coast business operations and held key responsibilities with respect to the development of new business models and content monetization domestically and internationally. Previously, she spent 23 years at ABC Entertainment in a variety of senior roles, most recently as executive vice president of business operations.
Prior to joining Showtime Networks, Levine served as president of Icebox, a pioneering internet entertainment programming company and also headed development at Warner Bros. Television, Witt-Thomas Productions and ABC on the drama side, resulting in several memorable primetime series including “The West Wing,” “Blossom and David Lynch’s original “Twin Peaks.”
Read McCarthy’s full note below:
Gary approached me because after more than 22 years of overseeing all of the original programming at SHOWTIME, he was ready to use his formidable creative skills in a more focused way. I am very pleased to say that Gary will be taking on a new role as Senior Creative Advisor for SHOWTIME, reporting to me. Gary has been the creative force for nearly two decades at SHOWTIME, helping to give birth and sustain the quality of some of TV’s most iconic series, including DEXTER, BILLIONS, THE CHI, HOMELAND, THE L WORD, NURSE JACKIE, CALIFORNICATION, SHAMELESS, WEEDS, YELLOWJACKETS, YOUR HONOR and so many others, which is why I am thrilled he will be here for the next chapter of SHOWTIME.
Gary’s interests are many, including his devotion to theater and his moonlighting as a cantor at his synagogue. His office doesn’t display many items, but they are clearly cherished ones – including a shovel from his former colleagues at ABC that is engraved with one of Gary’s phrases “Let’s Dig In.” As anyone who has worked with Gary will tell you, he is incredibly personable – but when it comes to the work he wants to cut to the chase and “dig in.” I am delighted that he will now be able to dig in, in a more focused way, on several key shows and franchises, while continuing to advise me and the leaders of Showtime.
Gary’s contributions to SHOWTIME might surpass those of anyone in the history of the network. He has left his undeniable mark, and I am so happy he will be here as we create the next generation of programming.
With the integration of SHOWTIME across the company, many of the current functions that Jana oversees including business affairs, production, operations, and casting are being centralized and therefore, Jana will be leaving.
In her six years here, Jana has been a passionate advocate for SHOWTIME. Her talented and steady leadership helped to evolve the business and our partnerships with our creative community. Along with Gary and the creative teams, Jana has been instrumental in launching many of our biggest wins, including the acclaimed recent series, DEXTER: NEW BLOOD, YELLOWJACKETS and YOUR HONOR.
Not only has Jana has been a deft steward of the SHOWTIME brand, her strategic acumen has boosted the network’s profile domestically and around the world. Perhaps most of all, it’s clear how much Jana dedicated herself to the SHOWTIME family, mentoring junior staff members and maintaining an open-door policy for colleagues at all levels. Without a doubt, she has been a supportive and motivating force for everyone at SHOWTIME.
On a personal level, I am especially grateful for Jana’s thoughtful and passionate partnership over the last few months. Jana has been pivotal in positioning SHOWTIME to continue to thrive as a brand, studio and streaming service.
I will be providing an update soon about a new, unified leadership structure for our organization. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Gary on his new role and thanking Jana for her many contributions and wishing her continued success for years to come.
Find Winograde’s note to staffers below:
As most of you know, after an amazing six years, I will be leaving Showtime. When I came to Showtime after 23 years at ABC, it was hard to imagine feeling the same sense of commitment, passion and belonging at another company. But the culture of collaboration, hard work and inspired creativity was contagious, and that, coupled with the opportunity to play a key role in the transformation of our business model, have made my years at Showtime some of the best of my career.
Perhaps most exciting has been the opportunity David Nevins and Showtime gave me to spread my creative wings. As President of Entertainment, I’ve transitioned from a business executive with a keen curiosity about the creative process into one who’s been integrally involved with the development and production of groundbreaking, bold programming. I could not have asked for a better partner than Gary Levine, and working with him and our entire creative team was a master class in premium content. Showtime’s commitment to the highest level of excellence is unsurpassed and this company’s unique culture encouraged us to take risks, whether with new voices, bold visionaries or diverse story telling. We were successful as a business, we made groundbreaking entertainment, and we had a great time doing it!
I know that when I reflect on my years at Showtime, I’ll forever be proud of the stories we told and the ways in which we told them, and I’ll be indebted to everyone from whom I’ve learned so much. But, most of all, I’ll be thankful to have worked with the incredible people who built the game-changer that is Showtime. You are not only the best team in the business, but the best people.