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Showtime drama masters sex

US cablenet Showtime has ordered two new drama series for 2013 and poached an Imagine Television executive to be its new senior VP of original programming.

Michael Sheen

Michael Sheen

Masters of Sex (12×60′), produced by Sony Pictures Television, features UK actor Michael Sheen (The Queen) as William Masters, the real-life American gynaecologist who pioneered research into the science of human sexuality. Lizzy Caplan also stars.

The second new Showtime series, family drama Ray Donovan (12×60′), is about a professional “trouble shooter” who solves the confidential and controversial problems of LA’s elite. Liev Schreiber plays the lead alongside Jon Voight and Elliot Gould.

Meanwhile, Showtime has recruited Imagine Television’s Robin Gurney as senior VP of original programming.

Replacing Pearlena Igbokwe, who leaves at the end of the month, Gurney’s responsibilities will include development and creative oversight of the network’s original series. She will report to Gary Levine, executive VP of original programming at Showtime Networks.

Gurney’s move reunites her with the former president of Imagine, David Nevins, who is now president of entertainment at Showtime Networks.

As senior executive VP of development and production at Imagine, Gurney worked on the development and creative supervision of series such as Friday Night Lights, Friends With Benefits and How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life, a new comedy coming to ABC this fall.

As well as the renewal of Nurse Jackie for a fourth season earlier this month, recent factual commissions for the cablenet’s summer slate include documentaries about Ozzy Osbourne and Carol Channing.

God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, from Next Entertainment, looks at the life of the legendary rock frontman, seen through the eyes of his son Jack. Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, meanwhile, focuses on the former Broadway actress and is produced by Dramatic Forces.

Of the two new drama series, Donovan was created and executive produced by Ann Biderman (Southland) and the series will be executive produced by The Mark Gordon Company’s Mark Gordon and Bryan Zuriff.

Masters of Sex was created by Michelle Ashford (The Pacific) and the series will be executive produced by Timberman Beverly Productions’ Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman, alongside Judith Verno.

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