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TCA: Showtime Picks Up Doc Series On Comics, Sets Premiere Date For ‘House Of Lies’, More From Network’s Exec Session

Nellie Andreeva

Showtime has picked up Steve Carell and David Steinberg’s docu/interview series, now titled Laughing Stock. The series, which will premiere in January, features host Steinberg interviewing top comedians of several generations, including Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Lily Tomlin, Don Rickles, Carol Burnett, Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Judd Apatow, Robin Williams, Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock, Jane Lynch, Tina Fey and Carell.

Additionally, Showtime announced a premiere date for new dark comedy series House of Lies starring Don Cheadle. It will debut on Jan. 8, sandwiched between the season premieres of Shameless and Californication.

Showtime entertainment president David Nevins today introduced to critics his first 2 new series at the network, drama Homeland and House of Lies. There will be more soon. “We’ve definitely been in expansion mode, we’re now up to 10 major scripted shows and there are more coming,”he said during the network’s executive session.”We believe in investing in renewable resources, which is fundamentally our series. We are in a good place now trying to get gradually bigger.” He said Showtime is not tempted to re-enter the longform arena despite HBO’s Emmy success with movies and miniseries. “If you do longform, you can rack up a large number of Emmy nominations but I like our strategy to put resources in renewable things.”

Asked about the cancellation of United States of Tara, Nevins said, “It was a big show … Read More »

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Showtime Announces Premiere Dates For Spring/Summer

By | Tuesday March 1, 2011 @ 11:27am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Showtime has set premiere dates for returning series Weeds, The Big C, The Real L Word and Secret Diary of a Call Girl and newcomers Gigolos and Web Therapy:
Premiere: April 7th at 10:30 PM, 8 Episodes
Premiere:  April 7th at 11 PM, 8 Episodes
THE REAL L WORD (Season 2)
Premiere:  Sunday, June 5th at 10 PM, 9 Episodes
WEEDS (Season 7)
Premiere: Monday, June 27th at 10 PM, 13 Episodes
THE BIG C (Season 2)
Premiere: Monday, June 27th at 10:30 PM, 13 Episodes
Premiere: July 19th at 11 PM, 10 Episodes

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RATINGS RAT RACE: HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Dips In Week 2 & ‘Treme’ Ends Season 1

Nellie Andreeva

hbo_smallOn the heels of True Blood‘s renewal yesterday for Season 4, HBO released ratings for the Sunday second episode of the vampire drama’s current third season. True Blood drew 4.3 million viewers, down modest 14% from the heavily promoted and highly-rated season premiere the week before. The combined audience for the 9PM and 11PM showings of the episode was 5.6 million viewers. Meanwhile, freshman drama Treme quietly wrapped its first season on Sunday (it has already been picked up for a second season). The New Orleans-based series held only to a fraction of the True Blood audience at 10PM, averaging 931,000 viewers (1.4 million when the midnight rerun is added.) But again, with Treme, which was renewed right after the premiere, ratings were never a factor in the pickup decision. ”This is too good of a show and too important of a show not to invest in a second season,” HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo said at the time.

UPDATE: Over at Showtime, the series finale of The Tudors on Sunday drew 682,000 and 900,000 total for the two airings. That was 68% up from the last year’s Season 3 finale. Meanwhile, the debut of The L Word unscripted offshoot The Real L Word, which followed The Tudors finale, averaged a combined 487,000 viewers for its two telecasts.

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