Showtime Networks INC.
New York, NY 10019-6708
The U.S. Showtime primarily shows motion pictures as well as some original programming and occasional boxing matches. Showtime, originally a service of Viacom, went on the air on July 1, 1976, on a local cable system in Dublin, California. On March 7, 1978, it expanded to the national market via satellite, competing with HBO. In 1979, Viacom sold 50% of Showtime to TelePrompTer.
In 1982, Westinghouse, who had acquired TelePrompTer the previous year, sold its share of Showtime back to Viacom. In 1983, Viacom and Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment merged Showtime and The Movie Channel to form Showtime Networks, Inc.. In 1985, Viacom acquired Warner-Amex's cable properties, including their share of Showtime Networks.
In the 1990s, Showtime ventured into acquiring and premiering independent films directly for the channel, including such well-received fare as Lolita.
During the 2000s, Showtime launched several additional multiplex channels including:
* Showtime Too (a pun on its previous name, Showtime 2)
* Showtime Showcase (also known simply as "Showcase"; formerly Showtime 3)
* Showtime Beyond
* Showtime Extreme
* Showtime Family Zone (Available on Digital cable only)
* Showtime Next (Available on Digital cable only)
* Showtime Women (Available on Digital cable only)
Showtime Networks also owns the channels The Movie Channel, The Movie Channel Xtra and Flix. In addition, it manages Sundance Channel, which is a joint venture of CBS Corporation, Robert Redford and NBC Universal. Each multiplex channel offers movies and programs fitting each channel's particular theme. Premiers of popular movies are usually made on the primary channel.
In 2000, Showtime launched the "Showtime Interactive 24.7" channel—providing DVD-like interaction opportunities to its entertainment offerings.
In the 2000s, Showtime began test marketing a subscription-video-on-demand SVOD system. Now there is a Showtime subscription-video-on-demand channel called Showtime On Demand, which users are able to see episodes of Showtime original series, movies, and specials like boxing. This channel is only available on digital cable in the US.
Showtime also became one of the first cable TV networks to broadcast an HDTV version of its channel, along with Dolby Digital sound.
Showtime's official website is unusual in that it can only be accessed from computers located within the United States. (This may be due to licensing restrictions involving programming). It is one of if not the only broadcaster with such a website restriction.
In 2005, Showtime became a subsidiary of the newly renamed CBS Corporation, after the CBS/Viacom split of that year.
* American Candidate
* Barbershop: The Series
* The Chris Isaak Show
* Dead Like Me
* Family Business
* Fat Actress
* Free For All - Animated
* Freshman Diaries
* Going To California
* Interscope Presents: The Next Episode
* It's Garry Shandling's Show
* Jamie Foxx Presents: Laffapalooza
* Jeremiah (series)
* The Leap Years
* The L Word
* Masters of Horror
* Odyssey 5
* The Outer Limits
* Out of Order
* Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
* Poltergeist- The Legacy
* Queer as Folk
* Queer Duck
* Red Shoe Diaries
* Resurrection Blvd.
* Rude Awakening
* Sherman Oaks
* ShoBox: The New Generation
* Sleeper Cell
* Soul Food
* Stargate SG-1 (Seasons 1 - 5)
* Street Time
* Washingtoon (animated series)
The quality and selection available on Showtime and The Movie Channel has fallen off considerably in recent years. This is attributable to a few factors. After its launch, Starz signed exclusive first-run agreements with several movie studios. After being acquired by Viacom in 1994, Paramount Pictures began an output deal with Showtime (then also owned by Viacom), effective after 1997. In addition to Paramount, Showtime has agreements with MGM Studios, Lions Gate Films, IFC Films, ThinkFilms among others.
Showtime also plays a lot of classic movies from United Artists, Columbia Pictures, and some early/mid 90's movies from Miramax Films and Warner Bros..
During Summer 2007, Showtime puts the movies with The Weinstein Company.
Usually films which Showtime has pay-cable rights will also run on The Movie Channel during its time of license.