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Showtime ups veteran Levine to programme chief

The long-serving Gary Levine has been upped to president of programming at US premium cable channel Showtime, as his boss, David Nevins, prepares to take on the CEO role.

Gary LevineLevine (pictured) has been with Showtime since 2001, and has worked on every one of its original dramas, which include Homeland, The Affair, Ray Donovan, Californication and Nurse Jackie.

In the new post, he will continue reporting to Nevins, who is currently Showtime Networks president but soon replaces Matt Blank as CEO. Levine will oversee development and creative oversight of all Shotime original scripted and unscripted series, documentaries and specials, and also casting and programme operations.

“Gary has been an integral part of building Showtime Networks’ stellar original programming brand,” said Nevins. “He also happens to be one of the most respected creative executives in the business because he knows how to bring out the best in everyone who works with him.”

Before joining Showtime as executive VP, original programming 14 years ago, Levine as president of early internet company Icebox, where he created 30 flash-animated web series from top film and television writers.

He has also headed development at Warner Bros. Television, Witt-Thomas Productions and at ABC’s drama unit. He has worked on shows such as The West Wing and Twin Peaks, whose revival of Showtime is in part credited to Levine’s relationship with the show’s enigmatic creator, David Lynch.

Nevins takes over from Blank on January 1, 2016, with the latter stepping back from the post after two decades. Blank will remain chairman.

CBS-owned Showtime this year launched a branded over-the-top subscription service, as cable companies seek to reach younger adult demographics not predisposed to paying for television channel bundles.