Showtime Looks to have a Happy New Year: Shameless, Ray Donovan, and Masters of Sex

After a rather good showing this past awards season, Showtime is looking to add a few more statues to their collection. With three trailers released recently, two new shows and one returning, their chances are looking quite good.

Season-3-Promotional-Poster-shamelessFor awhile, I thought I was the only person watching Shameless. Then I couldn’t decide if the show was actually good or if my adoration for William H. Macy was influencing my decision. Thankfully I’ve had some third-party input to cement my idea that it really is a good show. The Gallagher’s are sad and depressing and you just want to take them all up in a big hug, but they are also smart and funny and that is what makes me turn in each week. Not surprisingly, this season 3 trailer looks promising.

So pretty much the same as the previous two seasons. As Lip so eloquently put it, they need to “steal or scrap” to get by and it seems as if they are going to do plenty of both in season 3. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it I suppose. Although I do have to disagree wholeheartedly with Veronica (Shanola Hampton)- a man with a mop is extremely sexy and the sooner men learn this, the happier we will all be.

In addition to Shameless, there are two new shows in Showtime’s upcoming schedule, both of which look very interesting.

Ray_Donovan_S1_Alt_Image_embedIn Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber plays the title character who is a “fixer” for the high and mighty of Los Angeles. His life is all peachy keen, well minus the unhappy old lady and a father who is released from prison early. Okay, it appears as if Ray’s life might be in a bit of shit, he can fix the problems of everyone else, but his own family is a thorn in his side. Interesting.

I know I’ll tune in if for no other reason than Liev Schrieber. I am a fan. So much so that I’ve not only seen Kate and Leopold, I had the DVD for years and then went back and bought the Director’s Cut BluRay. Oh yes. However, there is also extra incentive to watch Ray Donovan– John Voight, Elliott Gould, and Peter Jacobson? Not a bad trio.

If great actors don’t blow your skirt up, then perhaps the creator of the show will. Ann Biderman is the creator of Ray Donovan and if you don’t know her name, you should. The last show she created was the incredible Southland. Not a bad resume!

As awesome as Ray Donovan looks, I have to admit the new Showtime offering that I’m most looking forward to is Masters of Sex. Based on the biography by Thomas Maier and starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, it is a show about the famous ‘Masters and Johnson’ – a man and woman team who revolutionized scientific and social thoughts on human sexuality.


William Masters (Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Caplan) teamed up while working at Washington University in St. Louis. While Alfred Kinsey had done his (infamous) work on sexuality years before, it was mainly dealing with the sociological aspects whereas Masters and Johnson set out to learn what they could about the physiological side of things. They founded the Masters and Johnson Institute and rose to a certain level of celebrity, including a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. I’m really interested in seeing how the writers and producers go about telling Masters and Johnson’s story.

Just like Ray Donovan, Masters of Sex has a very strong supporting cast including Margo Martindale (Dexter & Justified) and Beau Bridges. I have a feeling that when it was first optioned, it was done so as a TV movie because it still is listed on IMDb as such, but both Showtime’s site and Michael Sheen himself refer to it as a series so I’m going with them.

There hasn’t been any premiere dates announced yet for Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex, but the third season of Shameless premieres on January 13th, at 9 Eastern.

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