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Showtime Boss on Penny Dreadful's Next Villain and Dexter's Possible Return

Helen McCrory

Showtime is sticking with its winning formula.

The premium cable network doesn’t have much to complain about with eight of its nine eligible series garnering Emmy nominations. With the return of Homeland the launch of The Affair in October, and three more pilots in the works, Showtime president David Nevins is psyched about its latest hit, horror drama Penny Dreadful, which became the network’s most-watched new show On Demand and on ShowtimeAnytime.

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“It’s a really big cosmology and it’s gonna get bigger next year,” Nevins said at the Television Critics Association fall previews on Friday. “There’s a great antagonist next year played by Helen McCrory... Season 1’s antagonist was sort of an inhuman character. It’ll be good to have a more human antagonist.” McCrory plays Madame Kali, the renowned spiritualist and medium who hosted a seance in Season 1. (Catch up on Season 1 here.)

Check out what else Nevins had to say about Dexter, Happy-ish and more:

A Dexter spin-off? Although fans were irate over Dexter‘s ignominious lumberjack ending, critics were curious if that world could be revisited since serial killer Dexter (Michael C. Hall) did not die. “It’s always in the realm of possibility. It worked for Jack Bauer. It worked for the Bluth family,” Nevins said, referring to the revivals of 24 and Arrested Development. “There’s no particular next project. [Hall] is a very important alum I want to stay close to, but there’s nothing going on.” He added that there was never any discussion from Showtime execs nor writers to ever kill off Dexter.

Happy-ish status With the untimely death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, his starring vehicle Happy-ish went into limbo while the network tried to figure out how to proceed. “We’re six months further away from the tragic news,” Nevins said. “I am now sitting on five scripts from Shalom [Auslander] that I think are brilliant. If I can cast it the right way, it’s something I will probably make. But there’s no guarantee. It has to be perfectly put together.”

Shameless-ly funny In regards to Shameless finally getting an Emmy nod after it re-categorized itself as a comedy, Nevins said, “John Wells always wanted it to be a category. He got it changed and we backed him up.” He added that star William H. Macy, who was nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, had always approached his character comedically.

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More Dangerously? Although Showtime really valued its environmentally centric series Years of Living Dangerously, Nevins isn’t interested in pursuing a sequel. He is, however, open to revisiting the format for another deep dive into a subject.

No True Detective copy cats Although Nevins acknowledges the benefits of anthology series such as American Horror Story and True Detective, especially in attracting big-name talent that don’t want longer series commitments, he pointed out, “We have some of the best actors in the world. Liev Schreiber, Eva Green, Don Cheadle. I’d hold them up to almost any of those people.”

Flat ratings Although Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex returned for its second seasons with flat ratings, Nevins isn’t disappointed in their performance since their freshman lead-ins (Dexter for Ray Donovan, Homeland for Masters of Sex) were not present this year. “[Viewers] made an appointment [this year]. To me, that shows real strength in a show,” he said.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, Showtime’s parent company.)


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