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TCA 2011: New shows bring Showtime into the real world

August 4, 2011 |  1:06 pm

Showtime's Josh Lawson, Kristen Bell, Jeannie Van de Hooven, Don Cheadle, Dawn Olivieri and Ben Schwartz of 'House of LIes.' Credit: Showtime.

"Dexter," "The Borgias," "Weeds" and "Nurse Jackie" are among the popular Showtime series that revolve around high concepts of serial killers, corrupt royalty, pot-selling soccer moms and pill-popping nurses. But upcoming series on the premium cable network will be more grounded in the so-called real world.

Showtime's president of entertainment, David Nevins, said the network is gradually evolving into a renewed sensibility with series such as "Homeland," about a former prisoner of war who may or may not be a terrorist, and "House of Lies," about a self-loathing management consultant.

"We're getting into shows that have scope and bigness and are relevant to the world we live in," Nevins said. "We believe in real diversity of programming. We will be sophisticated and adult but can also be bigger and edgy."

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"Homeland," which stars Claire Danes and Damian Harris, will premiere in October, while "House of Lies," which stars Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell, is scheduled to premiere Jan. 8.

Upcoming on the Showtime schedule is "Laughing Stock," a new series that will feature interviews with top comedians as they explain their art and the state of comedy. Steve Carell ("The Office") and David Steinberg ("Sit Down Comedy With David Steinberg") are executive producers, and Chris Rock, Tina Fey and Ellen Degeneres wil be among the comedians participating.

Nevins said he was also proud of Showtime's reliance on its veteran slate, which he categorized as "renewable resources" that keep growing in creativity, attracting bigger audiences.


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Photo: Josh Lawson, Kristen Bell, Jeannie Van de Hooven, Don Cheadle, Dawn Olivieri and Ben Schwartz of "House of LIes." Photo credit: Showtime.