SHOWTIME: ‘Shameless,’ ‘House Of Lies’ & ‘Californication’ Renewed

Via Press Release:

SHOWTIME® ORDERS ANOTHER ROUND OF SHAMELESS, HOUSE OF LIES & CALIFORNICATION

Following Record-Breaking Season Premieres And Continued Year-To-Year Audience Growth, All Three Hit Series To Return in 2014

showtime-logoLOS ANGELES, CA – (January 29, 2013) – After record-setting premiere ratings on the network’s Sunday night line-up and continued year-to-year audience growth, SHOWTIME has picked up brand new seasons of SHAMELESS, HOUSE OF LIES and CALIFORNICATION for 2014. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.  Season-to-date, all three series are pacing above their prior seasons across platforms. The third of season of SHAMELESS is up 22 percent, currently averaging 5.4 million weekly viewers across platforms (vs. second season average of 4.4 million), and up 63 percent versus its first season (vs. 3.3 million). The second season of HOUSE OF LIES is averaging 3.2 million weekly viewers across platforms, up 10 percent from its freshman season (vs. 2.91 million), and the sixth season of CALIFORNICATION is averaging 3.1 million weekly viewers, up 21 percent versus season five (vs. 2.5 million). Production for the new seasons of all three series will kick-off in Los Angeles later this year.

“Californication, House of Lies, and Shameless possess highly distinctive comedic voices, and given that all three continue to grow their audience season after season – the pick-up decision was easy,” said Nevins. “I am incredibly excited to see what each of these series has in store for their next seasons.”

SHAMELESS, HOUSE OF LIES and CALIFORNICATION returned on January 13 with their highest-rated episodes ever, up double-digits versus their series averages and besting their prior season premieres and season finales. In its third week (January 27), SHAMELESS delivered 2.53 million viewers for the night, the series’ biggest total night ever, outperforming the season three premiere night (vs. 2.44 million – 2 plays). On Sunday, HOUSE OF LIES’ third episode was on par with its season premiere, which delivered the series’ best numbers ever, with 1.4 million viewers for the night across two plays. CALIFORNICATION’s third episode attracted 1.05 million viewers.

From Emmy® Award-winning television and film producer John Wells, SHAMELESS (Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT) stars Academy Award® nominee William H. Macy and Golden Globe® nominee Emmy Rossum.  Season three picked up several months after last season ended, with the Gallaghers each seeking their own unique version of the “American Dream.” Fiona (Emmy Rossum) realizes that it’s going to take more than earning her GED to make ends meet, and that a long term relationship with Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) isn’t as fulfilling as she expected.  Brothers Lip (Jeremy Allen White) and Ian (Cameron Monaghan) continue their ingenious scamming ways, which threatens Ian’s shot at West Point, while Sheila (Joan Cusack, in her Emmy Award-nominated role) and Jody (Zach McGowan) do their best to raise baby Hymie. Meanwhile, Frank (Macy) reappears south of the border with no idea as to how he got there. The series also stars Ethan Cutkosky, Shanola Hampton, Steve Howey, Emma Kenney, Laura Slade Wiggins, Noel Fisher and Emma Greenwell. Based on the long-running hit UK series, SHAMELESS is executive produced by Emmy Award-winning television and film producer John Wells, Andrew Stearn and Mark Mylod. Wells developed the series for American television. Paul Abbott serves as Executive Consultant. SHAMELESS is produced by Bonanza Productions, Inc. in association with John Wells Productions and Warner Bros. Television.

HOUSE OF LIES (Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT), which stars Don Cheadle in his Golden Globe® Award-winning and Emmy nominated performance as Marty Kaan, is a timely comedy that dives head-first into the shark tank known as corporate America. Marty is the big-money earner at Galweather Stearn, who commands a hot, young team known as The Pod: Jeannie (Kristen Bell), Clyde (Ben Schwartz) and Doug (Josh Lawson). Marty and The Pod’s work life revolves around first-class travel, top-shelf liquor and anything they can charge the client on a black Am Ex. Marty is the ultimate power player and under his direction, this ruthless, pull-no-punches team is here to beat the corporate suckers at their own game – and they’re loving every minute of it. This season, The Pod – especially Marty and Jeannie – must deal with the fall-out from the big merger showdown. On the home front, Marty is thrown when Roscoe (Donis Leonard Jr.) decides to move in with his unbalanced mother, Monica (Dawn Olivieri). The series is based on the hit tell-all book from best-selling author Martin Kihn (House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time). Produced by SHOWTIME, HOUSE OF LIES is created and executive produced by Matthew Carnahan. Jessika Borsiczky, Stephen Hopkins and Don Cheadle also serve as executive producers.

