Paul Bettany to Star in Showtime Pilot MASTERS OF SEX

     November 12, 2011

Paul Bettany is headed to cable. The Legion actor has been set as the lead in Showtime’s new pilot Masters of Sex. The series will revolve around sexual education researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. THR reports that Bettany will play Masters in his first foray into series television. Masters and Johnson pioneered human sexual response research, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of sexual disorders and functions. The two met in 1957, marrying years later in 1971. Their research continued up through the 1990s, until their divorce all but ended their professional partnership.

The Pacific and John Adams writer Michelle Asford wrote the pilot and will executive produce. Showtime is currently home to the ever-popular Dexter, but it’s their freshman series Homeland that’s getting all the attention. The Claire Danes-starred series is like a deliciously smart version of 24, and I’d be so bold as to say it’s the best thing currently on TV. Ratings have been consistently impressive, and critics have taken quite a liking. If you get Showtime and haven’t seen it, I highly suggest you check it out.

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  • Burnett

    Oh Betts, show-business is cruel, isn’t it? One minute you are working with top directors (Peter Weir, Lars von Trier) and international stars (Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks), and the next you are headlining a television series. Betts’ story is actually a cautionary tale for all young actors in the film industry: charm and talent mean little if you make bad choices (Firewall, Wimbledon, The Da Vinci Code). Betts made a series of films that did not show his talent, and instead pidgenholed him into clumsy and two-dimensional roles. I know that television is now much better than it used to be, but Bettany could have been Oscar-nominated by now if he played his cards better and continued to work with strong filmmakers rather than taking the easy money.