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Fast Talk: Stuffing the Channel

Robert Greenblatt

President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks
Los Angeles, California

Robert Greenblatt, 47, has reinvigorated Showtime with distinctive programming such as Weeds, eclectic talents such as Mary-Louise Parker and Peter O'Toole, and a wide online distribution strategy.

"It begins and ends with the shows.

Our mandate is to do things you couldn't find on a broadcast network. We never have to redeem a character if we don't want to. It's what makes writers and actors want to come here. But it's also what makes the network and the shows by definition smaller.

Because we're in only about 15% of the country, we like to push the content and get the word out to as many other platforms as we can. We're thrilled to be in business with AOL, Yahoo, iTunes, MySpace, Facebook—any place that can help us expand. It's all promotional, to raise awareness and lead TV viewers to the conclusion that Showtime has great stuff—and to motivate them, if not to subscribe, then to buy our DVDs or a show on iTunes. But if we didn't have compelling shows, it wouldn't matter."

A version of this article appeared in the November 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.