Showtime Orders 'Ray Donovan' and Period Drama 'Masters of Sex'

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Looks like ol' 'Dexter' and Carrie Matheson of 'Homeland' are going to have some major company on Showtime next year, as the network has just picked up to series two high-profile new dramas.  The first will mark Liev Schrieber's first foray into regular TV with a contemporary new L.A. drama, but what is it about Showtime's long-gestating 'Masters of Sex' that's going to have people talking next season?

Showtime has formally announced their pickup of two new dramas to be filmed this year, for premiers sometime in 2013.  The first, simply titled 'Ray Donovan' stars Liev Schrieber in his first regular TV role as a contemporary Los Angeles "trouble shooter" and "fixer" working for the city's elite. The series’ all-star cast includes Jon Voight as the ex-con Donovan clan patriarch and Elliot Gould as Ray’s long-time client and mentor, along with Eddie Marsan and Dash Mihok, who will play Ray’s brothers, and Paula Malcomson ('The Hunger Games') in the role of Ray’s wife.

Secondly, the other of Showtime's sure to be talked about series is that of the Michael Sheen / Lizzie Caplan starring 'Masters of Sex,' chronicling famous real-life 1960s human sexuality research pioneers William Masters and Virginia Johnson.  Following the duo's unconventional lives moving from a St. Louis teaching hospital to Johnny Carson and the cover of Time Magazine, the series is adapted from Thomas Maier’s book 'Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How To Love.'

'Masters of Sex' also features Caitlin Fitzgerald in the role of Masters’ wife, Nicholas D’Agosto ('Heroes') and Teddy Sears ('American Horror Story'), along with Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale ('Justified') appearing in the pilot.  The project had been in gestation for some time, and originally featured Paul Bettany in the lead before Sheen replaced him.

What say you?  Do either of Showtime's latest offerings have you revved up for 2013?  Give us your take in the comments!

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