Showtime Renews ‘Ray Donovan’ & ‘Masters Of Sex’, Orders Two Pilots, Patti Smith Limited Series & More

Ray Donovan S3Showtime has renewed Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex. The announcement was made by David Nevins during the network’s executive panel at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills.

Both series, which are currently airing their third seasons on Sunday nights, will return in 2016 for their fourth seasons. The network has handed out twelve episode orders to both shows, with Nevins calling Masters of Sex and Ray Donovan “signature series” for Showtime.

Created by Ann Biderman, Ray Donovan is a richly textured family drama that centers on Ray Donovan, LA’s best professional fixer, the man called in to make the city’s celebrities, superstar athletes, and business moguls’ most complicated and combustible situations go away.. The drama series stars Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight, Eddie Marsan, Dash Mihok, Paula Malcomson, Kate Moennig, Steven Bauer, Pooch Hall, Johnathon Schaech, Kerris Dorsey, Devon Bagby and Peter Jacobson.

Based on Thomas Maier’s book, Masters of Sex follows 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. The drama series is produced by Sony Pictures Television and stars Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Nicholas D’Agosto and Teddy Sears.

The two renewals were the first in a flurry of announcements that Showtime’s President of Entertainment David Nevins made at the TCA. Other announcements include:

– Lisa Kudrow’s web series turned Showtime comedy Web Therapy has been cancelled after four seasons. The series finale aired back in January. The cancellation had not been unexpected as Web Therapy has struggled in the ratings since day one.

– The network has handed out a pilot order to an hour-long drama from Common, Lena Waithe, Aaron Kaplan and Clark Johnson which is set in Chicago and is described as a relevant, timely and distinctive coming-of-age story of a young African-American male in which just growing up can be a matter of life and death.

– Now that David Lynch has returned to the fold, production on the Twink Peaks revival is set to commence this September. Nevins wouldn’t specify what the episode order is for the show, only saying it was more than nine (latest word is that it will be closer to 20). Nevins also expressed optimism that the series will be ready to air before the end of 2016

– Jim Carrey comedy I’m Dying Up here has been picked up to pilot. The project is based on the book by William Knoedelseder and is set against the backdrop of the Los Angeles stand up comedy circuit of the 1970s. Dave Flebotte penned the pilot script. Endemol Shine is producing.

– Showtime has acquired the rights to Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids with plans to turn it into a limited series, which will focus on Smith’s relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe. The network landed the rights to the book in a “very competitive situation”, with numerous other networks pursuing. Smith and Penny Dreadful creator John Logan will pen the limited series.

– Finally, Showtime has set premiere dates for the sixth season of Shameless and new financial drama Billions. Shameless will launch its new season on Sunday January 17th at 9/8c; while Billions, starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, will follow on Sunday January 17th at 10/9c.