Vinnie Malhotra, who at spearheaded the launch of CNN Films, is moving to Showtime. The Emmy-winner is joining the premium network in the newly created role of SVP Documentaries, Unscripted and Sports Programming, tasked with overseeing the development and production of Showtime’s growing slate of original unscripted and documentary programming, as well as all future documentary theatrical releases.
Malhotra will work with Stephen Espinoza, EVP and GM of Sports and Event Programming, on the network’s unscripted and documentary sports programming, and will report to Showtime Networks President of Programming Gary Levine.
The hire underscores Showtime’s commitment to nonfiction and documentary programming: Showtime this year has been noticeably behind its docus Listen To Me Marlon, Prophet’s Play and Dreamcatcher this Oscar season, with the Brando pic already securing noms from the Gothams and IDAs. The Spymasters, which features in-depth interviews with all 12 living CIA directors, premieres November 28.
Malhotra’s CNN contract was up, according to informed sources. CNN this morning said in a statement: “Vinnie Malhotra was integral to the launch of CNN Series and Films and is a terrific executive that has been a big part of our success. We wish him the best in all his future endeavors.”
Malhotra most recently was SVP Development and Acquisitions at CNN Worldwide. The former ESPN exec and ABC News producer (he was in the convoy in Iraq with Bob Woodruff when an IED struck in 2006, critically injuring Woodruff) joined CNN in March 2012. There he created, launched and headed CNN Films, where he managed day-to-day operation and worked directly with filmmakers to develop original projects; those names included Steve James and Alex Gibney and the films under his watch included Blackfish, Our Nixon, Life Itself, Ivory Tower, Dinosaur 13, Whitey: The United States v. James J. Bulger, The Hunting Ground, Fresh Dressed, and Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine.
He also handled the development and production of original series including Emmy winner Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man, Chicagoland, The Sixties and The Seventies, and the upcoming Race For The White House with Kevin Spacey.
“We are proud that Showtime has become a competitive player in the documentary world and a creative haven for award-winning filmmakers,” Levine said today in announcing the hire. “Vinnie is joining our amazing team at an exciting time. We are thrilled to have an executive of his caliber taking our ambitious documentary and docu-series slate to the next level.”