Tara Holt has joined the final season of Showtime’s Californication in a recurring role. In it, Hank (David Duchovny) is joining the writers room as his never-released film Santa Monica Cop now becomes a TV series. He’s riled frequently by his boss, the show’s old-school executive producer Rick Rath (recurring Michael Imperioli). Holt, repped by Nancy Chaidez & Associates and Untitled, will play Melanie, Rath’s gorgeous assistant whose presence causes a commotion in the writers room.
TCA Showtime: Concept For Next Season Of ‘Homeland’ Revealed; ‘Penny Dreadful’, ‘Californication’ Final Season Premieres Set
UPDATED: Executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa are already deep in discussions on Season 4 of Homeland, and today Showtime entertainment president David Nevins gave a glimpse at what is in store for the show, which is going for a major reset following the game-changing third season finale. “Homeland is a show that is deeply about a field operative (Carrie), and we haven’t seen her much in the field,” he said. “In Season 3 you will likely see her on the ground in a foreign capital (Istanbul?) doing her job.” As for Mandy Patinkin,”I expect that he will be central, he will be important,” Nevins said. He also defended Season 3, calling it “pretty brilliant in its architecture” and “very clever and very audacious in its take on U.S./Iran relations. ”Showtime also unveiled its spring schedule that includes the May 11 debut of John Logan’s horror drama series Penny Dreadful. Climate change documentary series Years Of Living Dangerously will launch on Earth Day, April 13, following the openers of Season 6 of Nurse Jackie and the seventh and final season of Californication.
Nevins also addressed the decision not to go forward with drama pilot The Vatican. “The world changed on us,” he said. “That show was conceived and written when Pope Benedict was still in the Vatican and now would have been seen as very dated.” Nevins used the example to support …
One of Showtime‘s longest-running series, Californication, is coming to an end. The dark comedy’s upcoming 12-episode seventh season, slated to debut in April, will be its last. The series is bowing out on top, having steadily grown in the ratings over its run to post its highest-rated season ever in season six, which averaged 2.9 million weekly viewers across platforms. The decision to end Californication after Season 7 was quietly made after season six wrapped. The network brass wanted one more season, made one-year deals with creator/exec producer Tom Kapinos and star/exec producer David Duchovny, and the show’s producers started planning a final act. “With its unique blend of lyricism and excess, Californication has been one of our groundbreaking signature series,” said Showtime entertainment president David Nevins. “We will always be indebted to Tom Kapinos for leading the creative charge on this memorable comedy, and to David Duchovny for making us root for an unapologetic hedonist like Hank Moody.” As for how things will end for Hank, Nevins would not drop clues but assured that “Tom has carefully planned the final chapter of Hank’s journey and has brought it to a beautiful and satisfying conclusion for new and long-time fans alike.” Californication stars Duchovny in his Golden Globe-winning role as hedonistic writer Hank Moody who fights to balance the demands of his insatiable libido, unpredictable career, ex-girlfriend/muse Karen and beloved daughter Becca. The final season will find Hank joining the writer’s room as his never-released film Santa Monica Cop now becomes a television series of the same name.
EXCLUSIVE: David Duchovny has signed with Resolution, and the agency will help the actor as he figures out the next chapter as the seventh and final season of his Showtime series Californication premieres next April. Duchovny had been repped by WME. Duchovny took that series after finishing up The X-Files and two spinoff feature films. On the feature side, he will next be seen starring opposite Hope Davis and Timothy Hutton in Louder Than Words. Duchovny continues to be repped by manager Melanie Greene at Affirmative Entertainment and attorney Peter Nelson.
EXCLUSIVE: Miguel Gomez (Bless Me, Ultima) has landed a regular role in FX‘s high-profile drama project The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse. The Strain, an adaptation of del Toro’s vampire novel trilogy, formally has a pilot order but is being eyed for a 13-episode series pickup. It is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. Gomez, repped by Greene & Associates and attorney Jeff Bernstein, will play Augustin “Gus” Elizalde, a badass gangbanger whose one redeeming trait is his love for his mother. Fresh out of juvenile hall after serving 18 months for manslaughter, he becomes one of humanity’s most effective warriors in the struggle against the vampires. He will next be seen in the feature The Domino Effect.
General Hospital and One Life To Live star Roger Howarth is set for a multi-episode arc on Showtime’s veteran comedy Californication. Howarth, repped by Gersh and Bob McGowan of McCowan Management, will play a yoga teacher in the class of Karen (Natascha McElhone), Hank’s (David Duchovny) longtime, on-again/off-again girlfriend and mother of his daughter.
Oliver Cooper Joins ‘Californication’, Michael Gill Promoted On ‘House Of Cards’, Jennifer Aspen Boards CBS’ Tad Quill Pilot
Oliver Cooper (Project X) has joined the cast of the upcoming seventh season of Showtime‘s Californication. He will play Levon, a budding writer who wants to emulate Hank (David Duchovny), so he insinuates himself into Hank’s life to comic results. The CAA-repped Cooper, who next appears in The Hangover Part III, joins fellow new Californication recurring players Michael Imperioli, Heather Graham and Mary Lynn Rajskub.
