TCA: Showtime Announces Premiere Dates; Slate Of New Series & Docs

Showtime Kellie Freeze
Damian Lewis as Bobby "Axe" Axelrod in Billions. Photo: JoJo Whilden/SHOWTIME

“This is a fascinating moment in this business,” opened David Nevins, president of Showtime Networks a s he addresses a group of TC critics and journalists at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer Press Tour. Nevins used his presentation time to announce a diverse slate of new and returning programming, but first the network took a minute to celebrate recent successes. The premium cable provider is proud to celebrate that 8 of its 10 eligible series were nominated for Emmys, with 10 actors nominated.

The network also touted a new business transformation where Showtime’s offerings are now available through providers including Apple, Roku Sony PlayStation and Hulu as the network strives to “reach new customers where they already are.”

The executive session was also filled with announcements of new pilots and projects, new documentaries and sports projects.

Damian Lewis as Bobby “Axe” Axelrod in Billions.
Photo: JoJo Whilden/SHOWTIME

Announcements and Premieres
Billions a 21st century look at chasing the American dream, premieres Jan. 17.
Shameless returns Jan. 17.
The Affair returns for its second season, Oct. 4.
Homeland’s fifth season premieres Oct. 4. Nevins calls this season, currently filming in London, “Better than ever.”
Penny Dreadful has been picked up for Season 3
Ray Donovan has been picked up for Season 4
Masters of Sex has been picked up for Season 4

Pilots & Acquisitions
Patty Smith’s memoir “Just Kids,” about her life with Robert Mappletohope, will be turned into a limited series. Oscar nominee John Logan will co-write and executive produce the series with Smith.

Twin Peaks Shooting starts in September, with a chance series will premiere in 2016. Nevins teased “The Donut truck is loaded late August. A coffee cup will come through a window. David Lynch will direct the entire series.” He also hopes that the mystery-filled series will have more than 8 episodes.

I’m Dying Up Here A pilot from Jim Carrey, about the 1970’s LA Comedy scene, has been ordered. The dark comedy will delve into Hollywood’s comedy clubs and the damaged psyches who make their living making people laugh.

Nevins also announced an Unnamed, 1-hour drama pilot, created, executive produced and written by Lena Waithe (Dear White People, Bones) and executive produced by Grammy and Academy Award winner Common (Selma). Coming of age drama, based on Waithe and Common’s experiences of growing up on the Southside of Chicago, explores the peril of growing up as a young African American male and how fraught it is with life and death choices.

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church.
PHOTO: Sam Feinsilver / Authentic Hendrix, LLC

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church Chronicles his largest ever U.S. performance at the massive Atlanta Pop Music Festival in July 1970 with never-before-seen concert footage. The doc premieres Friday, September 4th at 9pm (ET/PT).

American Dream/ American Knightmare An uncensored look into the life of rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight, directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) premieres Sept. 26 at 9pm ET/PT.

Prophet’s Prey A look inside the world and mind of Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), one of the largest cults currently operating in the United States premieres: Saturday, October 10 at 9pm ET/PT

Pay it Forward Over the course of a year — his final in the NFL — follow future Hall-of-Famer Tony Gonzalez tried to fulfill his dream of Super Bowl glory. At the same time, Tony’s older brother and wingman Chris — whose own football aspirations were thwarted by injury — works to achieve his ambition of becoming a professional firefighter. Premiere: Friday Oct. 16 at 9pm ET/PT

The Spymasters A look into America’s spy network, including interviews with all twelve living directors of the CIA. The series is narrated by Mandy Patinkin and premieres Nov. 28th at 9pm ET/PT.

Listen to Me Marlon, currently on a 60-screen run, will air on the network. Calls the film “a definite Oscar contender.” The Showtime premiere date is TBA

All Access-new will premiere a new series, A Season With Notre Dame Football just three days after the start of the storied college program’s opening game with the University of Texas Longhorms. The Weekly, 30-minute episodes will premiere Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 10pm ET/PT.

Victor Cruz from the filming of I Am Giant: Victor Cruz.
Photo: Amanda Westcoff/Showtime

The network also announced a documentary, I Am Giant: Victor Cruz, which follows the football star’s rags to riches story and his recovery form a potentially career-ending injury. The premiere date is TBD.

The network will also air Floyd Mayweather’s next boxing match as he strives to match Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record.