As HBO, along with all of Time/Warner, goes through big changes under its new ownership it seems to be becoming a leaner, tighter machine; we hope it also means a better one, but it is too early to tell. HBO has already lost its head Richard Plepler in the restructuring. Now, another executive steps down.
Kary Antholis, who was titled President of HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming, will be leaving the company after more than 25 years. Some of the acclaimed miniseries he has shepherded during his tenure at the premium network include THE NIGHT OF, MILDRED PIERCE, OLIVE KITTERIDGE, THE PACIFIC, JOHN ADAMS, GENERATION KILL, ANGELS IN AMERICA, THE CORNER, THE GATHERING STORM, FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, SHOW ME A HERO, THE CASUAL VACANCY as well as the yet to be seen CHERNOBYL and CATHERINE THE GREAT.
He also was at the helm of Cinemax. In all the upheaval we haven’t heard exactly what is planned differently for HBO’s sister channel, but at least we know that it is not being shuttered. During his tenure, Antholis can add to his resume that he brought original scripted programming like STRIKE BACK, BANSHEE, THE KNICK and OUTCAST to the channel. Casey Bloys, President of Programming, said of him – “Kary has been a key creative force at HBO and Cinemax over the past three decades. We are extremely appreciative of all that he has accomplished and contributed to the company, and we look forward to working with him as a producer and innovative voice in his new endeavors.” Those new endeavors include developing content in crime journalism, some of which might be on HBO in the future.
Taking over Antholis’ duties is someone staying put at HBO and that is Len Amato, president of HBO Films. So now, as part of that leaner & tighter machine, his title becomes president of HBO Films, Miniseries & Cinemax Programming. It is a hefty title with a lot to oversee. Bloys stated – “Len has had a distinguished career leading HBO Films to award-winning results. He is uniquely qualified to add HBO Miniseries and Cinemax to his responsibilities, and we are thrilled that he will now be overseeing these three areas.”
Amato clearly knows what he is doing for sure. Just a partial list of accomplishments is impressive. With him at the helm, HBO Films won the Outstanding Made For Television Movie Emmy in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 (GREY GARDENS, TEMPLE GRANDIN, GAME CHANGE, BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, THE NORMAL HEART and BESSIE respectively), for a total of 20 Best Movie Emmys since 1993. Amato stated, “Leading HBO Films is one of the great joys of my life and I’m honored to expand my responsibilities to include HBO Miniseries and Cinemax. It’s a privilege to continue working with my colleagues and all the incredible artists who make HBO a very special destination for great talent and whose vision creates such relevant and impactful storytelling.”
We just hope with all the restructuring going on that HBO ‘impactful storytelling’ will be able to continue. We will watch and see.