January 14, 2011 / 11:24 PM / in 7 years

Showtime planning reality TV series on gigolos

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Showtime is planning a new series about gigolos in Las Vegas as part of plans by the fast-growing premium cable channel to expand its slate beyond award-winning dramas.

“I want to have a broader palate,” Showtime’s new entertainment president David Nevins told journalists on Friday.

Nevins said the network was currently working on a reality series about male escorts working in Las Vegas, adding that late night adult shows featuring sex should be part of Showtime’s programing.

“I see it as quite fascinating,” Nevins said of the planned new series, which is still untitled and without an air date.

“I embrace that (sex) is part of what we offer. We are a pay cable service, and I think it’s about doing things with some depth and sophistication and taking people places they couldn’t go on other networks,” he added.

Nevins also pointed to a new reality series about the San Francisco Giants baseball team, and a new psychological thriller called “Homeland” starring Claire Danes, that is currently being filmed, as other examples of Showtime’s expanded slate.

The premium cable channel, owned by CBS Corp, is the home to edgy dramas and dark comedies like “Nurse Jackie,” “Dexter” and “The United States of Tara” that have brought Emmy awards for their stars.

Showtime goes into the Golden Globe awards ceremony on Sunday in Beverly Hills with eight nominations, second only to rival HBO which has a leading 12.

Last weekend, irreverent new dysfunctional family series “Shameless” gave the network its biggest audience in seven years for a new drama with 982,000 viewers, while the fourth season premiere of “Californication” starring David Duchovny as a philandering writer had its best ever debut with more than one million viewers.

Nevins, appointed five months ago, said Showtime’s subscriber base was now approaching 19 million.

He said it was a luxury to be joining Showtime with a slate of successful shows.

But he added; “Healthy networks that want to be on the cutting edge need to be in constant state of renewal and reinvention.”

“I think we are at a point now ... where more and more great filmmakers and actors come to us to do the more interesting stuff, and I think the sky is the limit right now,” Nevins said.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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