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Showtime Renews ‘Masters of Sex,’ ‘Homeland’

Period drama, political thriller are performing well for pay cabler

Showtime has picked up a second season of “Masters of Sex” and a fourth season of ‘Homeland.”

Renewal for Sony Pictures TV’s “Masters” is no surprise, as the period drama has been performing well for the pay cabler behind “Homeland.” It has also generated strong critical buzz, particularly for stars Michael Sheen and Lizzie Caplan.

“Homeland” order was a shoo-in. The Fox 21 drama series has reached new ratings highs since its third season bowed Sept. 29.

“’Homeland’ continues to prove its strength for Showtime, and is one of television’s most exciting, provocative and widely-discussed shows.  It has grown its audience significantly in each of its three seasons,” said Showtime entertainment prexy David Nevins.

“The critical and audience reaction to ‘Masters of Sex’ since its great launch has been incredibly gratifying.  It’s a privilege to get to work with such talented and creative people as (‘Homeland’ showrunner) Alex Gansa and (‘Masters’ showrunner) Michelle Ashford, as well as their tremendous casts.  They have each created truly original shows, with distinctive voices that are among the most admired series on television,” Nevins said.

According to Showtime, “Homeland” through its first four segs of its third season is averaging 6.5 million viewers a week from viewing across all platforms and repeat telecasts, a 26% spike from its sophomore season average. “Masters” is impressing with 5.4 million viewers across the week.

Ashford adapted “Masters,” the story of pioneering sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, from the book of the same name by Thomas Maier. She exec produces with Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Judith Verno.

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