Ray Donovan made a big splash when it debuted on Showtime earlier this month, setting the record as the network's most-watched series premiere ever. If you were paying attention back then, it probably doesn't surprise you to hear now that the show has been renewed for a second season. The network made the announcement today, with the detail that the second season is scheduled to debut in 2014. Here's what Showtime's President of Entertainment David Nevins had to say about the renewal:
"RAY DONOVAN is on track to be our biggest season one show ever," said Nevins. "Ann Biderman and the extraordinarily talented creative team, coupled with the brilliant ensemble cast led by Liev Schreiber, have produced one of the hottest new dramas of the year. We are proud and excited to pick up another season."
If you haven't caught an episode yet, here's the skinny: Schreiber stars as the titular character, a "fixer' operating out of Hollywood who's called in to clean up when his wealthy clients get into a fix. A Boston native with the kind of colorful family that movies and TV shows always seem to want to associate with the region, Ray Donovan gets in even deeper with his family when his father (played by Jon Voight) is unexpectedly released from prison, "setting off a chain of events that shakes the Donovan family to its core," according to the Showtime boilerplate.
Though the show has gotten strong enough ratings to compete with its network sibling Dexter-- it actually had more viewers for its second episode, the first time that's ever happened for a Showtime drama-- the critical response has been a little more muted. In our review Jesse called it out for a "signature lack of subtlety" endemic to Showtime as a whole, though he did at least admit that it showed "glimpses of greatness and potential for improvement." Here's more of what he had to say:
The show looks great (the blues of Boston versus the bright lights of Hollywood), moves fast and features a fantastic leading man and woman (Schreiber and Malcolmson), Biderman and company just need to find a way to tone down the delivery. It's weird to tell a series to scale back on the drama but Showtime needs to take a cue from some of HBO's most critically acclaimed shows (whether it's The Sopranos, The Wire or even Boardwalk Empire) and be brave enough to do less. Or at least less all at once. For all its initial faults, at least Ray Donovan will have me tuning in to see if the Showtime series can be fi... improved.
If you like what you've seen from Ray Donovan so far, let us know in the comments. And for a look at the season ahead, here's the extended trailer for Season 1.