TCA Recap: Showtime Highlights Include 'Shameless,' 'House of Lies' and Defending 'Dexter'

TCA Shameless Panel William H. Macy Emmy Rossum - H 2012
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

TCA Shameless Panel William H. Macy Emmy Rossum - H 2012

Showtime topper David Nevins stressed the premium cable network's relevance when it comes to original programming, noting there's a "huge opportunity to challenge the world that we live in." He stressed the timeliness of the network's programming -- including Homeland and House of Lies -- as what distinguishes the network, while previewing what's to come on Episodes and Nurse Jackie. Panels for Shameless, docuseries Inside Comedy and a pair of panels supporting youth-skewing sibling network the CW were among the highlights from Thursday's Television Critics Association's winter press tour.

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Executive Suite: Nevins trumpeted the premium cable network's success in launching six successful series in a row, including its critically acclaimed terrorism drama Homeland, while defending questions about the creative direction of its top drama, Dexter. Looking to the future, Nevins noted baseball docuseries The Franchise would likely return and revolve around another Major League Baseball team; Episodes would get a heavy push for its expanded nine-episode run and said it's a "real possibility" that the upcoming eighth season of Weeds could be its last.

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They're Just 'Shameless': Showrunner John Wells debated the differences between scripting a series for broadcast and cable and pushing the envelope with the Showtime drama about a dysfunctional family. "I don't want the network business to be somewhere I can't work. I grew up in it," Wells told reporters.

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Changing History: While history is what made Showtime's The Borgias possible, the downside is that it also gives a timeline for the series. Fortunately for fans of the period drama, the series has a way around that. While executive producer James Flynn says he can see four seasons for Borgias, he has his own ideas for how the drama can expand its lifespan.

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Comedy Community: Showtime's upcoming 10-episode docuseries Inside Comedy, from director-host David Steinberg, will explore the community that exists between comedians noting it isn't a "gotcha"-type series. "I'm not after a 'gotcha' question, I'm not after a deep revelation," he said.

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Fun Liars: Executive producers revealed that the series' switch from the management consultant story based on the book by Martin Kihn to a story about big business was an organic one, while stars Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell had a field day addressing their characters' naughty behavior. "I'm f---in' enjoying the hell out of it!" Bell told reporters.

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A Badass Time: The CW trotted out the hottest guys on its slate, including Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick, The Vampire Diaries' Joseph Morgan and Supernatural's Jared Padalecki, and the running joke became how often the word "badass" -- and all its forms -- could be used. "I only write poetry when I'm riding my motorcycle smoking weed chasing rattlesnakes," answered Hart of Dixie's Wilson Bethel when a reporter brought up his poems.

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'Model' Behavior: The star of The CW’s new reality show wants to conquer the modeling world one small town at a time. "If music has Simon Cowell and food has Gordon Ramsay, then modeling has Paul Fisher," the network said in introducing the modeling world magnate.

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