“We Try Harder”

In the classic Avis and Goliath sense, Showtime is girding for renewed battle against long-standing No. 1 rival HBO. How do you compete against a business adversary that clearly has their pick of the hits — at least for now?

You try harder. Showtime is starting from solid ground — it’s profitable, even if its growth has slowed. And with Leslie Moonves at the helm — despite being named a coward of the year in 2004 — perhaps the channel has the fresh leadership it needs. (He did, after all, send a promising program away from CBS… to Showtime.)

My advice: Don’t just mimic HBO’s approach to series development. Think outside the bun. After all, if Skinemax — ahem, Cinemax — can differentiate itself, Showtime should be able to, too.

What advice do you have for Showtime?