Showtime chief says risk paid off with Sacha Baron Cohen TV show

LOS ANGELES - The head of cable channel Showtime on Monday heaped praise on British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, saying the risk of broadcasting his satirical new series had paid off and that he hoped there would be more.
Showtime President David Nevins said the channel had taken a "leap of faith" with the series "Who is America?" in which Baron Cohen adopts different personas and pranks American politicians, pop culture figures and others into saying outrageous things.
"It has generated a lot of controversy and a lot of new sign-ups. It's a risk I'm really glad that we took," Nevins told the Television Critics Association while promoting the upcoming lineup for Showtime, a unit of CBS Corp.
Nevins said the audience for the seven-episode series had "grown dramatically" over the first month but did not provide details.
"I think Sacha is one of the great comedians of our time. I think he is the Daniel Day-Lewis of comedy," said Nevins, referring to the three time Oscar-winning British star of "Lincoln."
The series, in which a disguised Cohen interviews subjects who do not realize they are working with a comedian,
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