Showtime Orders Twelve Episodes of Two New Dramas, 'Ray Donovan' and 'Masters of Sex'

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

June 11th, 2012

via press release:

Network Orders 12 One-Hour Episodes of Dramas RAY DONOVAN Starring Liev Schreiber

And MASTERS OF SEX Starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan

LOS ANGELES, CA (JUNE 11, 2012) – 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.


Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND, and the network's authentication service SHOWTIME ANYTIME®. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution, which offers Smithsonian Channel. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.

  • marc

    those sound good. caplan and sheen, very good combination!

  • Tommy

    Showtime has been scarily very silent on “The Big C”… The only remaining question mark for the network…

  • AlcoholicsAnonymous

    Both shows sound fantastic.

  • Rod

    both sound great :)

    the big c? :(
    maybe laura linney doesn’t want to do another season?

  • Mary

    Great news! I’ve been wondering about these shows for months. I’m so glad that both were picked up.

  • Concerned Citizen

    David Nevins has already given us Homeland, so I have a lot of confidence in him (even if House of Lies was supposedly not that good, though I haven’t seen that). The tagline for Ray Donovan sounds a bit generic (guy excels at work but has troubles at home, not very original) but being on a premium cable network makes me confident that they can rise above that, not to mention the talent involved in it. I’m a bit less sure about Masters of Sex, mainly because I’m not sure how much we need another series set in that time period. But again, I trust Nevins’ judgement.

  • Brandon

    They don’t sound that great, but I’ll watch them because I love Showtime.

  • Bob

    I will certainly give them a chance.

  • KevinSW

    I’m cared Showtime pulls a Tara and pull the Big C after Season 3 :(

    Love the show.

  • Tommy


    I’m with you. The closer we get to the season finale (next week) the more scared I’m getting. I really hope it’s just a contract issue and they are waiting for some stupid reason to make the announcement, but at the same time I’m scared no news, is bad news…

  • sofaslug

    The Big C is done… this season has been pretty terrible.

  • Jon

    Think Showtime will axe Weeds and The Big C to make way for Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex, Showtime currently don’t have a drama in summer so one of them could air in summer with the other in the Spring alongside the Borgias or they could together in summer with the remaining comedies airing in the Spring.

  • Concerned Citizen


    I read somewhere that Showtime’s gonna use their existing shows to help launch them, so they’ll air separately. And I can’t imagine they’ll air Masters of Sex in the spring when a certain other cable drama set in the 1960s will also be airing, so they’ll probably hold that for the summer, pair Ray Donovan with The Borgias, and push Nurse Jackie back to pair with Episodes and Masters.

  • Dan S

    Both shows sound quite promising & will definitely check them out. I have to believe the Big C will make it back for 1 more season to cover the 4 seasons the producers had planned & to bring closure to Laura Linneys character.

  • groove365

    I’ll probably give them a try. Showtime has a decent track record.

  • Jon

    I imagine it’ll be between Episodes and The Big C for renewal, I intially thought The Big C may be axed but I think Showtime will look and see how Episodes does before deciding.

    @Concerned Citizen Showtime airs The Borgias in the Spring when HBO airs Game of Thrones so I don’t think they’d worry about Masters of Sex airing at the same time as Mad Men, I’d say it’ll get a 9pm slot with Borgias remaining at 10pm, Ray Donovan I think will launch summer 2013.

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