It didn’t have to face The Walking Dead this week, but Homeland still had the competition of the NFL on NBC. Nonetheless, the Showtime series pulled in 2.1 million viewers on Sunday to hit a new Season 3 high. That result, up a tick from a previous cycle high on October 27 of 2 million, also made episode 11 of the current season’s Homeland the top show on premium cable. Overall, the penultimate Homeland of the current season had 2.7 million viewers over two plays on Sunday. Despite some critical knocks, Season 3 of Homeland has proven the most successful the show has had. It is currently up 17% on average over Season 2. The Claire Danes starrer wasn’t the only Showtime series to hit a new high this past weekend. Freshman Masters of Sex drew 1.23 million viewers for a season high of its own. The second to last episode of the renewed show’s first season rose 15% over last week. Overall for the night, Masters of Sex had 1.5 million watching.
Showtime continues to stay with its series for the long haul, giving early renewals to dramas Homeland, which will return for a fourth season, and freshman Masters Of Sex, which has been picked up for a second season. Both series have received 12-episode orders to air next year four weeks in their current runs. “Homeland continues to prove its strength for Showtime, and is one of television’s most exciting, provocative and widely discussed shows,” said Showtime Entertainment president David Nevins. “The critical and audience reaction to Masters Of Sex since its great launch has been incredibly gratifying.”
Four episodes in, Homeland‘s third season averages 6.5 million weekly viewers, up 26% from the same time frame in Season 2. The Fox 21-produced show, a best drama series Emmy winner for its first season, once again is evoking polarizing reactions with its Season 3 storyline. Masters Of Sex currently averages 5.4 million weekly viewers, 33% ahead of Homeland‘s first season.
There’s a lot of sex in Showtime’s new series Masters Of Sex, an explicit depiction of the relationship between William Masters and Virginia Johnson and the groundbreaking research they did on the subject — a lot of it through direct observation of thousands of sexual encounters between hundreds of male and female subjects.
Loads and loads of sex. Sex as an intimate act of love and/or passion, sex under hot lights while wired like lab rats and being closely watched by scientists. Sex with strangers, sex with lighted dildoes.
Sex sex, sex, sex, sex.
So much sex, complained one critic during the Masters Of Sex Q&A session at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013, it was “challenging to tweet some of this.”
Showtime has unveiled the first look at its new series Masters Of Sex, which premieres September 29. The adaptation of Thomas Maier’s book stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as William Masters and Virginia Johnson and chronicles their unusual lives, romance and pop culture trajectory as pioneers in the study …
Comedy icon Carol Burnett and her Carol Burnett Show pal Tim Conway will guest star …
EXCLUSIVE: Bridesmaids co-star Wendi McLendon-Covey, who was just tapped as the female lead of Adam F. Goldberg/Seth Gordon’s ABC comedy pilot How The Hell Am I Normal, is set for a recurring role on Showtime‘s upcoming drama series Masters Of Sex. The series, an adaptation of Thomas Maier’s book, stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, and chronicles their unusual lives, romance and pop culture trajectory. McLendon-Covey will play Dr. Lillian DePaul, a new, formidable doctor at the hospital — the only female in an all-boys club who is both competitive with and a mentor to Johnson (Caplan).
Showtime has picked up both of its drama pilots, Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex, to series. Ray Donovan, which stars Liev Schreiber as a professional fixer, and Masters Of Sex, which stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, have both received 12-episode orders and will film in Los Angeles for premieres in 2013. The third pilot from Showtime’s most recent crop of pilots, Andrew Gurland’s docu-comedy Gurland on Gurland, will likely not go forward, but Showtime still has picked up four of the five pilots ordered by Nevins. In starring vehicles, he has gone 4 for 4. That was not intentional, Nevins said. “But we do make pilots with the strong intention to put them on the air and a strategy how to schedule them,” he said, adding that not having the pressure of broadcast network deadlines has allowed the network to take its time with the pilots and overcome a casting issue it had early on with Masters Of Sex when originally cast Paul Bettany exited. “It couldn’t have worked any better,” Nevins said of Masters Of Sex, which cast Sheen in the role. According to Nevins, both series “in their own way are broadening the Showtime brand” — Masters by tackling an universal subject like human sexuality and Ray Donovan by offering “a deep and broad show with an incredible cast going 6 and 7 actors deep that has the makings of a great pay cable drama that is gripping, complicated and I think extremely watchable.”
