A conversation with...
Peter Rose, CEO, Showtime Movie Channels (The Premium Movie Partnership)
Peter Rose, CEO of Showtime Movie Channels speaks to ASTRA as the second part of a three part series featuring decision makers who are commissioning Australian content. Now in his 10th year at Showtime, Peter has overseen the launch of 10 new channels including showcase, the premium drama channel modeled closely on HBO and dedicated to exclusive international and Australian-produced iconic high-quality drama, launched in 2007. Here Peter discusses Australian story-telling and Showtime’s commitment to producing compelling drama.
Tim Winton’s cloudstreet was by far the most highly-anticipated drama of the year. How did viewers respond and what has been the feedback from the international market?
Embraced by Australian audiences and heralded by the critics, Tim Winton’s cloudstreet has transcended international borders with a very rapid acquisition by the prestigious Sky Atlantic in the UK where it will premiere in prime time in the new year. cloudstreet was subsequently launched at MIPCOM earlier this month.
As delighted as we are with this international acceptance and interest, the really important point is that cloudstreet was made for Australians by Screentime for showcase exclusively on the FOXTEL and AUSTAR platforms.
Over the last few years, we have come to expect Australian stories told in gripping dramas on showcase. How have you decided on the themes for your local productions and what has been the response from audiences?
Our mandate is not to reflect the audience’s preferences but to anticipate them. What audiences receive from showcase is the element of surprise. Our dramas take audiences down a different road – be that lifting the curtain on the inner sanctum of brothel life with Satisfaction, exposing the social mores of a dysfunctional family with Tangle, or bringing to the screen the most iconic of Australian novels – Tim Winton’s cloudstreet. showcase dramas are renowned for their strength of script, strength of cast and strength of creatives.
Showtime supports young filmmakers through NIDA and AFTRS, in what other ways are you supporting the industry?
We have a strong belief that the development of high-end HBO style dramas in Australia will allow new talent to blossom. Each of our dramas to date have had roles for actors fresh out of NIDA. We believe in the strength of the Australian production industry and will continue to invest in innovative stories for Australian audiences made by Australian creatives.
Are there more local productions planned for showcase in 2012?
With the recent completion of Tangle Season 3, which will be airing on showcase early next year, we are continuing to invest in the development of great ideas and strong scripts to bring to the screen.
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