Showtime picks up “Masters of Sex,” “Ray Donovan” for 2013 slate

Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan star in Showtime's "Masters of Sex."Over the past decade, Showtime has really made made a name for its original programming, what with “Dexter,” “Homeland,” “Weeds,” “Nurse Jackie,” and “The Big C” all becoming big hits (by premium cable standards, that is). The network may not be able to compete with HBO just yet in the ratings, but it’s clearly on the move.

Thus, one must pay attention when Showtime green-lights new shows, as was the case today with “Masters of Sex” and “Ray Donovan,” both of which are scheduled to air by early 2013.

“Masters of Sex” stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as William Masters and Virginia Johnson, two sexual research pioneers of the 1960s, who often appeared on “The Johnny Carson Show.” The pilot was directed by John Madden (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Shakespeare in Love”), bolstering the pedigree set by the cast even further.

“Ray Donovan” stars Liev Shreiber as a “fixer” to the rich and famous in Los Angeles, who is burdened by his family from South Boston. We have no idea what a “fixer” is, but given that the show also stars the great Jon Voight, Elliot Gould, and Eddie Marsan, we’ll undoubtedly be watching when it premieres.

The shows mark the first television work that both of their leads–Sheen and Shreiber–have ever done, continuing the trend of talented actors moving from the silver-screen to the boob-tube.

Source: The Playlist