Pay cabler orders Andrew Gurland comedy and two dramas
Showtime is ramping up development for the coming year, giving pilot orders to a half-hour toplined by Andrew Gurland and two dramas, one based on the lives of famed sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson.“Gurland on Gurland” is described as a first-person documentary written and directed by the subject that reflects his real family life and challenges as he pursues the next phase of his career as a multihyphenate. Glenn Gordon Caron exec produces with Gurland for CBS Television Studios. “Masters of Sex,” from scribe Michelle Ashford and exec producers Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly, revolves around theunusual relationship between Masters and Johnson, whose research in the 1950s and ’60s helped touch off the sexual revolution. Ashford (“The Pacific,” “John Adams”) exec produces with Timberman and Beverly (FX’s “Justified”) and Judith Verno for Sony Pictures TV. Project is based on the 2009 biography “Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love,” by Thomas Maier. “Ray Donovan” hails from scribe Ann Biderman (“Southland,” “Public Enemies”) and prolific producer Mark Gordon. Project is billed as a darkly humorous family drama about a guy who functions as a “fixer” for the rich and famous in Los Angeles yet can’t escape his own troubles with his Irish clan. Biderman, Gordon and Bryan Zuriff exec produce. In addition to the trio greenlit during the weekend, Showtime is expected to move forward with a few more pilots as entertainment prexy David Nevins adds more originals to the pay cabler’s sked. The first scripted series developed since Nevins took the reins a year ago, political thriller “Homeland” bows Oct. 2. Comedy “House of Lies,” starring Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell, is set for a January preem.