Greenblatt to end Showtime run, Imagine's Nevins in the wings
Bob Greenblatt, the architect behind Showtime's programming renaissance with such edgy shows as "Weeds," "Dexter" and "Nurse Jackie," is planning to leave the network as soon as next month when his contract expires, according to people familiar with his plans.
Showtime, at the same time, is in advanced discussions to hire David Nevins to succeed Greenblatt, two people close to the situation said Thursday evening. Nevins, a former Fox TV executive who now runs the boutique production company Imagine Television, has helped guide the critically acclaimed programs "Friday Night Lights," "Parenthood" and "Arrested Development."
Greenblatt's move was first reported by Variety.
Several months ago, Greenblatt told his bosses at Showtime and parent company CBS Corp. that after seven years of rebuilding the channel, he had "completed the mission" and was prepared "for a new challenge," people close to him said.
Showtime develops only one or two new programs a year, and Greenblatt would like to manage a bigger operation, one person said.
Greenblatt, who produced the Broadway musical "9 to 5" and the hit HBO drama "Six Feet Under," does not have another job lined up, the person said. However, in recent months, high-level Hollywood executives have speculated that Greenblatt would be on a short list to run NBC Entertainment when cable giant Comcast Corp. takes a majority ownership interest in NBC Universal.
Nevins has a strong track record at Imagine, the studio run by Hollywood heavyweights Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. However, his continued tenure at the studio was tenuous, according to one person, due to friction between Imagine and its backer, 20th Century Fox Television. Fox executives were unhappy that Nevins was spending Fox's resources producing big-budget shows like "Parenthood" for rival NBC, rather than projects for the Fox network.
-- Meg James
Photo: Bob Greenblatt. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times