Showtime’s David Nevins Shoots Down TV Content ‘Bubble’

TCA 2015: Premium-network chief also talks “Homeland” plot, “Twin Peaks” revival

Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Showtime/AP Images

“Too much TV” is now an official subject of debate in the television industry

Showtime’s President David Nevins responded to the notion Tuesday during his Television Critics Association press tour executive session after it was originally floated last week by FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. During his own TCA presentation, Landgraf posited that there is a content “bubble” in the television industry on the verge of bursting.

“There may be too much good TV,” Nevins said. “There’s never enough great TV. We’re trying really hard to make great TV.”

But Nevins did concede that the industry as a whole may not be approaching the creation and acquisition of original content in the smartest ways.

“There’s a lot of stupid money going in a lot of different directions,” Nevins said. “You hear two-season commitments off of pitches.”

But, he added, Showtime “is really well positioned” for the type of competitive landscape that Landgraf laid out. In July, Showtime launched an eponymous digital standalone streaming service. Nevins said the service is intended to reach customers who don’t subscribe already to a cable or satellite TV service, not to encourage cord-cutting. As those services and emerging competitors realign the packages they offer and develop new packages, Showtime and its parent company CBS are again well positioned, according to Nevins.

“To the extent that there are different kinds of bundles being put together, skinnier bundles, a lot of talk of different providers providing different ways to subscribe, it augurs well for our company,” he said. “Any smaller bundle is gonna have to have CBS. To the extent that there are smaller bundles, it will lower the pricepoint at which Showtime is available. We feel like the trends are actually very good for us.

Nevins also teased the upcoming season for drama series “Homeland,” saying it’s set in Berlin and will touch on real-life international conflicts with Russia and ISIS, as well as the Edward Snowden case.

The Showtime chief also reaffirmed that creator David Lynch is fully on board with the upcoming “Twin Peaks” sequel series, following a brief falling out between the filmmaker and the network.

“I never had any doubts I could get him back,” Nevins said of Lynch.