Showtime Picks Up Masters of Sex, Ray Donovan

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Showtime has given a green light to a pair of new dramas.

The first, Ray Donovan, star Liev Schrieber in his first television role. The movie/Broadway star will portray the show's title character, described by the network as the best "trouble shooter" in Los Angeles, someone called in to fix the problems of the city's elite.

Ray Donovan will also star Jon Voight, Elliot Gould, Eddie Marsan, Peter Jacobson and Dash Mihok. It has been picked up for 12 one-hour episodes.

  • Ray Donovan
  • masters of sex

Masters of Sex, meanwhile, will feature Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the real-life human sexuality pioneers whose research led to a revolution and landed this midwestern duo on the cover of Time and on Johnny Carson's couch for multiple appearances.

Said Showtime President David Nevins in a statement:

"Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex, each in their own distinctive ways, represent the caliber of programming we want to bring to our subscribers. Both series are ambitious and expansive, and feature great writing and great acting. I'm so excited for viewers to experience these two new dramas, which I believe will prove to be fantastic complements to our current slate of programming."

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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This is not Liev Schreiber's first television role. He's appeared in TV movies, plus a high-profile four episode guest stint on "CSI" in 2007. A more accurate description would be it is Schreiber's first leading role in a television series. Also, his name is spelled with an "ei", not an "ie". On the plus side, Schreiber (however his name is spelled) is an engaging actor and the plot of the series sounds interesting. "Masters of Sex", however, doesn't exacting click with me. Just not my cup of tea.