You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Showtime gives series orders to ‘Donovan,’ ‘Sex’

Both dramas targeted to bow in 2013

Showtime is going two for two on its drama development, giving series pickups to pilots “Ray Donovan” and “Masters of Sex.”

The orders reflect the pay cabler’s intent to increase the volume of original series on its air — a key goal for entertainment prexy David Nevins since he arrived at Showtime two years ago. But until he saw the finished product, there was no assurance that both drama pilots shot this year would be strong enough to warrant pickups.

Both series have been given 12 additional episode orders and both will lense in L.A. They’re targeted to premiere next year. Nevins didn’t get specific on scheduling plans but noted “that we’re in that great place where we have a lot of young successes in first- and second-year shows,” citing “Shameless,” “Homeland” and “House of Lies.” “We feel like we’re replacing our older shows at the right clip. It’s a sign of health,” he added.

Ray Donovan” stars Liev Schreiber as a professional Hollywood fixer with a troubled past in Boston. Ann Biderman (“Southland”) created the series and exec produces with Mark Gordon and Bryan Zuriff. Other cast members include Jon Voight, Elliot Gould, Eddie Marson, Dash Mihok and Paula Malcomson. Allen Coulter helmed the pilot.

Nevins called it a “really interesting look at contemporary Los Angeles with a big expansive cast.”

Sony Pictures TV’s “Masters of Sex” is a look at the lives of famed sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, played by Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan. Michelle Ashford penned the pilot, adapted from Thomas Maier’s book “Masters of Sex,” and exec produces with Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman and Judith Verno. John Madden helmed the pilot.

The series is set in the early 1960s, as the pair are on the cusp of becoming pop culture celebs. “It’s a show that has enormous contemporary relevance as a study of human sexuality and the really unique relationship (between Masters and Johnson) that is unlike any other seen before on TV,” Nevins said.

“Both (‘Donovan’ and ‘Sex’) feel in keeping with the shows we have but also feel pretty unique,” he added. “They come from two great writers in Ann Biderman and Michelle Ashford. They are two of the most well-regarded writers in Hollywood, but they haven’t quite had their moment to shine. With these shows they’re going to shine.”

Another project that Showtime piloted this year, a comedy from scribe Andrew Gurland, does not appear to be moving forward.

More TV

  • Jean Francois Helene Etzi

    Disney's French Chief Jean-Francois Camilleri Exiting, Helene Etzi Upped

    Jean-Francois Camilleri is leaving Disney after more than 30 years and will replaced as the head of its French operation by Helene Etzi. Sources said Camilleri’s departure was his own decision. He announced his exit on Twitter, Tuesday, and paid tribute to his team and colleagues at Disney, thanking them for the “unique adventure.” In [...]

  • Sal Petruzzi, Turner's U.S. Communications Chief,

    Sal Petruzzi, Turner's U.S. Communications Chief, to Step Down

    Sal Petruzzi, who has supervised U.S. communications outreach for the Turner suite of media businesses, will step down from the role as the unit, once part of Time Warner, is making a transition under the ownership of AT&T. “There comes a point in your career when it is time to say goodbye,” Petruzzi said in [...]


    Khalid to Join Kane Brown for Duets-Heavy ACM Awards Telecast

    Khalid, the R&B singer whose sophomore album comes out April 5, will be taking to the airwaves two nights later to collaborate with country star Kane Brown in a performance that’s been announced for the Academy of Country Music Awards. In a heavy nod toward “Grammy moment”-style hookups between artists, producers also unveiled some of [...]

  • Tiffany Haddish

    Tiffany Haddish to Produce Stand Up Comedy Series for Netflix

    Tiffany Haddish has partnered with Netflix to curate a new stand up comedy series. The series is titled “Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready,” which will introduce a diverse group of six up-and-coming stand-up comedians doing half-hour specials. All six comedians were personally chosen by Haddish. She shares a history with each after working together on [...]

  • Jussie Smollett court

    Charges Against Jussie Smollett Dropped, Lawyers Say

    Charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett have been dropped, his lawyers confirmed to Variety. The actor had been indicted on 16 counts of filing a false police report, stemming from his alleged staging of a Jan. 29 hate attack. “Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean [...]

  • How Will Apple TV+ Impact Netflix?

    How Will Apple TV+ Shake Up Netflix? Analysts Are Split

    Is Apple’s star-fueled streaming service a “Netflix killer” — or just another incremental challenger chasing the market leader? Wall Street don’t agree on whether Apple TV+ will put a big dent in Netflix’s subscriber momentum with the debut of its premium subscription VOD service later this year. At its splashy unveiling Monday, Apple trotted out [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content