Showtime today announced premiere dates for a number of its new and returning programs this spring. Beginning Sunday, April 13, the sweeping docu-series “Years of Living Dangerously” makes its debut in time for Earth Day at 10 p.m., immediately following the season six premiere of “Nurse Jackie,” starring Edie Falco, at 9 p.m. and the seventh and final season of “Californication,” starring David Duchovny, at 9:30 p.m. Showtime’s new series “Penny Dreadful,” the psychological thriller starring Eva Green and Josh Hartnett, premieres on Sunday, May 11 at 10 p.m. (Watch the new teaser below!)
“Years of Living Dangerously” follows a star-studded roster of major film, television and renowned journalists traveling the globe, tackling an enormous range of subjects on the hot button topic of climate change. The correspondents are Jessica Alba, Mark Bittman, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, America Ferrera, Harrison Ford, Thomas Friedman, Michael C. Hall, Chris Hayes, Olivia Munn, Dr. M. Sanjayan, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ian Somerhalder and Lesley Stahl. “Years of Living Dangerously” is executive produced by James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub, Schwarzenegger, along with former “60 Minutes” producers Joel Bach and David Gelber, and climate expert Daniel Abbasi. The series is co-executive produced by Solly Granatstein (“60 Minutes” and “Rock Center with Brian Williams”) and Maria Wilhelm (Avatar Alliance Foundation). Dr. Joseph Romm (ClimateProgress.org) serves as the chief science editor.
In “Penny Dreadful,” some of literature’s most famously terrifying characters – including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and iconic figures from the novel Dracula, all brilliantly reimagined in a whole new light – have become embroiled in Victorian London. The series stars Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton and Eva Green. Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, Harry Treadaway and Danny Sapani also star. “Penny Dreadful” is a frightening psychosexual thriller created, written and executive produced by John Logan and executive produced by Logan’s Desert Wolf Productions, along with Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris, both of Neal Street. Of the eight episodes, the first two will be directed by J.A. Bayona.
In related news, Showtime has added two new original series to its lineup with 10-episode series orders for one-hour drama “The Affair” and half-hour comedy “Happyish.”
“The Affair” explores the emotional and psychological effects of an extramarital affair. The provocative, one-hour drama will be told separately from the male and female perspectives – using the distinct memory biases to both misdirect and intrigue. Wilson plays Alison, a young woman waiting tables at a popular Hamptons diner, trying to piece her life back together in the wake of a tragedy. Her husband, Cole (Joshua Jackson), struggles to keep it all together, with his wife and with the financially-strained ranch that has been in his family for generations. Their emotionally-charged marriage becomes even more complicated when Alison begins an affair with Noah (Dominic West), a New York City public school teacher and aspiring novelist who is spending the summer at his in-laws’ estate out on the island. Maura Tierney plays Helen, Noah’s college sweetheart, best friend, mother of his children, lover and wife of 17 years.
Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in “Happyish,” a dark examination of our pursuit of happiness, a pursuit that might just be the very thing causing our unhappiness in the first place. Thom Payne (Hoffman) is 42, his new bosses at work are half his age and they say the words ‘digital’ and ‘social’ far too often. His mentor and boss, Jonathan (Rhys Ifans) tells him to “rebrand” himself, his corporate headhunter tells him happiness is a myth, and Thom’s not sure if his Viagra will interfere with his Prozac, or vice versa. Kathryn Hahn stars as Lee Payne, Thom’s wife, who is looking for a larger goal, a purpose, a meaning. Good luck with that. Happiness? In this world? Happiness after all is pretty high bar; in a world as absurd as ours, maybe the best anyone can hope for is happyish.