(Photo: Didier Baverel, Showtime)
USA TODAY - Showtime has filled out its programming slate with two new series due later this year or early in 2015.
Happyish is a comedy starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as a midde-aged, social media-phobic adman who's become "surprisingly irrelevant" in his job, says programming chief David Nevins, with Kathryn Hahn as his wife and Rhys Ifans as the boss who urges him to "rebrand."
And The Affair is a drama starring Dominic West as a New York schoolteacher who begins an affair with a waitress (Ruth Wilson), compromising their marriages, Maura Tierney and Josh Jackson play the aggrieved spouses in "an intense exploration of two marriages and the affair that disrupts them," he says.
Showtime passed on a third candidate, high-profile pilot The Vatican starring Kyle Chandler, in part because it now seems out of place in the post-Benedict era: "It was conceived in a world that now would feel very dated," Nevins says.
Shameless, House of Lies and Episodes rejoined the schedule last week; next up is Nurse Jackie and the final season of Californication, arriving April 13, along with Years of Living Dangerously, a documentary series about climate change with a lineup of celebrity correspondents. Horror series Penny Dreadful, starring Eva Green and Josh Hartnett, arrives May 11.
Homeland earned its share of criticism for its just-ended third season, but moving forward the show will focus even more on Claire Danes' Carrie Mathison, Nevins says. "It's a show that is fundamentally about a field operative, and we haven't seen her much out in the field operating. The likely plan for next year is you will see her on the ground, in a foreign capital, doing her job." But expect a still-major role for Mandy Patinkin's Saul Berenson, even though he's no longer running the CIA.
The early part of season two of Masters of Sex will focus on the split between researchers William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan). "He's disenfranchised, and he's out of the university, while she's still there," he says. "They're separate, so how do they make their way back together? That's what's going to to drive the first few episodes."
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