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What's Going On with Showtime's Programming Schedule?

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | June 2, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | June 2, 2016 |

In January, there’s no Game of Thrones. There’s no The Walking Dead. Since Justified left the air, there’s typically only one drama I can count on every single year: The one show on television that understands what it’s like to be shit poor in America: Showtime’s Shameless.

Not anymore.

Bizarrely, despite finishing its most recent season in April, the Showtime series will be returning in October of this year. The decision to launch earlier has some on social media concerned that it may be the drama’s final season, but in reality, it’s part of Showtime’s new programming strategy. Starting this fall, they’re going to start rolling out one new season per month,in an effort to stop people from signing up for Showtime to watch one series and canceling their subscription the next month (a strategy I fully admit to employing). It will also allow the network to focus all of its promotion on one series per month.

The new programming strategy will begin in September, after Cameron Crowe’s new show Roadies and another season of Ray Donovan premiere over the summer. Masters of Sex will return in September; Shameless in October; The Affair in November; and Homeland (which has been renewed for two more seasons) will kick off in January. Billions will follow suit, and Twin Peaks will air sometime during the second quarter.

The next season of Homeland, by the way, will take place entirely within the 70-day transition period for a new President, from election day to inauguration day.

Meanwhile, for those holding out a glimmer of hope that Daniel Craig may still return for more Bond, give it up. He’s also signed on for a 20-episode Showtime series, airing over two seasons, called Purity, based on the Jonathan Franzen novel. That will start filming in early 2017.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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