CALIFORNICATION (Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT) stars David Duchovny in his Golden Globe Award-winning role as hedonistic novelist Hank Moody, who struggles to be a good father to his college-aged daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin), while still carrying a torch for her mother, and his ex-girlfriend, Karen (Natascha McElhone). For the sixth season, noted actress Maggie Grace (Lost) has signed on for nine episodes as the infamous rock groupie Faith, who develops an unconventional relationship with Hank. She is joined in two episodes by her former Lost co-star Jorge Garcia as an old contact from Faith’s past. International comedy star Tim Minchin takes on the role of Atticus Fetch, a mad-as-a-hatter rock star who will write the music for the Broadway production of Hank’s hit novel.  Fetch enlists the ever-cynical Hank to collaborate on the project, which he calls “…a rock opera about love conquering all.” Notorious rocker Marilyn Manson will also make a guest appearance. CALIFORNICATION is created and executive produced by Tom Kapinos and executive produced by David Duchovny.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, FLIX ON DEMAND® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ ON DEMAND, and the network’s authentication service SHOWTIME ANYTIME®. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution, which offers Smithsonian Channel. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.

 

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REVIEW: House of Lies (Showtime – Sunday, 10:00 p.m.)

Charming, fast talking Marty Kaan and his crack team of MBA-toting management consultants are playing America’s 1 percent for everything they’ve got. They put the con in consulting as they charm smug, unsuspecting corporate fat cats into closing huge deals, and spending a fortune for their services. Twisting the facts, spinning the numbers, and spouting just enough business school jargon to dazzle the clients, there’s no end to what this crew won’t do to and for each other, while laughing all the way to the bank. Starring Academy Award® Nominee Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell, nothing is sacred in HOUSE OF LIES, a hilarious, irreverent send-up of corporate America today. – Showtime

22 out of 100

It’s hard to explain exactly how we knew this show was going to be as bad as it was before it even started, but let’s just say that we had an idea based on the general snarkiness that oozed from the trailers that Showtime was pumping down our throats at the end of each episode of Dexter and Homeland.  And even though we knew it would be distasteful based on what we had seen, being distasteful in and of itself isn’t automatic disqualifer as far as television is concerned, especially for comedies.

We enjoy a lot of shows that would be considered distasteful.  F/X’s  Archer is probably one of the most distasteful shows on television and it also happens to be the most brilliant comedy on television.  As far as dramas are concerned, Starz’ Boss couldn’t be any more distasteful but we absolutely love it and of course there’s all of those reality shows that we sheepishly admit that even we enjoy (yes, Celebrity Wife Swap, we’re looking at you). This is what we like to call guilty pleasure programming; we know it’s terrible for us but it’s just soooooooo good. It’s kinda like eating an entire Whitman’s Sampler box in one sitting.

Therein lies the problem with House of Lies.  It’s not a guilty pleasure and we had a funny feeling that it wasn’t going to be because like all of the characters on the show, it just looked too slick for its own good.

Here’s the opening two minutes of the pilot:

An overhead shot of a naked Don Cheadle (Kaan) passed out on a naked Dawn Olivieri (Monica Talbot).  Kaan wakes up in a panic and immediately attempts to revive his “overnight guest” and nothing’s working which seems a little odd for the audience to say the least.  Then the voice-overs and the cutaways begin and Marty explains that naked woman who he is so desperately trying to revive is his prescription medication addicted ex-wife and he dresses her while she’s unconscious and props her in a chair with a laptop because… why?  Get ready for this: he wants his 10 year-old cross-dressing son to think she was doing work.  Charming, isn’t it?

Nope, it’s not and neither is Cheadle’s portrayal of Kaan, or any of the characters on this show or the show itself.  House of Lies is just another in a long line of shows with reprehensible characters behaving reprehensibly under the guise of being charming and clever.  There is nothing charming or clever about this show.

Again, we have no problem with nudity or other adult-audience oriented behavior on premium cable, but it becomes an issue when it’s used gratuitously as a crutch in an effort to hide the fact that the writing on a show is lacking and that’s exactly what’s going on here. House of Lies is using cheap gimmicks to try to hide the fact that it’s not just not a very good show.

HOUSE OF LIES, a hilarious, irreverent send-up of corporate America today.”

No, what House of Lies is is a big fat snooze-fest.  This show is supposed to be a comedy but not only did we not laugh once, it was the longest 35 minutes of TV watching we’ve ever endured.  It was so slow that it honestly felt like over an hour had passed at the 22-minute mark.

Seriously, this is a big fact stinker and we expected a lot more from Cheadle and Kristen Bell.