Showtime News: January Premieres Announced; Josh Hartnett and Eva Green to Lead PENNY DREADFUL, Ruth Wilson Toplines THE AFFAIR

     July 30, 2013

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A bevy of announcements have been made out of the Television Critics Association panel for Showtime today.  In addition to specific January premiere dates for Episodes, Shameless, and House of Lies, the following casting news was unveiled:

  • Josh Hartnett and Eva Green will star in Penny Dreadful, the horror series from Skyfall writer John Logan and director Sam Mendes, who acts as executive producer.
  • Ruth Wilson (Luther) has been set as the female lead in the drama series pilot The Affair opposite Dominic West (The Wire).
  • The new comedy series Trending Down, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathryn Hahn has been ordered to pilot.

Hit the jump for much more.

eva-green-penny-dreadfulFirst off, Showtime has announced the January premiere dates for three returning series:

  • Shameless – Season four will premiere on January 12th at 9pm.
  • House of Lies – Season three will premiere on January 12th at 10pm.
  • Episodes – Season three will premiere on January 12th at 10:30pm.
  • The seventh season of Californication will premiere sometime in the spring with the sixth season of Nurse Jackie.

As for new shows, the incredibly promising Penny Dreadful has cast two roles.  Josh Hartnett will play Ethan Chandler, “a charming American who finds himself trapped in the darkest corners of Victorian London,” and Eva Green will play Vanessa Ives, “a seductive and formidable beauty full of secrets and danger.  From executive producers John Logan and Sam Mendes, the psychosexual horror series weaves together the classic origin stories of horror icons like Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Grey, and several characters from DraculaThe Impossible helmer Juan Antonio Bayona is onboard to direct the first two episodes, and Logan wrote all 8 season one episodes himself.  The show has been ordered to series and will premiere in 2014.

The drama pilot The Affair has cast its female lead, as The Lone Ranger and Luther actress Ruth Wilson will play Alison, “a young married woman, working in a pancake house, trying to piece her life back together in the wake of a tragedy.”  The Wire alum Dominic West is already set to play Noah, a father of four who strikes up a relationship with Alison, and I’m already trying to formulate some sort of The Wire/Luther reunion in my head with Idris Elba popping up somewhere down the line.  Playwright Sarah Treem (House of Cards) wrote the script for the hourlong drama alongside Hagai Levi and acts as executive producer alongside Levi and Mark Mylod.  The relationship drama will be told separately from the male and female perspective.

Finally, Showtime has given a pilot order to the “twisted comedy” Trending Down, which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as “a man facing his own obsolescence after his advertising agency is taken over.”  Kathryn Hahn plays Hoffman’s wife, and Hoffman also serves as executive producer on the potential series alongside creator/writer/EP Shalom Auslander.  Production on the pilot begins this fall on the East Coast.

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