There will be more of the President on the second season of Netflix’s House Of Cards. Michel Gill, who recurred on the first season of the Washington DC drama series as President Garret Walker, has been upped to a regular for Season 2, which just began production. The promotion is not surprising given that the President had increasingly relied upon Rep. Frank J. Underwood (Kevin Spacey). Gill is with Harden/Curtis.
EXCLUSIVE: Heather Graham (The Hangover) is set for a season-long arc on the upcoming seventh season of Showtime‘s Californication. Additionally, 24 alumna Mary Lynn Rajskub has been tapped for a three-episode arc. Graham will play a woman from Hank’s (David Duchovny) past whose arrival upends his life, while Rajskub will play a neurotic writer. They join another major new Californication recurring, Michael Imperioli. Production on Season 7′s 12 episodes begins later this month for premiere next year. Graham, repped by Gersh and the Schiff Co., will next be seen in the Sony Pictures Classic release At Any Price and will reprise her role in the third Hangover movie. Rajskub, repped by Levity and Innovative Artists, is a regular panelist on Chelsea Lately and will next be seen in the film Toys House.
EXCLUSIVE: The Sopranos alum Michael Imperioli has joined the upcoming seventh season of Showtime‘s comedy series Californication for a major recurring role. He will portray Rick Rath, a successful old-school television producer who will play a key role in Hank’s (David Duchovny) latest venture. Production on Californication‘s 12-episode seventh season begins this month for a 2014 premiere. Imperioli, who co-stars in thriller The Call opposite Halle Berry, will next be seen in the Oldboy remake, reuniting with director Spike Lee. In addition to Sopranos, which earned him an Emmy, Imperioli’s major series stints include Law & Order, Life On Mars and Detroit 187, playing a detective on all of them.
Three weeks into the season, Showtime has renewed its entire current Sunday lineup: Drama Shameless for a fourth season, comedy House Of Lies for a third and veteran Californication for Season 7. The pickup comes as all three series are off to a strong start this season. They all returned on January 13 with their highest-rated episodes ever. The third season of Shameless is currently averaging 5.4 million weekly viewers across platforms, up 22% from last season and up 63% vs. Season 1. The second season of House Of Lies is averaging 3.2 million weekly viewers, up 10% from Season 1, and the sixth season of Californication is averaging 3.1 million weekly viewers, up 21% vs. season five. Production for the new seasons of all three series will kick-off in Los Angeles later this year for a 2014 launch. “Californication, House Of Lies and Shameless possess highly distinctive comedic voices, and given that all three continue to grow their audience season after season – the pick-up decision was easy,” said Showtime entertainment president David Nevins.
Lost alumna Maggie Grace’s major arc on the upcoming sixth season of Showtime’s dark comedy Californication will remain just that. I hear Showtime has scrapped plans to potentially spin off Grace’s character Faith into her own series. Showtime had the option to do so as Grace’s deal had a regular option behind it. Faith is a former Catholic school girl-turned-groupie who has been on the road with various bands for years and is considered a muse to elite artists. Though she has a fondness for sex, drugs and rock and roll, she remains quite religious. She meets and becomes friends with Hank Moody (David Duchovny) and eventually, that friendship blossoms into more. Californication sixth season debuts tomorrow night.
With Dexter headed into Season 8 and Californication into Season 6, attention understandably is focused on Showtime’s plans for ending the two series. Both series have found a second wind, hitting some of their best ratings in their most recent seasons. The two-year pickup of Dexter for Seasons 7 and 8 was unofficially billed as the serial killer drama’s final act. But, at Showtime’s TCA session today, Showtime entertainment president David Nevins stopped short of committing to an end date for the show. “We’re not making any announcements today about when Dexter will end,” he said, adding, “I think I will clarify before Dexter goes on this season (in June). We have clear end game in place, I can’t talk about it just yet.” Just how important Dexter has been to Showtime? “Dexter to Showtime is what Batman is to Warner Bros., it is a cornerstone franchise,” Nevins said.
Having a set end point is not as critical for Dexter‘s companion Homeland, Nevins said. “It is a show that is incredibly changeable if you haven’t noticed,” he said. “I think it’s got a really long life, it is on the rise, like Dexter.” While he admitted that he agrees with some of the criticism about the recent second season, Nevins said he personally liked it. “It started really strong and ended really strong,” he said. …
EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Wynter (24) has been tapped for a recurring role on the next season of Showtime’s dark comedy series Californication. The Australian actress will play the wife of rock star Atticus Fetch, played by another Aussie, Tim Minchin. Described as Bowie, Bono and Lennon rolled up into one, Fetch has been drafted to write the music for the Broadway musical A Crazy Little Thing Called Love, which is based on the hit romantic comedy of the same name adapted from Hank Moody’s (David Duchovny) breakthrough novel. Wynter, repped by Paradigm and Mosaic, is set to appear in at least six episodes. After scaling back work over the past four years to give birth to three boys, she is returning to acting full-time.
