Showtime announced today that Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex will both return July 12th for their respective third seasons. Though there hasn’t been much buzz about Masters of Sex in its offseason (thanks in part, perhaps, to its really uneven second season), Ray Donovan has had a lot of noteworthy news of late, including Katie Holmes and Ian McShane both joining the cast.
Regarding Ray Donovan, Showtime says of its third season that,
Season three finds Ray adrift from his family and those closest to him, while he focuses on his business and desires to be his own boss. Meanwhile, his father Mickey (Jon Voight, in his Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning role), who had narrowly escaped last season’s heist debacle, finds himself charting a similar course to build his own empire.
In its second season, Ray Donovan really took a turn from the show’s original idea of Ray as a Hollywood fixer, and instead focused more on the trials and nuances of the Donovan family (which has always been the show’s strength). With show creator Ann Biderman gone now, though, it will be interesting to see what direction the series takes in its third season (from the blurb, it seems like the business of fixin’ may be at the forefront again. It’s not a bad thing, but the show just needs to choose!)
As for Masters of Sex,
The year is 1966, and MASTERS OF SEX season three finds the famed duo of Masters (Michael Sheen) and Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) dealing with the glare of the national spotlight as their sex study is finally unveiled. It’s the start of the Sexual Revolution — and Masters and Johnson’s work will have a profound impact on contemporary relationships, especially their own evolving three-way “marriage” with Masters’ wife Libby (Caitlin FitzGerald).
While I’m happy that Libby is still on the show (because she has become one of the strongest and most compelling characters), the whole “three-way marriage” thing is cause for pause. Season Two really showed how much better off Johnson is when she’s not with the selfish black hole that is Masters (history be damned!), but people can change, right? Or not …
While Ray Donovan has always been a summer show, Masters of Sex originally premiered in the fall, before being pulled back to the summer schedule. It may also help the show’s ratings to have Ray Donovan as a lead-in, as it has always performed well for Showtime. But the bottom line is, both show’s third seasons — and their potential for success — are big question marks for now.
Ray Donovan will premiere July 12th at 9 p.m. on Showtime, followed by Masters of Sex at 10 p.m.