2011 Spring/Summer Programming Overview
NEW ORIGINAL SERIES
2-hour premiere: Sunday, April 3rd at 9 PM ET/PT; following premiere, new episodes will air Sundays at 10 PM ET/PT
1 Hour, 9 Episodes
THE BORGIAS stars Oscar(R)-winning actor Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo Borgia, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of The Borgia family who builds an empire through the corruption of the holy Catholic Church and orchestrates a relentless reign of power and flamboyant cruelty. The series begins as Rodrigo (Irons), bribes, buys and muscles his way into the papacy becoming Pope Alexander VI. The series is set in one of the most significant periods in history: the Western Renaissance and the discovery of the New World. Contemporaries of Da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Medicis, the Borgias were controversial and heretical, not so much for performing acts unheard of in their time, but for being better at it than their enemies. Along the way, the family commits virtually every sin in the book and invented more than a few of their own. Academy Award(R)-winning director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) serves as creator, executive producer and writer of all nine episodes, in addition to directing the first two episodes.
Premiere: Thursday, April 7th at 11 PM ET/PT
30 Minutes, 8 Episodes
GIGOLOS is a half-hour reality series following a tight-knit group of regular Vegas guys -- they hit the gym, balance relationships, provide for their families -- and they just so happen to be high-end male escorts.
Premiere: Tuesday, July 19th at 11 PM ET/PT
30 Minutes, 10 Episodes
WEB THERAPY stars Emmy(R) Award-winning actress Lisa Kudrow as "Dr. Fiona Wallice," a self-professed psychotherapist who treats patients via webcam in weekly, three-minute sessions - a modality she believes more effective than the traditional 50-minute talk-a-thons heralded by other mental health professionals. However, she spends more time feigning boredom, interrupting and giving meaningless personal data than hearing her patient's issues. Her "patients" including Jane Lynch ("Glee"), Courteney Cox ("Cougar Town"), Rashida Jones ("Parks and Recreation"), and, veteran star Bob Balaban ("For Your Consideration"), among others, are given a script framework, but ad-lib their performances with riotous results. The series will also delve into the doctor's personal life and will feature Lily Tomlin as her mother and Victor Garber ("Alias") as her husband.
RETURNING ORIGINAL SERIES
NURSE JACKIE (Season 3)
Premiere: Monday, March 28th at 10 PM ET/PT
30 Minutes, 12 Episodes
Picking up right where she left off, Jackie (EDIE FALCO) takes the contents of the medicine cabinet, throws it in a laundry bag and dumps it at Kevin's (DOMINIC FUMUSA) feet. She attacks him right back about spending, the girls' school and her bad back - she's no drug addict. Akalitus (ANNA DEVEARE SMITH) announces that nearby hospitals have closed down and that the staff should remain on their toes. A hungover Sam (ARJUN GUPTA) is now totally beholden to Jackie and Thor (STEPHEN WALLEM) for their help. Post intervention, things are tense with O'Hara (EVE BEST) and Jackie, and O'Hara goes to Akalitus hoping to avoid working with Jackie. Dr. Cooper (PETER FACINELLI) avoids Sam and treats a little boy who stuck a small mirror up his nose, trying to see his brain. Zoey (MERRITT WEVER) confesses to everyone that she and Lenny (LENNY JACOBSON) had sex. Kevin enrolls Fiona (MACKENZIE ALADJEM) in Immaculate Virgin and shows up unannounced at the ER, causing a stir and freaking out Eddie (PAUL SCHULZE) and Jackie. After her shift, Jackie shows up at the softball field to cheer Kevin and his bar team on. Things are strained, but she's not showing it.
UNITED STATES OF TARA (Season 3)
Premiere: Monday, March 28th at 10:30 PM ET/PT
30 Minutes, 12 Episodes
Season 3 begins with Tara (TONI COLLETTE) returning to the family's Labor Day barbecue, after a transition to Buck leads her on an unexpected mission. Kate (BRIE LARSON) is trying desperately to plan the next phase of her life, one that does not include college or living with her very pregnant Aunt Charmaine (ROSEMARIE DEWITT), who, in her own way, avoids committing to Neil (PATTON OSWALT). Meanwhile, student filmmakers Marshall (KEIR GILCHRIST) and Lionel Trane (MICHAEL WILLETT) make their first commitment together when they purchase a new video camera for film class. All the college talk makes Tara realize how badly she wants to finish the last few credits of her own degree, and so, with the help of Ted Mayo (MICHAEL HITCHCOCK), Tara enrolls in a few classes, including a psychology course taught by the charismatic Dr. Jack Hattaras (EDDIE IZZARD). But Max (JOHN CORBETT) is fearful that the stress of college will cause Tara to transition... or worse.
SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL (Final Season)
Premiere: Thursday, April 7th at 10:30 PM ET/PT
30 Minutes, 8 Episodes
Belle (BILLIE PIPER) is back and in the final season, the stakes have never been higher - accepting Ben's (IDDO GOLDBERG) offer of a lasting relationship means that Belle has a real chance of happiness, but Ben is her one true friend and if she messes up, she'll lose him forever. And with Stephanie (CHERIE LUNGHI) in prison for her questionable finances, Belle finds herself being -- albeit reluctantly - a Madam, while also becoming the unlikely guardian of Stephanie's innocent 19 year-old daughter, Poppy (LILY JAMES). But as Belle succeeds in her professional life, her personal life starts to fall apart. A series of misunderstandings with loyal, loving Ben, the unravelling and corruption of 'good girl' Poppy and the introduction of the dangerous and alluring vice cop Harry (PAUL NICHOLLS), all force Belle to question who she really is and what she wants her future to be. Will she give up 'Belle' for Ben and commit to being just 'Hannah' or will she cut all ties and throw herself into the world of prostitution forever?
