Showtime has solved the question of how to replace Dexter in its Sunday summer slot by pairing Ray Donovan with Masters Of Sex. Both shows will premiere July 13 at 9 and 10 p.m., respectively. The programs had their first seasons last season, with Ray Donovan riding its Dexter lead-in to become the highest-rated first season for a series in Showtime history. Masters Of Sex was more modestly rated but still managed to beat out the network’s previous first-season record holder, Homeland. Ray Donovan is the colorful story of Liev Schreiber doing manly stuff, while occasionally Jon Voight comes in and hams it up. It’s not very good, but it has a lot of machismo. Masters Of Sex is about the real-life Masters and Johnson study into human sexuality and has attracted a fair amount of critical acclaim, particularly for its leads, Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan. Both Sheen and Masters were nominated for Golden Globes, while Voight won a Globe for his work on Ray Donovan.
Masters Of Sex was originally paired with Homeland for its first season, so it will presumably be speeding up the writing and production of its second season to meet its July date, which always ends well for everyone. This leaves unanswered what will be paired with Showtime’s biggest hit, Homeland, come the fall, but it would make sense for that to be The Affair, the network’s intriguing, small-scale show about the fallout that results among two married couples when two of them have an affair. Created by one of the writers for the U.S. version of In Treatment, it could be really great, and it will also be a really odd pairing for whatever the hell Carrie is up to on Homeland next year.