“Belt tightening” is coming, according to Showtime Entertainment President Jana Winograde, who said studio bosses will need to find “creative ways” to deal with the global macroeconomic crisis.
According to Winograde, higher budget tentpoles will remain but “we will need to find creative ways” to fund lower budget shows that are “equally as compelling but may not have crashes, UFOs or big large-scale production sequences.”
“There will be belt tightening,” said Winograde, referring to the global cost-of-living crisis that will no doubt impact TV over the coming years. “Nobody wants to reduce the amount of content they are doing so hopefully people will find creative ways.”
Speaking at Content London, Winograde stressed the “glory of diversification” in the Paramount Global-owned outfit.
Others have seen the diversification of Showtime’s distribution, in-house programing and various output deals and have realized this is the way forward in today’s TV age, she said.
“Diversify, diversify, diversify is the basic tenet of economics,” added Winograde. “The more income streams you have the better off you are. I think others who really went all in on streaming are seeing the glory of various revenue streams. It makes perfect sense.”
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Paramount is considering folding Yellowjackets network Showtime into streamer Paramount+, while SkyShowtime – a JV between Peacock owner Comcast and Paramount – is currently rolling out in various European territories.
For now, Winograde said the “brand remains the same,” adding: “We have incredible consumer resonance and people know what [Showtime] means.”
Winograde talked through prospective upcoming Showtime hits including Bryan Cranston-starrer Your Honor, Jessica Chastain/Michael Shannon’s George & Tammy and South African drama King Shaka.
On the latter, she said: “It’s scary to say it’s going to be our Black Panther but we feel like people will see it and have that scope and connection. And there’s a deep family story in there too.”
Showtime is also working on The Affair star Ruth Wilson’s return to the network with The Woman in the Wall, which is co-produced with the BBC, and she talked up the opportunity for co-productions in all forms.
Along with Gary Levine, Winograde is a close lieutenant of the outgoing David Nevins, who will exit at the end of this year after 12 years at the helm.
Hit Showtime series launched under Nevins’ tenure include Emmy winner Homeland, Ray Donovan, Billions, The Affair, The Circus, Dexter: New Blood, Your Honor, The Chi, Desus & Mero, the newest breakout Yellowjackets and the Twin Peaks revival. He also inherited Shameless after the pilot.