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Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan to star in Showtime's 'Masters of Sex'

Michael Sheen as Dr. William Masters and Lizzy

Michael Sheen as Dr. William Masters and Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson in Showtime's "Masters of Sex." Credit: AP

BEVERLY HILLS -- The last time you possibly encountered respected actors Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan on TV may have been on "30 Rock" or "New Girl," respectively.

Starting Sept. 29, they will star in "Masters of Sex," Showtime's new series based on the 2009 book of the same name by veteran Newsday investigative reporter Tom Maier. Caplan plays Virginia Johnson (the famed sex researcher, who died recently at age 88) while Sheen plays William Masters, fellow researcher and spouse (he died in 2001).

"I found that I started talking about relationships more," Sheen told TV critics Tuesday at the summer press tour. "I became far more open [about relationships], which is an indication about the show itself. You think you are watching a show about sex, but you're watching a show about connecting with human beings, and about being intimate."

SPOILER ALERT! Don't look for "Homeland" lead Damian Lewis (who plays Nicolas Brody) in the first two episodes of the series' third season, which begins Sept. 29. He won't join the series until later in the season. (Exact date and exact nature of re-entry? Unknown.)

Said Alex Gansa, co-showrunner at the TV tour Monday: "The decision to not have Brody in the first two episodes was strictly a function of the story and where the story was taking us."

SHOWTIME FOR HOFFMAN.Philip Seymour Hoffman will star in a new Showtime comedy, "Trending Down," about a man facing his own obsolescence after his advertising agency is taken over. Showtime describes it as "a blistering attack on our youth-obsessed culture, and a darkly comic examination of what it means to matter."

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