Thesp to topline Showtime pilot

Paul Bettany has signed on to star in the pilot for Showtime drama “Masters of Sex.”

The Sony Pictures TV adaptation will have Bettany as William H. Masters, who partnered with Virginia E. Johnson to form a celebrated team researching human sexuality. A Thomas Maier book provides the source material.

John Madden is set to direct a script from Michelle Ashford (“The Pacific,” “John Adams”); both are exec producing with Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly.

Showtime greenlit “Masters” in August.

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