Pay Cable Channel Cinemax Shedding Its Softcore Skin

LOS ANGELES — It looks like Internet porn saturation may be claiming another victim, this time softcore pay cable channel Cinemax.

Executives at the HBO-owned channel feel that the once edgy softcore programming airing on its "After Dark" lineup that included movies like “The Girl’s Guide to Depravity," are tame by today’s standards and are charting a new course with new shows.

“The hope is that I don’t hear ‘Skinemax’ any time after our original programming — what I’ll call the primetime originals — start to really take over the (lineup),” Michael Lombardo, HBO’s president of programming told Variety.

Although the amount of late night softcore has remained the same, HBO said it has been trying to play downplay it’s “Skinemax” reputation.

Adult actress Beverly Lynne, who has reportedly appeared in as many as 12 erotic movies a year on the channel with titles such as “The Bikini Escort Company” and “Busty Housewives of Beverly Hills,” however, said the amount of softcore fair has definitely slowed down in the last couple of years.

Echoing Lynne's observations is independent casting director Robert Lombard who specializes in softcore films. He said the business has nosedived but he’s not sure why.

Although softcore interst is waning, Cinemax executives said they’re not planning to jettison all erotic films but will be concentrating more on original series even if it means losing some of its 13 million subscribers.

Cinemax was a pioneer in pay TV erotic programming, breaking ground in cable softcore in 1984.