'Ray Donovan' Showrunner Ann Biderman Out (Exclusive)

Joe Pugliese
Ann Biderman on set with star Liev Schreiber and Showtime executives Gary Levine and David Nevins

Showtime has begun negotiations with fellow writer David Hollander to take over the hit drama

Ray Donovan will continue without its creator.

Ann Biderman, who launched and served as the showrunner of Showtime’s hit fixer drama for its first two seasons, is stepping down for the series’ recently picked-up third go-round, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Multiple sources involved with the show attribute the departure to hefty financial overruns on the series, though Biderman still will be involved as a creative consultant.

Sources say Showtime, which also produces Ray Donovan, has begun negotiations with David Hollander, another writer/executive producer on the series, to step in as showrunner. Hollander penned the current season's highest-rated episode and his credits includes A&E’s The Cleaner, TNT’s Heartland and CBS’ The Guardian. Ray's second-season finale airs Sept. 28 and its 12-episode third season will begin production early next year.

When the Liev Schreiber vehicle premiered in June 2013, THR’s chief TV critic Tim Goodman raved that Biderman had “created the most testosterone-fueled, rough and intelligent drama in ages,” and other critics agreed. Viewers tuned in, too, providing Showtime with the biggest premiere numbers in the network’s history. Though the second season, which launched in July, no longer has Dexter as a lead-in, it still has managed to average 1.4 million same-day viewers for its initial broadcasts. On a weekly basis, Ray delivers 5 million viewers.

Mark Gordon and Bryan Zuriff will remain on the show as executive producers. Brett Johnson will remain as a writer-producer.

The Miami-born Biderman has built a brand predicated on dark, gritty, male-driven dramas. In addition to an early stint writing on NYPD Blue, for which she earned an Emmy, she created the critically beloved cop drama Southland, which moved from NBC to TNT. Biderman, however, did not remain on that series throughout its run either.

Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com
Twitter: @LaceyVRose