Summer is here and the hits keep on comin’. Masters and Virginia unveil their sex study to the public; Denis Leary reenters the spotlight as a former rock’n’roll legend looking for a way back in; the Bowmans are ready for a second round of give-and-take; everyone’s favorite anthropomorphic horse is back for more introspection; and the misfits of Camp Firewood go back in time to experience another wet, hot, american summer.
Jump after the break to explore the series you can’t miss this month. READ MORE TV reminder: 5 series to look out for in July
Let’s start with the unexpected. AMC has gone ahead and renewed freshman series Halt And Catch Fire for a second season. Despite middling ratings and buzz, the 80s period drama about the PC Revolution will return next year. Star Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies) provided the initial draw and after a slow build the show became fun summer fare with its knack for capturing the exciting, experimental era it’s set in. From the technological jargon to the music, HCF eventually found its creative streak and has me yearning to see more in a second season. Props to Pace’s costars Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis, and Kerry Bishé for their emotionally grounded performances that made it easy to get invested.
“This is a show about invention, experimentation and the inherent risks in trying to break new ground — themes that really resonate with us as a network and attracted a passionate audience,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. “We have a history of demonstrating patience through the early seasons of new shows, betting on talent and building audience over time. We see that opportunity here and look forward to a second season of Halt and Catch Fire from creators Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers, and showrunner Jonathan Lisco.”
Elsewhere, FX renewed Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse’s vampire horror fest The Strain and Showtime is bringing back Masters of Sex and Ray Donovan for a third season. No surprise here, really. Though I’m not the loudest Strain supporter (I have issues with the writing and acting) it’s the type of summer fare that just makes sense. As for Masters of Sex, this is the show that just keeps on giving. This season’s bottle episode “Fight” might be the series best thus far featuring phenomenal performances by stars Martin Sheen and Lizzy Caplan.
“We’ve never had any doubts about The Strain,” said FX Networks head John Landgraf. “It is thrilling when you have a show that is a creative and commercial hit, which is a rare accomplishment in this increasingly crowded marketplace. We look forward having it on FX for as long as Carlton, Guillermo and Chuck Hogan need to tell this epic tale.” Added del Toro: “I am thrilled! Another season to spread the virus! Working with Carlton, Chuck and FX has been immensely rewarding and we have such sights to unveil in the upcoming episodes — the blood hits the fan on this one, mankind becomes an endangered species.” Added Cuse: “I am grateful for all the blood, sweat and tears (but mostly blood) given to the project by all involved, and I could not be more excited to continue telling this epic story.”
“Both Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex are quintessentially Showtime: bold, provocative, premium television with production values at the top of the food chain,” said Showtime president David Nevins. “These acclaimed shows are filled with complex and interesting characters and settings that will no doubt give audiences compelling television to invest in for seasons to come.”
Summer has arrived! Now that you’ve binged OITNB and revisited the Dome, it’s time to jump into new worlds including Halle Berry’s Extant and Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain. Skip after the break for the full rundown of anticipated July premieres you can’t miss. READ MORE TV reminder: 5 premieres to look out for in July
Showtime has renewed Homeland and Masters of Sex for a fourth and second season, respectively. The Emmy-award winning Homeland is the network’s #1 rated show averaging 6.5 million weekly viewers. The CIA drama is exploring new avenues this season with intense character studies of its two main protagonists Carrie Mathison and Nicholas Brody, both of whom are experiencing extreme isolation as they remain worlds apart from each other. Some think it to be too slow, but I am appreciating the shift in pace and the focus on character. If you’re caught up you know the game has changed with a surprise twist so things are expected to ramp up in terms of sheer fast-paced action Homeland is famous for.
Freshman Masters of Sex has proven to be a hit as well, averaging 5.4 million viewers. Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, who portray real-life human sexuality pioneers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, lead a great cast in a show that everybody knew would be sexual and risqué yet also addicting and very intriguing.
“Homeland continues to prove its strength for Showtime, and is one of television’s most exciting, provocative and widely-discussed shows. It has grown its audience significantly in each of its three seasons,” said Showtime President David Nevins. “And, the critical and audience reaction to Masters of Sex since its great launch has been incredibly gratifying. It’s a privilege to get to work with such talented and creative people as Alex Gansa and Michelle Ashford, as well as their tremendous casts. They have each created truly original shows, with distinctive voices that are among the most admired series on television.”
Homeland and Masters of Sex air Sunday nights starting at 9PM on Showtime.
Brody is on the run and Carrie and Saul are left to deal with the aftermath of the cataclysmic CIA bombing in the season 3 premiere of Homeland. Pledge allegiance to the poster hanging above and tune in at 9PM on Showtime.
Following the return of Homeland is the series premiere of Masters of Sex at 10PM, a risqué dramedy starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as the real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, William Masters and Virginia Johnson. Watch the stimulating trailer after the break. READ MORE TV reminder: ‘Homeland’ & ‘Masters of Sex’ premiere Sunday on Showtime