June 11, 2012

THE SKED: Showtime’s New Dramas

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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HOMELAND is the first Showtime drama to earn serious (which is to say HBO-level) acclaim (and very likely Emmy consideration) beyond the acting categories, as well as strong ratings, and the network is hoping to build on that success with its latest ambitious series orders.

MASTERS OF SEX is based on the real lives of pioneering sexual researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, with Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as the doctors.  The series was created by Michelle Ashford, who’s been working on series like The Pacific and Boomtown for 20 years, but hasn’t had a pilot picked up to series before.  The pilot is directed by John Madden, who has the current sleeper The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (not to mention Shakespeare in Love) to his credit.

RAY DONOVAN stars Liev Schreiber as an LA fixer, whose job sounds very similar to Kerry Washington’s on Scandal.  This series, however, seems to be about the fixer’s family as much as his job, and the cast also includes Jon Voight, Elliott Gould, Eddie Marsan and Paula Malcolmson.  The writer/creator is Ann Biderman, who created Southland, and the pilot was directed by cable staple Allen Coulter, whose shows include The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie and Luck.

Both shows are expected to begin airing in 2013.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."