Lost alumna Maggie Grace is set for a major nine-episode arc on the upcoming sixth season of Showtime’s dark comedy Californication, playing the role of Faith. The part was designed as heavily recurring with a regular option behind it, so if it chooses to, Showtime could do a separate series centered on that character. Faith is described as a former Catholic school girl-turned-groupie who has been on the road with various bands for years and is considered a muse to elite artists. Though she has a fondness for sex, drugs and rock and roll, she remains quite religious. She meets and becomes friends with Hank Moody (David Duchovny) and eventually, that friendship blossoms into more.
Introducing a recurring character on a show with the intention to possibly spin them off into a new series is not as definitive as a traditional planted spinoff. For instance, the producers of Fox’s House explored the idea of a spinoff starring Michael Weston’s recurring PI character on the medical drama but ultimately opted against it. UTA-repped Grace will next be seen in the final Twilight movie and Taken 2.
After a strong start to the current season, Showtime has given an early renewal to its entire Sunday lineup of Shameless, House Of Lies and Californication. With the pickup of dark comedy House Of Lies, both of Showtime’s freshman series greenlighted by entertainment president David Nevins are going into a second season, along with drama hit Homeland. Shameless has been picked up for a third season, while Californication was renewed for a sixth. “These three shows are clearly resonating with audiences as evidenced by their steady growth on Sunday nights,” Nevins said. “We are extremely pleased with the creative work being done by the casts, producers and writers – and I so appreciate that each of these series has such a clear and distinctive voice.”
Showtime’s Sunday night lineup is posting double-digit year-over-year growth for its returning series and strong numbers for rookie House Of Lies. Shameless averages 4.75 million weekly viewers, up 30% vs. Season 1 to rank as Showtime’s No. 2-rated show behind only Dexter. House Of Lies is on track to be Showtime’s highest-rated comedy. Season 5 of Californication averages 2.96 million viewers across all platforms, up 10% from Season 4.
Another solid series premiere for a Showtime series. New dark comedy House Of Lies debuted last night with 1.03 million viewers at 10 PM. It was in line with the network’s most recent series premiere of drama Homeland, which opened with 1.08 million in October. However, Homeland had a bigger lead-in, and for the night over three plays House Of Lies amassed 1.38 million viewers, 13% higher than Homeland‘s opening-night viewership. (Showtime had a free weekend, but the ratings for its series include only subscribers.) With online and on-demand sampling, Showtime estimates that some 1.2 million sampled the pilot episode of House Of Lies. In terms of comedy series debuts, the show starring Don Cheadle landed between Showtime’s two most recent debuts: The Big C (1.15 million) and Episodes (768,000).
Leading into House Of Lies was the Season 2 debut of drama Shameless (1.58 million), which spiked 61% from its series premiere last January. For the night, the drama starring William H. Macy averaged 2.06 million viewers. At 10:30 PM, veteran Californication (758,000) was down 11% from last season’s opener, which followed Shameless’ series premiere.
EXCLUSIVE: Justified co-star Natalie Zea has signed a new deal to continue on the acclaimed FX drama series, which has been renewed for a third season. Additionally, she has been tapped for a recurring role on the Showtime comedy series Californication. Zea was a guest star in the pilot for Justified, playing the ex-wife of Timothy Olyphant’s US Marshall Givens. She was upped to regular right after the pilot with a two-year deal, which was up at the end of the show’s second season, which wrapped last month. In addition to her co-starring role on Justified and her upcoming arc on Californication — where she will play a new love interest for star David Duchovny – Zea, repped by UTA and manager Robert Semon, guest starred in the pilot for J.J. Abrams/Jonah Nolan’s upcoming CBS series Person of Interest. He recent credits also include an arc on HBO’s Hung and a role in the feature comedy The Other Guys.
Netflix last week was the object of envy and fear. The firm that’s evolving from DVD-by-mail provider to Web video subscription service showed in latest quarterly earnings that it’s growing at an astonishing rate. By charging as little as $7.99 a month, Netflix signed up 3.6 million new subscribers in the first three months of 2011, giving it a total of 23.6 million. That’s a 69% increase in just one year and puts Netflix ahead of Comcast and Sirius XM. Still, media executives don’t know what to make of the company. Is it friend or foe? Is it just another customer for studio-produced movies and TV shows looking to complement existing broadcast and pay TV providers? Or is Netflix poised to become a competitor to existing channels –- and even a formidable new gatekeeper for Internet entertainment?
The most realistic fear is that Netflix will amass enough subscribers so it can dictate prices to studios that want to transmit their entertainment over the Web to PCs, smartphones, and tablet computers — as well as living room TV sets. If Netflix keeps its subscription price low, then it also may devalue all entertainment: A $4 charge for a VOD movie would look out of whack when you can watch an entire month of interesting shows for just twice that amount. But some industry forecasters say Netflix could do far more damage to existing business models if it drives a consumer stampede away from pay TV. …