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Nevins to succeed Blank at Showtime

One of the longest serving CEOs in American television is about to hand over the reins.

Matt BlankMatt Blank (left) is stepping down as chief executive of Showtime on January 1, 2016 and handing the role to president and creative chief David Nevins (below, right), who will then carry both titles.

Nevins new contract extends his stay at Showtime through to 2018 at the earliest.

Blank will remain as company chairman at the CBS-owned premium cable channel, which is behind global hits including Homeland, The Affair and Ray Donovan.

He has been New York-based Showtime’s CEO since 1995, during which time the company has marked itself out from many rival cable channels by investing big on original productions. He joined the channel in 1988 and by 1991 was president and COO.

He has also overseen the development of the standalone Showtime over-the-top subscription service, which launches early next month on a variety of platforms, and helped widen Showtime distribution significantly on linear television.

“Matt Blank has led Showtime as its chairman and CEO through two decades of dramatic change and evolution in the industry,” said Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corp.

David Nevins“At each and every turn, he has shown terrific instincts and knowledge of the business. His patience, energy and dedication were central to building Showtime into the powerhouse it is today. He is passing the CEO torch at a terrific time, with Showtime now poised for significant new growth over the internet.”

Moonves added Nevins was “quite simply one of the most brilliant creative minds in our business today, and a great business manager as well”.

Nevins joined Showtime in 2010 from Imagine Television, where he had been president since 2002 and executive produced shows such as Arrested Development and 24. Before Imagine, he was executive VP, programming at Fox Broadcasting Company, where he oversaw development of The Bernie Mac Show, Malcolm in the Middle and 24.

He was also a senior VP at NBC, where he worked on shows such as ER, The West Wing, Will & Grace and Law & Order: SVU.

In the new post, he will continue to report to Blank, with Blank reporting on to Moonves.