October 22, 2013

In a surprise to no one, Showtime has just announced that they are renewing their award-winning CIA drama Homeland for a fourth season, and freshman historical drama Masters of Sex for a second.  According to the premium network, Homeland‘s weekly views this year are hovering around 6.5 million, while Masters of Sex has been pulling 5.4 million (a huge jump on Homeland‘s first season numbers, due largely in part probably because of Homeland‘s lead-in, as well as Lizzy Caplan and the word “sex”).  Hit the jump for more on the two series.

homeland-tower-of-david-damian-lewisWhile some have not been convinced with Homeland‘s run of episodes this year (this past Sunday’s episode provided a huge reveal which undermines most of what we’ve been told this season so far), we can probably all agree it’s still a step up from the second half of its second season.  Some complain the show is becoming too much like 24, but ever since the series decided to not end after its (nearly) explosive first season, it more or less resigned itself to such a fate.  And that’s maybe not a terrible thing, as long as Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin continue to be exceptional in their roles (the less said about Brody and Damian Lewis the better, through no fault of his own).

masters-of-sex-thank-you-for-comingMasters of Sex has been a slow burn, and Martin Sheen‘s Bill Masters is as insufferable as Lizzy Caplan’s (as his partner/assistant) Virginia Masters is charming, which makes for an uneven watch.  Overall, whether there’s enough there past the titillation to galvanize audiences in the long-run remains to be seen, but of course with those kind of viewing numbers Showtime would be crazy not to give it another season.

With these two series, Showtime has really made itself a contender on Sunday nights against veteran Sunday night champs HBO and AMC.  But what Showtime really needs moving forward are series that will continue to hold up year after year — something shows like Homeland and of course the recently ended Dexter have struggled with.

Homeland and Masters of Sex air on Sunday nights starting at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime