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The sophomore season of Showtime's "Ray Donovan" continues to stock up on quality actors - Wendell Pierce, most recently of "Treme" and "The Michael J. Fox Show" (and of course, "The Wire") - is on-board in what the network is calling a recurring "guest" role.
Per Showtime: Pierce will play Mr. Keith, a down on his luck parole officer who gets a payoff from Ray (Emmy and Golden Globe® Award nominee Liev Schreiber). Hank Azaria will be in the second season too.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died Sunday morning in New York of an apparent drug overdose, had been cast in a new Showtime comedy, "Happyish," which had just been announced at the recent TV Critics Association tour.
Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of our generation's finest and most brilliant actors. He was also a gifted comedic talent. It was a great privilege and pleasure to work with him and we are all absolutely devastated by this sudden loss. Our thoughts go out to his family at this very difficult time.
"Happyish" starred Hoffman as Thom Payne, an advertising executive confronting -- with considerable bitterness -- the "youthification" of his industry, notably in the executive suite, thus rendering him increasingly irrelevant. A clip was shown at the tour and apparently went over well. Hoffman represented a fresh wave of major big-screen talent migrating to the small screen (Michael Sheen on "Masters of Sex," or Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey on HBO's "True Detectives" as immediate examples) if only for a brief run. "Happyish" had a 10-episode order, which would almost certainly have been accorded numerous Golden Globe and Emmy nods; after all, Philip Seymour Hoffman was attached.
As you may be aware, Showtime is airing "Billy Joel: A Matter of Trust: the Bridge to Russia" in a couple of weeks (Jan. 31, at 9), to be exact. This one comes courtesy of Jim Brown, a particularly fine documentary producer who has done films on Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Hank Williams, and who won some Emmys in the process and will now focus on this important chapter in Joel's history - his '87 tour to the Soviet Union.
As promised, those clips. (Second one is the trailer. App users, head to newsday.com/tvzone)
After suffering the slings, arrows, barbs and -- worse -- dismissal of the critical horde and that horde that hands out awards (though in the case of the Golden Globes, forget about seeking rhyme or reason), "Homeland" ended the third season Sunday night proving all of them wrong. Moving ...and provocative -- or provoking at least this question: Where now? -- the finale was a classic reset.
But...Read more »
"Masters of Sex" -- the Showtime freshman based on Newsday reporter Tom Maier's biography of William Masters and Virginia Johnson -- scored a nomination for best drama in the just-announced Golden Globes. In addition, Michael Sheen earned a nod for the best actor in a drama category.
Meanwhile, on the downside, what happened to HBO Thursday morning? A not great day for TV's king...Read more »
"Californication" - one of the most acquired, or not, tastes on all of television - will finally wrap after next season, Showtime just announced. Calling it "one of our groundbreaking signature series," Showtime entertainment chief David Nevins said creator Tom Kapinos has "carefully planned the final chapter of Hank’s journey and has brought it to a beautiful and...Read more »