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Sheen, best known for portraying Tony Blair and David Frost in films, will get to play another famous person, this time on a TV series. In his first regular series role, the British actor is set to star in Showtime’s drama pilot Masters of Sex, portraying 1960s human sexuality pioneer William Masters. In addition to starring, Sheen and his manager Tammy Rosen will serve as producers on the show. The project, written by Michelle Ashford (The Pacific) and directed by John Madden (Shakespeare In Love), 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. It chronicles the lives, romance and pop culture trajectory of Masters (Sheen) and Johnson, whose research touched off the sexual revolution. Sheen replaces another Brit, Paul Bettany, who was originally attached but parted ways with the producers last month. With Sheen set, the focus will now shift to casting the Johnson role, for which Lizzy Caplan has been in negotiations. Masters Of Sex is produced by Sony Pictures TV, with Judith Verno and Timberman/Beverly Prods’ Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly executive producing. Production on the pilot is slated to begin in March in New York. Sheen is the latest feature actor tapped as the lead of a Showtime series follwoing the recent castings of Claire Danes in Homeland, Don Cheadle in House Of Lies, and Liev Schreiber in the pilot Ray Donovan.
Paul Bettany has pulled out of Showtime’s drama pilot Masters of Sex. The British actor was to play 1960s human sexuality pioneer William Masters in the project, 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. It chronicles the lives, romance and pop culture trajectory of Masters and Johnson, whose research touched off the sexual revolution. This was going to be Bettany’s American series debut and was considered a coup for Showtime and series producer Sony Pictures TV, especially given The Beautiful Mind co-star’s known difficulty to commit to projects. He recently passed on several big roles, including the lead in The King’s Speech, which earned Colin Firth an Oscar. Complicating things on Masters Of Sex was the fact that Bettany had a say in the casting of the female lead, which had stalled the process. The pilot will now launch a new search for both leads, with Lizzy Caplan talked about for Johnson.
Showtime has greenlighted three pilots: Andrew Gurland’s docu-comedy Gurland on Gurland, Michelle Ashford’s drama Masters Of Sex and Ann Biderman’s dramedy Ray Donovan. This marks the second round of pilot orders for Showtime’s new entertainment president David Nevins. The first one included drama Homeland and comedy House of Lies, both of which went to series.
Gurland on Gurland is a first-person documentary comedy written, directed and starring filmmaker Andrew Gurland (The Last Exorcism, The Virginity Hit), which reflects his real family life and the challenges he faces pursuing the next phase of his career. The pilot hails from CBS TV Studios, with Gurland, managed by Principato-Young, and studio-based Glenn Gordon Caron executive producing. This marks the first Showtime pilot from the cable division of sibling studio CBS TV Studios. It was developed by the division’s former head Bela Bajaria, who recently departed to run Universal Media Studios. On the broadcast side, Medium creator Caron just sold a drama project to CBS executive produced by James Mangold and Cathy Konrad.
Masters of Sex, from Sony Pictures TV, 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 and chronicles the lives and the intriguing, unusual relationship between Masters and Johnson, the pioneers into the science of human sexuality whose research touched off the sexual revolution. Ashford wrote the script and is executive producing with Timberman/Beverly Prods’ Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly, who set up the project while at Sony TV. (The company, which has three series on the air — FX’s Justified and CBS’ upcoming Unforgettable and A Gifted Man — moved to CBS Studios last summer.)