Cinemax Quietly Changes Its Soft-Core Reputation

After being known—and ridiculed—for years as "Skinemax," due to its late-night adult programming of soft-core series like Co-ed Confidential and Bikini Frankenstein, HBO has been rehabbing the rep of its sister channel Cinemax in an effort to make it more profitable. The 30-year-old channel will now shift its focus away from what it's best known for (smut sans penetration) and onto creating its first-ever lineup of prime-time series: A shoot-em-up called Strike Back and a serialized-version of The Transporter, with the film's original star Jason Statham. The network is reportedly in talks with several other big-name movie producers to create original action series.

Along with its adult programming, Cinemax's claim to fame was airing movies that had long left the theater, had already been released on DVD, and were already on the more prestigious HBO. Pay channels need to offer something a little more these days, so the plan is to change Cinemax's identity into a destination for violence and car chases. For the time being, execs are mostly keeping mum about plans for the channel, and no announcements have been made as to the future of shows like Lingerie and Zane's Sex Chronicles.

HBO's stealth plan to kill off 'Skinemax' [NY Post]