Coming Soon to Showtime: The Big C, The Borgias, and Oliver Stone's Secret History of America

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As if not satisfied with shows focused on a serial killer, multiple personality disorder, and a ganja mama, Showtime has decided it's time to get edgy. How about upcoming series dealing with cancer, the infamous Borgia dynasty, and oh yeah, Oliver Stone’s take on American history?

Here’s a quick look at new shows that the network previewed this weekend at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena.

The Big C: Yep, that’s C as in cancer, but this show starring Academy Award-nominee Laura Linney looks as if it will deftly blend comedy with bigger life-and-death questions. The show debuts this fall with 13 episodes. Oliver Platt co-stars and Gabourey Sidibe (who earned a Golden Globe nom for Precious) will play one of Linney’s students.

The Borgias: This period drama starring Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons and created by Neil Jordan (director and Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Crying Game) will look at the dynastic Italian Renaissance family notorious for their cunning and murderous ways. Set to debut with ten episodes in early 2011, the show will fill the niche vacated by The Tudors, which ends its run this spring.

Oliver Stone’s Secret History of America: Never one to shy away from controversy, Stone will write, direct, and narrate this ten-episode documentary focused on 20th century America. The three-time Academy Award-winning director and writer collaborated on the project with American University history professor Peter Kuznick and screenwriter Matt Graham. Stone told critics that “he’s not into the one-man theory of history” and that the show (which doesn't yet have a premiere date) would put the rise of Adolph Hitler, among other things, into a broader context: “It will be history as you’ve never seen it presented before.”

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