Winter TCA Tour NotesShowtime’s David Nevins On End Game For ‘Dexter’, ‘Californication’ & ‘Homeland’
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com
- Jan. 12, 2013
With Dexter headed into Season 8 and Californication into Season 6, attention understandably is focused on Showtime’s plans for ending the two series. Both series have found a second wind, hitting some of their best ratings in their most recent seasons. The two-year pickup of Dexter for Seasons 7 and 8 was unofficially billed as the serial killer drama’s final act. But, at Showtime’s TCA session today, Showtime entertainment president David Nevins stopped short of committing to an end date for the show. “We’re not making any announcements today about when Dexter will end,” he said, adding, “I think I will clarify before Dexter goes on this season (in June). We have clear end game in place, I can’t talk about it just yet.” Just how important Dexter has been to Showtime? “Dexter to Showtime is what Batman is to Warner Bros., it is a cornerstone franchise,” Nevins said.
Having a set end point is not as critical for Dexter‘s companion Homeland, Nevins said. “It is a show that is incredibly changeable if you haven’t noticed,” he said. “I think it’s got a really long life, it is on the rise, like Dexter.” While he admitted that he agrees with some of the criticism about the recent second season, Nevins said he personally liked it. “It started really strong and ended really strong,” he said. Speaking of Homeland‘s Season 2 ending, Nevins would not confirm whether star Damian Lewis will be back as a series regular next season.
On Californication, whose sixth season premieres tomorrow night, “we’ll make a decision about another season I think fairly quickly into this run,” Nevins said. “It’s a decision on year by year, season by season basis.”
Overall, giving series proper ending is “really important to me,” Nevins said. “It’s really important to me that our audience feels taken care of.” That is why Showtime decided to bring Big C as a limited series, he said.
Other notes from Showtime’s session:
– David Nevins on passing on Under The Dome, which has since been picked up to series by broadcast sibling CBS: “I really liked the script for Under the Dome but it always felt fundamentally not us and more network,” he said. “I tried at one point to push it, but I felt I was pushing it out of what it was meant to be. But I actually facilitated helping get the script to (CBS’) Nina (Tassler), and I think it’s found a really good home. I think it’s gonna be a really good show…I think it’s going be better in a broadcast environment than it would be on pay-cable.”
– Matt Damon will guest star in Season 2 of House of Lies, which premieres Sunday. “He stars as himself,” Nevins said. “He comes to those guys trying to figure out how he can get a charitable organization so he can compete better with (George) Clooney.”
– Episodes’ third season will premiere in early 2014 because creators David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, who write every episode, have full creative freedom and scheduling flexibility. It will be “fairly split between London and Los Angeles.”http://www.deadline.com/2013/01/showtimes-david-nevins-on-end-game-for-dexter-californication-homeland-tca/* * * *Winter TCA Tour NotesShowtime’s Sunday Theme: ‘Shameless’, ‘House Of Lies’ And ‘Californication’Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Premium cable channels enjoy the luxury of not having to worry as much as commercial TV about success in certain time slots, Showtime entertainment chief David Nevins said during today’s TCA Q&A with reporters. He pointed out that 65% of the Dexter audience watches the show at some time after its original airing.
But Showtime chose to focus on a time slot – an evening, that is — in presenting this afternoon’s panel featuring actors from its Sunday night series House of Lies (Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell), Californication (Evan Handler, Pamela Adlon) and Shameless (William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum).
The lively conversation ranged all over the map but at one point wandered to Macy’s short haircut, a marked difference from the filthy flowing locks his character sported when Shameless began (and the clean flowing locks the actor wore in the 2012 movie The Sessions). “I cut it off on the show, it was very dramatic,” the actor said, joking that after his buzz cut he enjoyed watching the faces of onlookers searching for something positive to say about his new look. “I got 7 hats for Christmas,” he added.
Of his character, the actor drew laughs by saying: “There is no low for this character. They have installed special low-cal scenery because I’ve been eating so much of it.”
Cheadle was also in fine comedic form while listening to co-star Bell praise him for never abusing his role as both star and executive producer by forcing his opinions on the ensemble. “There was never a time when anyone felt like he was giving a note,” Bell said as Cheadle quietly handed her money (a bill, denomination unknown) that she slipped inside the front of her dress. “You’re so handsome,” she purred as she accepted the money.
Watching the payoff, Handler quipped: “You do give notes.”
In response to a question, the actors considered which of their respective characters is “the most ****ed up.” The general consensus seemed to be that it was Macy’s Frank Gallagher.
Amid the silliness, actors on two of the series did manage to reveal a little about where their shows are headed in the new season. Cheadle and Bell said House of Lies would continue to expand on the relationship of their characters rather than stress the world of corporate America. “The procedural has been altered a bit, each episode is more about their lives,” Bell said. “It’s not get the deal, close the deal, end of episode.”
In Shameless, Russum said, the story may take a look at some of the ramifications of Frank Gallagher’s drinking. “This season one of the themes is how alcohol and drugs can really kill your body,” she said. While he might experiment with sobriety, Russum added to laughs: “This is never going to be Parenthood.”http://www.deadline.com/2013/01/showtime-shameless-house-of-lies-william-h-macy-don-cheadle-kristen-bell-californication/* * * *Winter TCA Tour Notes‘Real L Word’ To Continue As Documentary
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com
- Jan. 13, 2013
After making a transition from a scripted drama to a reality series, Ilene Chaiken’s L Word franchise is about to undergo another format metamorphosis, becoming a documentary.
“The Real L Word is an important franchise,” Showtime’s entertainment president David Nevins said after the network’s executive session at TCA. “I want to change up the show and probably not continue it in exactly the same form. I’ve been talking a lot with (executive producers Dan (Cutforth) and Jane (Lipsitz) and Ilene about exploring sort of L Word culture, lesbian culture in places outside of New York and L.A., places where the subculture is not so defined and it’s maybe not so easy. And I think we’ll do a Real L Word documentary. We did the scripted show, did an ensemble reality show, and now it’s probably going to become a stand-alone documentary this year. But I think it’s an important franchise for us. It could be one-part, be two parts, they’re diving in doing research right now.”http://www.deadline.com/2013/01/real-l-word-to-continue-as-documentary/