THE REAL L WORD(TM) (Season 2)
Premiere: Sunday, June 5th at 10 PM ET/PT
1 Hour, 9 Episodes
Season two follows a group of intriguing women - some returning and some new - as they share their personal stories at work and play, in the Los Angeles lesbian scene - all uncut and uncensored. The series is produced by one of the original executive producers of THE L WORD(R), Ilene Chaiken, and Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of the Emmy(R)-winning reality powerhouse Magical Elves (Project Runway, Top Chef).
WEEDS (Season 7)
Premiere: Monday, June 27th at 10 PM ET/PT
30 Minutes, 13 Episodes
THE BIG C (Season 2)
Premiere: Monday, June 27th at 10:30 PM ET/PT
30 Minutes, 13 Episodes
As we move into fall for season two, a now well-seasoned Cathy (LAURA LINNEY) has progressed from Denial to Anger on the grief cycle and will become an all-out warrior in the fight against her Stage 4 melanoma, while Paul (OLIVER PLATT) finally steps up to become her greatest advocate and treatment cheerleader. But will he be threatened by Cathy's hot cancer specialist and her new best friend? Adam (GABRIEL BASSO) and Andrea's (special guest star GABOUREY SIDIBE) bond strengthens; and Sean (JOHN BENJAMIN HICKEY), now living in Marlene's (PHYLLIS SOMERVILLE) old house, must ride the insufferable, emotional rollercoaster that is Rebecca's (guest star CYNTHIA NIXON) pregnancy.
CAROLINE RHEA & FRIENDS
Premieres: Saturday, March 5th at 9 PM ET/PT
Filmed in front of a sold out audience of 1,800 people, former sitcom star and talk show host Caroline Rhea performs as well as hosts her funniest friends. From Ryan Hamilton, winner of Best New Artist at the 2010 Montreal Comedy Festival), and seasoned veterans like Page Hurwitz and Liam McEnearny, to Costaki Econonmpouos, long-time comic and writer (who just happens to be the father of Caroline's child.)
FIERCE FUNNY WOMEN
Premiere: Thursday, March 10th at 8:30 PM ET/PT
Taped in Santa Monica in 2010, FIERCE FUNNY WOMEN present stand-up comedy for all audiences. Subtle, disarming GLORIA BIGELOW will make you laugh, think, and leave you wanting more, JEN KOBER uses her southern-style charm, sardonic GAYLA JOHNSON reveals her view on life with an explosive presence and BETSY SALKIND, best known for her squirrel impression, is a smart, subversive comic with the charm to get away with it.
ARIES SPEARS: HOLLYWOOD, LOOK I'M SMILING
Premiere: Saturday, April 16th at 9 PM ET/PT
ARIES SPEARS: HOLLYWOOD, LOOK I'M SMILING is a laugh-out-loud and insightful comedy concert starring Mad TV's breakout star Aries Spears. He is in rare form as he tackles controversial topics such as "political correctness," the "Hollywood establishment" and race relations in America. Filmed in front of a live audience at the Best Buy Theater in New York's Times Square, Hollywood, Look I'm Smiling is not only one of Spears' strongest performances, it is also a no-holds-barred attempt to shed light on the hypocrisy of today's society. Spears refuses to play by the rules. Hollywood, Look I'm Smiling is in-your-face, ironical and smart... but most of all, it's hilariously funny.
JON LOVITZ PRESENTS
Premiere: Saturday, April 23rd at 9 PM ET/PT
Filmed in front of a sold-out audience of 1,800 in San Bernardino during the LOL Comedy Festival. Jon Lovitz shot to stardom as one of the cast members on Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1992. His famous idiom "Yeah yeah, that's the ticket" was a pop cultural quote throughout the mid 80's and early 90's. Jon Lovitz brings the best performers from his own Jon Lovitz Comedy Club, with hilarious performances by seasoned veterans: Quinn Dahle, Ian Bagg, Al Del Bene and Daryl Wright.
AHEAD OF TIME
Premiere: Thursday, March 3rd at 8:30 PM ET/PT
Ahead of Time tells the remarkable life story of 99 year-old female trailblazer Ruth Gruber, born in 1911. She defied tradition from the moment she became the world's youngest PhD at the age of 20 in 1931.
* During her trail-blazing career, she was the first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic (in 1935)
* She was chosen by the Roosevelt administration to escort 1,000 Holocaust refugees from Naples to New York in a secret wartime mission in 1944.
* Ruth covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946.
* She covered the heart wrenching ordeal of the refugees aboard the ship Exodus 1947 with photographs that helped change the world. Her photos of the ship Exodus 1947 were published in Life Magazine and around the world.
* On October 19, 2010, The Norman Mailer Center awarded 99 year-old Ruth Gruber their Distinguished Humanitarian and Journalism Prize
* She has won multiple Lifetime Achievement Awards and Honorary Doctorates. (A complete list can be supplied upon request.)
This is the directorial debut of noted cinematographer Bob Richman (The September Issue, My Architect, and An Inconvenient Truth).
BEHIND THE BURLY Q
Premiere: Thursday, March 31st at 8 PM ET/PT
First time filmmaker Leslie Zemeckis paints an "affectionate and engaging" (New York Daily News) portrait of the art of burlesque and its relevance in cultural history. Burlesque was one of America's most popular forms of live entertainment in the first half of the 20th century. Gaudy, bawdy and spectacular, the shows entertained thousands of paying customers every night of the week and yet the legacy of burlesque is often misunderstood and left out of the history books. By telling the intimate and surprising stories from its golden age through the women (and men) who lived it, Behind the Burly Q reveals the true story of burlesque as it experiences a new renaissance.