August 20, 2014 9:30am PT by Michael O'Connell
Showtime Renews 'Masters of Sex' and 'Ray Donovan' for Third Seasons
Just a few days before they're set for battle at the Emmys, Showtime dramas Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex have both been tapped for new seasons.
The network announced Wednesday that its summer block of Sunday sophomores will return in 2015 with 12 episodes each. Production on both will begin early next year.
“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 Networks 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.”
Both of the series have been warmly received by critics, and Masters of Sex scored five Emmy nominations this year — including a best actress nom for star Lizzy Caplan. The show already took guest actress in a drama with Allison Janney's Saturday win at the Creative Arts ceremony. Ray Donovan has co-star Jon Voight up for supporting actor during this year's Emmys as well.
Each series was partnered with a more established Showtime hit during its freshman season last year — with Ray Donovan airing next to the late Dexter and Masters of Sex neighboring Homeland. Despite the launching a new night, ratings have held strong. Masters of Sex currently averages 4 million weekly viewers once gross audience (live, DVR, on-demand, Showtime Anytime) views are taken into account. Ray Donovan averages 5 million viewers.
Masters of Sexis produced by Sony Pictures Television, with executive producer Michelle Ashford also serving as showrunner. Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman, Judith Verno and Amy Lippman also serve as EPs. And Ray Donovan, a Showtime production, counts creator Ann Biderman as showrunner and EP — alongside Mark Gordon, Bryan Zuriff and David Hollander.