Later this month Showtime will unveil its next big effort, crime and family drama Ray Donovan starring Liev Schreiber — the network’s first new show since the critically acclaimed Homeland.
Is worth your time to tune in? Here’s what you need to know.
1. It’s Another Show About a Fixer
Like the legendary Harvey Keitel role in Pulp Fiction, Ray Donovan will follow my mom’s biggest crush Liev Schreiber as he makes problems disappear for Hollywood’s richest and most powerful. Some people are skeptical about the show because they feel the plot stomps on some ground that is already pretty well explored. Maybe the skepticism just comes from the fact that Showtime already has a show about a fixer, see House of Lies.
2. It Looks Like The Departed Meets House of Cards
Have you seen the trailer yet? No? That’s okay, I’ll wait while you go back to the top of the article and watch it. Now you see what I mean? The combination of Boston accents, geriatric gangsters everyone is afraid of, and the fear of a brewing scandal, all combine to to create a synthesis of shows and movies you already know and love.
3. It Has a Dynamite Cast
Putting aside Academy and Golden Globe Award nominee Liev Schreiber, the cast still boasts some pretty amazing people. Academy Award Winner Jon Voight will be retiring his role as Nicholas Cage’s father in the National Treasure franchise to play Schreiber’s recently-our-of-jail-mobster father.
4. No Seriously, Look at All These Great Actors
There’s also the incredible child actress Kerris Dorsey from Moneyball, Mad Men, and Brothers & Sisters. Eddie Marsan, who played Inspector Lestrade in Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes, as well as Ocean’s Eleven‘s Elliot Gould, and that guy I see everywhere Josh Pais.
5. It’s Full of TV Luminaries
Big television fans like me will also recognize many of the show’s cast from other huge television shows. Most notably Paula Malcomson from HBO’s Deadwood and FX’s Sons of Anarchy. House‘s Peter Jacobson is also in the cast, as well as Gray’s Anatomy‘s Brook Smith.
6. With Dexter Winding Down it Could be Showtime’s Next Big Thing
Showtime’s well received serial killer drama Dexter is unfortunately coming to a close this summer with its 8th and final season. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the premier of Ray Donovan will run right after the long awaited season premier of Dexter. Showtime may be trying to hook those same fans onto their new drama.
7. The Show is Created by Southland‘s Ann Biderman
TNT’s doomed show Southland was just canceled following the end of its 5th season this summer. However, its creator Ann Biderman did just win a Peabody award late last month so maybe she will bring that enthusiasm to her new project at Showtime.
8. The Pilot is Directed by the Legendary Allen Coulter
This I am really excited about. Allen Coulter, who directs Ray Donovan‘s pilot episode has directed some of my favorite episodes from House of Cards, Luck, Boardwalk Empire, Rome, The Sopranos, AND the pilot of Sons of Anarchy. Maybe Showtime can charm him away from HBO for awhile?
9. Season One Will Have 12 Episodes
As is standard for must high budget hour-long dramas, Ray Donovan will have 12 episodes in its first season and with episode titles like, “A Mouth Is a Mouth,” and “The Golem” you know it will be good.
10.It Premiers Right After Dexter June 30, 10 P.M.
— Ray Donovan (@SHO_RayDonovan) April 29, 2013
It’s a little bit late from prime time but maybe that just solidifies that this show will be full of the racy stuff that premium cable networks pride themselves on.