People/Biz

Showtime content acquisitions co-head Gary Garfinkel dead at 55

Gary Garfinkel, Showtime Networks’ co-head of content acquisitions, passed away at home surrounded by family on Friday (May 25) from an undisclosed illness, according to the company. Along with his colleague, ...
May 29, 2018

Gary Garfinkel, Showtime Networks’ co-head of content acquisitions, passed away at home surrounded by family on Friday (May 25) from an undisclosed illness, according to the company.

Along with his colleague, Kent Sevener, Garfinkel was responsible for the evaluation, negotiations and acquisitions of feature films, documentaries, stand-up comedy, specials and music programs for Showtime Networks’ services. Garfinkel was integrally involved with programming, business development, digital media and specialized programing for on-air destinations that highlight documentaries, science fiction and horror.

Working out of the its LA office, He joined the premium cable company in 1993, working as SVP of content strategy and acquisition until 2012, when he was upped to co-head of the department. Prior to Showtime, he worked at Sony Pictures Television as a business analyst in strategic planning.

“Gary was one of the most warm and welcoming people I’ve known, and was beloved by everyone who worked with him at Showtime over the past 25 years,” said David Nevins, president and CEO of Showtime Networks Inc., in a statement. “He was a great warrior and advocate for our company and worked hard to bring the best content to our service.

“He played a key role in cementing Showtime as a major premium network, and all of us who worked with him valued his taste, his counsel and his integrity,” he added. “We will miss him terribly.”

In an interview with Beverly Hills Magazine in 2014, Garfinkel revealed what he viewed as the “personal purpose” in his work: “It becomes fulfilling and more meaningful when I meet people who say they enjoy watching the network,” he said. “And I feel really good when someone says that after having a crummy day they went home, watched some Showtime and were in better spirits afterwards. Or that they watched a fascinating documentary and couldn’t wait to talk about it.”

Gary Garfinkel is survived by his parents, Ella and Arnold Garfinkel; his aunt, Yona Zucker; and his cousin, Itay Zucker. In lieu of flowers, the Garfinkel family is requesting donations to The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University and the UCLA Brain Cancer Research Fund.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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