Because it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s stuck in HBO’s shadow, Showtime has decided to pipe up and announce that it, too, is getting ready to launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service in the near future. Deadline reports that the pay channel is planning to launch a product that will bypass traditional cable packages to provide episodes of Californication that nobody really wants anymore straight to the viewer. And sure, this news may come just days after HBO announced the launch of its Apple-bound HBO Now direct streaming service, but hey, who has time to keep tabs on what those guys are up to? Showtime’s just bein’ Showtime.
CBS Chief Les Moonves announced the plan to investors at a recent conference, perhaps to get them to stop asking if anyone will ever be held responsible for that Dexter finale. The network head didn’t seem concerned about the potential destabilization of cable packages this move could presage: “Our major brands are CBS and Showtime,” he said, with a proud tone that belies the factual content of that statement. Moonves then said, “You can’t live without CBS,” a terrifying threat that guarantees The Big Bang Theory will keep being the top-rated show on television, even if Les Moonves has to come to your house and hold a knife to your throat to ensure it.
The new Showtime service will presumably be akin to HBO Now, though unlike that service’s Apple-products-only requirement, Showtime has yet to provide the details of its plan. Presumably it involves reminding people that Masters Of Sex, The Affair, and Penny Dreadful are still around, so please stop with all your Games Of Thrones this and Game Of Thrones that, because you might give some channel—we won’t say who—a bit of an inferiority complex.