Showtime Picks Up RAY DONOVAN with Liev Schreiber and MASTERS OF SEX with Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan to Series

     June 11, 2012


Showtime already has a fine line-up of programming with Dexter, Shameless and The Borgias holding strong, not to mention freshman series Homeland snagging some great awards nominations recently, but that line-up is looking to beef up a bit with the addition of two new series to the pay cable channel. Showtime has just announced a series pick-up for both Ray Donovan, featuring Liev Schreiber in his first series regular role, and Masters of Sex, featuring the spectacular Michael Sheen and the stunning Lizzy Caplan. The two series couldn’t be more different. Details on each after the jump!

ray-donovan-tv-show-imageRay Donovan is set in modern times following Schreiber as the title character who can make even the biggest problems go away for Los Angeles’ most elite. However, the problems of his Boston family don’t seem to go away, no matter how hard he tries. Jon Voight, Elliot Gould and Eddie Marsan also star in the series and will be airing sometime in 2013.

Meanwhile Masters of Sex takes the drama to the past following the real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, played by Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan respectively. This also marks Sheen’s first series regular role with the pilot episode directed by Oscar nominee John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel). The series will join Ray Donovan premiering sometime in 2013 as well.

Both of these series might get a tease at Comic-Con as Showtime is sure to bring Dexter, Shameless and Homeland back to the convention in San Diego next month, so stay tuned for more. In the meantime, check out the full press release below for official synopses and more cast listing and publicity fluff.

Continuing to build upon the network’s existing line-up of acclaimed and award-winning drama series, including HOMELAND, DEXTER®, SHAMELESS and THE BORGIAS, SHOWTIME will be adding two more original series to the premium channel’s line-up, it was announced today by David Nevins, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc. RAY DONOVAN, a one-hour drama starring Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award nominee Liev Schreiber, and MASTERS OF SEX, a one-hour drama starring Emmy and BAFTA Award nominee Michael Sheen and acclaimed actress Lizzy Caplan, have both received 12 episode orders and will both film in Los Angeles for air in 2013.

“RAY DONOVAN and MASTERS OF SEX, each in their own distinctive ways, represent the caliber of programming we want to bring to our subscribers,” said Nevins. “Both series are ambitious and expansive, and feature great writing and great acting. I’m so excited for viewers to experience these two new dramas, which I believe will prove to be fantastic complements to our current slate of programming.”

Starring Liev Schreiber in his first series regular role, RAY DONOVAN takes a novelistic look at contemporary Los Angeles. A richly textured family drama, the series centers on Ray (Schreiber) as L.A.’s best professional “trouble shooter.” He’s the one called in to solve the complicated, confidential and controversial problems of the city’s elite. He can make anyone’s problems disappear…except the ones he can’t escape created by his own damaged Boston “Southie” family. The series’ all-star cast includes legendary actors Jon Voight as the ex-con Donovan clan patriarch and Elliot Gould as Ray’s long-time client and mentor, along with Eddie Marsan (War Horse, Sherlock Holmes) and Dash Mihok (I Am Legend), who will play Ray’s brothers, and Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games) in the role of Ray’s wife, “Abby.” Additional cast includes Kate Moennig (The L Word), Steven Bauer (Breaking Bad), Pooch Hall (The Game), Johnathon Schaech (That Thing You Do!), Kerris Dorsey (Moneyball), Devon Bagby and Peter Jacobson (House). RAY DONOVAN was created and executive produced by Ann Biderman (Southland). The series will also be executive produced by The Mark Gordon Company’s Mark Gordon and Bryan Zuriff. RAY DONOVAN is a SHOWTIME production and the pilot was directed by Allen Coulter (Nurse Jackie and Sons of Anarchy pilots), who also serves as producer.

MASTERS OF SEX stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, who will portray the real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, William Masters and Virginia Johnson. The series chronicles the unusual lives, romance and pop culture trajectory of Masters and Johnson. Their research touched off the sexual revolution and took them from a mid-western teaching hospital in St. Louis to the cover of Time magazine and nearly a dozen appearances on Johnny Carson’s couch. MASTERS OF SEX marks Sheen’s first regular series role for television. The series is an adaptation of Thomas Maier’s book Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How To Love. The pilot episode was directed by Academy Award® nominee John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, and the current hit indie film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), who also serves as executive producer, and also stars Caitlin Fitzgerald (It’s Complicated), in the role of Masters’ wife, Nicholas D’Agosto (Heroes) and Teddy Sears (American Horror Story). Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale also appear in the pilot. MASTERS OF SEX was created and executive produced by Michelle Ashford (The Pacific). The series will also be executive produced by Timberman Beverly Productions’ Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman, and Judith Verno. Michael Sheen and Tammy Rosen will serve as producers. MASTERS OF SEX is produced by Sony Pictures Television.