AceShowbiz - Showtime announced the renewal of two of its shows at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Tuesday, August 11. The network has ordered 12-episode fourth seasons of "Masters of Sex" and "Ray Donovan".
"Both 'Ray Donovan' and 'Masters of Sex' are signature series for Showtime," Showtime president David Nevins said in a statement. "They are emblematic of what Showtime stands for -- quality, premium programming that you cannot find anywhere else on television."
Also at the TCA event, showrunner Michelle Ashford defended their decision to add the children of real-life sex researchers Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson. While in reality they only had two each, the lead characters on the show have three children each.
"We are telling a nonfiction story and one where there are people who are still alive out there in the world, and those people need to be protected, and that is the way of protecting them," Ashford explained. She added, "We were advised to add children to protect the people that are still alive. It wasn't a storytelling prerogative; it had to do with protecting living people."
Executive producer Sarah Timberman chimed in, "It gave us license to tell stories about fictional characters. We want to be respectful of people who are living, yet it was fertile territory for Michelle and the other writers to look at what the experience would be, being a teenage child of one of [the most famed sex researchers]."
Over at TNT, "The Last Ship" is going to return for a 13-episode third season in summer 2016. The renewal comes as no surprise since the Eric Dane starrer ranks as basic cable's No. 1 new scripted series this summer among adults 25-54 and as one of the top three among the key adults under 50 metric.
"Masters of Sex" Mid-Season 3 Trailer: