Back at TCA’s winter press tour, I sat down with Showtime Networks President David Nevins for an Adweek Q&A that I banked for April, closer to when his spring shows — particularly Showtime’s new comedy, Happyish — were premiering. As April approached, I made arrangements for a quick followup interview with Nevins, to update a few topics we had discussed, including Showtime’s OTT plans.
It’s either a negotiation, or he’s had cold feet. But I am hopeful.
In addition to our Twin Peaks talk, Nevins also gave me a timetable on when Showtime will launch its standalone streaming service, talked about sticking with Happyish after last year’s death of original star Philip Seymour Hoffman and explained why he’ll never leave for a broadcast job like his predecessor, Robert Greenblatt. It’s a great, and unexpectedly newsy, interview; check it out!
I’m still reeling from the news that Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead yesterday from an apparent drug overdose. As I wrote at Quartz, what might have been his best performance yet was still to come: in an upcoming Showtime comedy series, Happyish.
Last month, Showtime treated reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour to footage from Happyish, which the network had just officially picked up to series. In the clips screened from the pilot episode, reporters and critics were laughing at the exploits of Hoffman, who played a bitter creative director at a New York City ad agency dealing with a new boss half his age. The footage promised yet another classic Hoffman performance, with a profane rant against social media and an uproarious hallucination involving a Keebler Elf. And even though only the pilot episode had been shot, with a likely series debut set for summer, many in the room—myself included—were already predicting that Hoffman would be making room on his mantle for Emmys, Golden Globes and SAG Awards for his Happyish role.
Those of us lucky enough to see that footage at TCA will always wonder what might have been. RIP, Philip Seymour Hoffman.