Showtime writes Rx for 'Effects'


Showtime has given a pilot order to the Tim Robbins drama "Possible Side Effects."

Robbins wrote and will direct the pilot of the hourlong project, which centers on a family that runs a pharmaceutical company. He also is executive producing with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Daniel Thomas but will not be starring.

In addition to exploring the relationships of the dysfunctional family at the center of the drama, the project will examine the political, scientific and bureaucratic machinery that makes up the pharmaceutical industry.

"Effects" joins another pilot at Showtime, "The United States of Tara." The single-camera comedy, from Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television, centers on a mother with multiple-personality syndrome. It was picked up in July.

It's understood that Showtime Networks president of entertainment Robert Greenblatt is looking over other pilot possibilities in addition to the two already ordered.

Showtime is gaining buzz in the drama arena with shows like "Dexter." The series, starring Michael C. Hall, broke a record for the network with its second-season bow Sunday, averaging more than 1 million viewers — a first for a Showtime season premiere.

Other Showtime dramas include "The Tudors," which returns next year for its second season; "Brotherhood," which also had its Season 2 debut Sunday; and "The L Word," which kicks off its sixth season in January.

Robbins' writing and directing credits include the films "Cradle Will Rock," "Dead Man Walking" and "Bob Roberts."