Showtime Logo – Showtime is a brand of cable TV (premium) distributed in several countries, mainly in the United States. The group of U.S. channels Showtime brand has gained international prestige due to the quality and the transgression of their series. Showtime, originally a service of Viacom, aired on July 1, 1976, was for the first time in a local cable system in Dublin, California. His first program was Celebration, a special concert with Rod Stewart, Pink Floyd and ABBA.
On March 7, 1978, Showtime expanded national market TelePrompTer, which competes with HBO and other pay cable networks. In 1979, Viacom sold 50% of Showtime to TelePrompTer. In 1982, Westinghouse, who had acquired TelePrompTer the previous year, sold his share of Showtime back to Viacom. In 1983, Viacom and Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment merged Showtime and The Movie Channel to form Showtime / The Movie Channel, Inc. (which later was called Showtime Networks, Inc.). In 1984 saw the release of the first original movie Showtime, The Ratings Game, starring and directed by Danny DeVito. In 1985, Viacom acquired the Warner Showtime / TMC, becoming the sole owner of Showtime, again.
In 1990, Showtime premiere independent films have made directly to the channel, with a duration of 30 minutes. One of his first releases, was at 12:01 PM, was nominated for an Academy Award. In the years that followed, Showtime expanded its acquisitions in the field of feature-length fare, including the new 1997 version of Lolita, directed by Adrian Lyne.
In 2005, Viacom and CBS announced its intention to separate just six years after Viacom bought the network and its TV assets. The original Viacom changed its name to CBS Corporation and has the broadcasting elements, Paramount Television production operations (name of CBS Paramount Television, now two separate arms, CBS Television Studios for the production and CBS Television Distribution Group for the distribution of syndicated), Viacom Outdoor advertising (renamed CBS Outdoor), Showtime Networks, Simon & Schuster and Paramount Parks, which the company later sold, while the new Viacom has Paramount Pictures, MTV Networks, BET Networks, and (until it was sold in 2007), Famous Music. National Amusements retains ownership of both companies today. In May 2010, it was reported that Showtime plans to launch a service sequence of the original series episodes to users.