Sky Atlantic HD has entered a deal with CBS Studios International for exclusive UK rights to Showtime‘s upcoming Ray Donovan. The series, which kicks off Stateside on June 30, stars Liev Schreiber as LA’s best professional fixer, the go-to guy who makes the problems the rich and famous disappear. Jon Voight plays Ray’s father, whose release from prison sets off a chain of events that shakes the Donovan family to its core. James Woods plays Patrick “Sully” Sullivan from South Boston, who has a very complicated history with the Donovan family. Also starring are Elliott Gould, Peter Jacobson, Steven Bauer, Katherine Moenning, Dash Mihok, Eddie Marsan and Paula Malcomson. Rosanna Arquette will guest star. The show is created and executive produced by Ann Biderman. Mark Gordon and Bryan Zuriff also exec produce. Sky Atlantic will launch the show in Britain in July.
Tara Summers (Boston Legal) rounds out the regular cast of Fox‘s hourlong pilot Rake, about criminal defense lawyer Keegan Joye (Greg Kinnear), brilliant, frustratingly charming, and with zero filter. Summers, repped by Resolution and Framework Entertainment, plays Leanne Zander, Keegan’s extremely put-upon but no-nonsense assistant. She recently recurred on FX’s Sons Of Anarchy and TNT’s Monday Mornings.
Related: Sam Raimi To Direct Fox Pilot ‘Rake’
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Producer Mark Gordon had a little surprise for his audience at today’s TCA panel on his new Showtime drama series …
Showtime’s 2013 Schedule: ‘Dexter’ Moves To Summer, Will Launch ‘Ray Donovan’; ‘Homeland’ Paired With ‘Masters Of Sex’
At TCA today, Showtime entertainment president David Nevins laid out the pay cable network’s scheduling plans for the rest of 2013. The biggest change is the decision to separate veteran Dexter and Homeland, which have been paired since Homeland‘s launch in fall 2011, helping both shows break ratings records. “Dexter has proved incredibly valuable as a launch pad for Homeland,” Nevins said. “Our plan is to harness (the success) and use the shows to launch the next generation of Showtime drama series.”
Dexter will get on the air earlier than usual, on June 30 at 9 PM, serving as a lead-in for new crime drama Ray Donovan. The early return has not affected production on Dexter. “There is no less production time, just a little less vacation time between the seasons,” Nevins dais, adding that the drama’s producers and cast had gotten enough lead time to adjust to the scheduling change.
On Sept. 29, “we are employing our crown jewel Homeland to launch Masters Of Sex,” Showtime’s new drama about real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, Nevins said.
Here are month-by-month highlights of Showtime’s original programming slate for the rest of 2013:
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.”
Kyle MacLachlan is set to co-star in CBS’ drama pilot Baby Big Shot. The project, from writer Dana Calvo, showrunner Kevin Falls, Sony TV and Jamie Tarses’ Fanfare, is a legal drama centered on Martina (Janet Montgomery), a working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete with her more polished colleagues at top New York law firm Stark & Cohen. MacLachlan, who was holding two pilot offers, will play the head man at Stark & Cohen, a rhino who booms confidence and big-picture philosophy. He sees something in Martina and gives her a promotion. MacLachlan, repped by Gersh and Management 360, is back on the final season of Desperate Housewives, reprising his role as villainous Orson Hodge.
Steven Bauer, who recently recurred on AMC’s Breaking Bad, has joined the cast of Showtime’s drama pilot Ray Donovan starring Liev Schreiber. Written by Ann Biderman and directed by Allen Coulter, the Showtime-produced project centers on Ray (Schreiber), a professional “fixer” for LA’s rich and famous who can make anyone’s problems disappear, except the ones created by his own family. Bauer, repped by Global Artists Agency and Lawrence Kopeikin, will play Avi, Ray’s No. 1 man at his detective agency. Also cast in the pilot is newcomer Devon Bagby as Ray’s son Conor.
EXCLUSIVE: Eddie Marsan and Dash Mihok are set to co-star opposite Liev Schreiber in Showtime’s drama pilot Ray Donovan. Created and executive produced by Southland creator Ann Biderman, executive produced by Mark Gordon and Bryan Zuriff and to be directed by Allen Coulter, the Showtime-produced project takes a novelistic look at contemporary Los Angeles. A dark family drama with comedic undertones, the show centers on Ray (Schreiber), a professional “fixer” for LA’s rich and famous who can make anyone’s problems disappear, except the ones created by his own family. Paradigm-repped Marsan will play Ray’s brother Terry, a skilled former boxer who despite his Parkinson’s diagnosis hasn’t lost his fighting spirit and continues to train others in his gym. Mihok, repped by Gersh and Untitled, will play Bunchy, Ray Donovan’s younger brother — a troubled alcoholic who is haunted after being sexually abused and continues to struggle with sobriety despite the help of his two brothers. In addition to Schreiber, Marsan and Mihok join recently cast Paula Malcolmson.
UPDATE, MONDAY AM: A lot of great news for Liev Schreiber this morning. His deal with Showtime to star in the drama pilot Ray Donovan formally closed, and the network just made the official announcement. And, in what appears to be a change of heart, HBO Sports has renewed its overall deal with the actor to continue to be the voice of virtually all HBO documentaries as well as the 24/7 reality series, and the NFL reality series Hard Knocks. During the lengthy negotiations, HBO had considered not to re-up the overall with Schreiber and open up the field to other narrators, but in the end it extended Schreiber. I hear that the actor’s Showtime series contract allows for that.
PREVIOUS, SUNDAY PM: With a deal to star in Showtime’s pilot Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber may one day become the face of the pay cable network. But at the same time, it looks like he will no longer be the exclusive voice of the sports division of rival HBO. I’ve learned that HBO is planning not to renew its overall deal with the actor to be the the voice of HBO Sports, which has included narrating virtually all HBO sports documentaries, the 24/7 reality series, and the NFL reality series Hard Knocks. HBO is not severing ties with Schreiber, who has been voicing HBO Sports’ programs for the past 16 years. “Liev is set to start work next week on his next HBO Sports project, 24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic, HBO Sports said in a statement, declining further comment. I hear that Schreiber also is scheduled to do another HBO Sports project in January.
In his first series regular role, Liev Schreiber has been tapped as the lead in Showtime’s drama pilot Ray Donovan, created and executive produced by Southland creator Ann Biderman and executive produced by Mark Gordon. Schreiber will play the title character in the Showtime-produced project, which takes a novelistic look at contemporary Los Angeles. A dark family drama with comedic undertones, the show centers on Ray (Schreiber), a professional “fixer” for LA’s rich and famous, the go-to guy in Hollywood who deftly solves the highly confidential problems of the city’s most intriguing personalities and yet he can’t quite escape the damage in his own troubled family. The Mark Gordon Co’s Bryan Zuriff will also executive produce the pilot, which is slated to start production in Los Angeles in the first quarter of next year.