November 26, 1999 |
The gap is widening. As the networks wallow in such ratings-sweeps trivia as NBC's "Y2K" and CBS' "Aftershock in New York," cable's HBO and Showtime continue producing television's most daring and stimulating movies. Not having to rely on ratings pays off for subscription-driven HBO and Showtime, and also rewards their viewers. Without these two, TV moviedom would be nearly all gruel.
August 27, 1999 |
A loud boom arrives Sunday. It's Showtime's Emmy warning shot across the bow of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. A flashback to 1991, the magnetic new movie is "Strange Justice," more evidence that world-class HBO and fast-rising Showtime just about own the franchise when it comes to important, topical dramas on TV. How important and topical? Think back eight years to the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill show, the most tense and captivating political telecast in years. Remember?
August 7, 1999 |
Do you remember the future? How glorious it was! Technology solved all the problems of the human race and seemed to create no new ones of its own. People glided around in electric cars on electric roads or lived in self-sustaining undersea cities. Much of it was ridiculous, and little of it came true. But looking back on it now proves fascinating and sobering in "Yesterday's Tomorrows," a film made by director Barry Levinson as part of Showtime's ongoing "In the 20th Century" specials.
March 3, 1999 |
There's a new player in feature films these days, a production company that is attracting big-name actors and directors, tackling difficult material and, with the three Oscar nominations nailed by "Gods and Monsters" earlier this month, even winning academy recognition. The new force in the movie business? An old stalwart in the television business: Showtime.
June 5, 1998 |
On Showtime's "Armistead Maupin's More Tales of the City," everything is basically status quo among the eccentric inhabitants of 28 Barbary Lane: Anna Madrigal is smoking pot in her front parlor, musing about life; Mona's in a Nevada whorehouse dressed as a nun; and Mary Ann's cruising to Mexico, falling in love with a guy who's too good to be true.
July 19, 1997 |
"From Slowtime to Showtime." That's not the motto of television's Showtime network, but executives at the pay-cable channel can recall a few years when prominent agents and producers would joke about Showtime's pace when it came to putting original movies and programming on the fast track.