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    Californication

    Californication

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    Showtime (ended 2014)
    David Duchovny is the lead in this comedy about a book writer always running into trouble with sex, drugs and women, while struggling to maintain a relationship with his ex-girlfriend and trying to raise his daughter in a less than normal environment for a teenager.moreless
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    Homeland

    Homeland

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    Showtime
    Based on the Israeli version called "Prisoners of War." A U.S. soldier who was thought to have been killed in Iraq over 8 years ago who is now being questioned as to whether he is a member of a sleeper cell sent to cause a terrorist attack. Claire Danes stars in this Showtime pilot as a CIA agent with bipolar disorder who comes to suspect that an Afghanistan war hero who has returned home after years as a POW might be part of a terrorist plot. Expect a psychological thriller with a strong focus on character development.moreless
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    Dexter

    Dexter

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    Showtime (ended 2013)
    Based on Jeff Lindsay's novels Darkly Dreaming Dexter and Dearly Devoted Dexter this crime thriller follows Dexter Morgan. Dexter is a forensic blood spatter expert for the Miami Dade Police Department. He is the main support for his sister. He has a steady girlfriend, with two kids who adore him. He also has an active "night life". Based on a code instilled in him by his foster father, Harry, he hunts down people who have escaped justice and makes sure they don't get away with a crime again.moreless
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    Nurse Jackie

    Nurse Jackie

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    Showtime
    Comedy meets drama in this quirky Showtime offering which spotlights the versatility of actress Edie Falco. Set in a New York City hospital, this half-hour single camera comedy is about a strong-willed woman balancing a hectic work life with a complex personal life, all the while fighting the health care system along the way.moreless
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    Shameless

    Shameless

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    Showtime (Returning 2015)
    Set in working-class Chicago, the Gallagher family, a working class family of eight, must survive the ups and downs of today's recession. With a mother who is out of her element and an alcoholic father who usually ends up passed out on the living room floor, 18-year-old daughter Fiona is left with the task of keeping her five younger brothers and sisters on the straight and narrow. This series is based on the UK series of the same name.moreless
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    Weeds

    Weeds

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    Showtime (ended 2012)
    This series is a single-camera dark comedy about a single mother who makes ends meet by selling marijuana in the fictional suburb of Agrestic, California. The series exposes the dirty little secrets that lie behind the pristine lawns and shiny closed doors of homes in the of this gated community. Mary Louise Parker stars as the suburban mom who resorts to selling weed to support her family after her husband unexpectedly dies. Jenji Kohan executive produces and writes the series. Beginning with the premiere of the fourth season, the show shifted it's premise in almost it's entirety by relocating the cast to the fictional border town of Ren Mar after Agrestic burned to the ground. From here Nancy gave up her green thumb and began trafficking drugs over the border. Airing Information: First Season: Preview of pilot aired on Sunday, August 7, 2005 on Showtime at 10 PM EST with repeats on the following Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10PM EST. From then on episodes aired first on Mondays at 10PM EST with repeats on Mondays right after the episode premiere and on Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10:00PM EST and approximately 10:30PM EST and Sunday at 10:30PM EST. Second Season: The season premiere will air on Monday, August 14, 2006 on Showtime. Third Season: The season premiere will air on Monday, August 13, 2007 on Showtime at 10 PM EST. Production Information: Produced by Lions Gate Television in association with Titled Productions. Weeds has received a 10-episode commitment for it's first season. It was renewed after Weeds received a Golden Globe Nomination and the two leading ladies received nominations also. The 13 episodes of the second season were filmed. Theme Song: "Little Boxes" by Malvina Reynolds Awards and Nominations: 63rd Annual Golden Globes in 2006 1. Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Weeds (Showtime - Lions Gate Television, Inc.) Nomination 2. Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Mary-Louise Parker (Nancy Botwin) Won 3. Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Elizabeth Perkins (Celia Hodes) Nominatedmoreless
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    The L Word

    The L Word

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    Showtime (ended 2009)
    The L Word is the intimate story about the lives and loves of a group of lesbian friends living in Los Angeles. The show has received a lot of praise for its brilliant storylines and its portrayal of the lesbian community. The L Word is created and executive produced by Ilene Chaiken (Barb Wire, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), who also serves as a writer on the show. Other executive producers include Steve Golin (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Larry Kennar (Barbershop).moreless
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    Masters of Sex

    Masters of Sex

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    Showtime
    Masters of Sex is a Showtime series set in 1956 which features Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as the real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, William Masters (a well-known fertility specialist) and Virginia Johnson (a former nightclub singer). The series chronicles their unusual lives, romance and pop culture trajectory, which saw them go from a Midwestern teaching hospital to the cover of Time magazine and Johnny Carson's couch. Also staring Caitlin Fitzgerald, Nicholas D'Agosto and Teddy Sears, the series is an adaptation of Thomas Maier's book, "Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How to Love".moreless
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    Queer as Folk

    Queer as Folk

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    Showtime (ended 2005)
    Queer as Folk is an innovative, provocative, and groundbreaking series that has now ended after a five year run, the series chronicled the friendships, careers, loves, trials, tribulations, and ambitions of a diverse group of gay men and lesbians living in Pittsburgh, PA. Blending strong drama with necessary charm and humor, it rivals any other show presented on television.

    Over the shows run it has managed to cover a wide range of issues including Aids, cancer, drug addictions and the trials of love.

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    The Hunger

    The Hunger

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    Showtime (ended 2000)
    An 30-minute anthology of horror stories, THE HUNGER, hosted by Terence Stamp in season 1, and David Bowie in season 2, premiered on Showtime on July 20, 1997. Created by Jeff Fazio. The show remided us of "The Twilight Zone" and "The Outer Limits," but it actually a much darker and adults-only type of show. The show centered mostly on the horror, combined with erotica and fantasy, followed by amazing segments with the hosts. The show had a few blanks, but overall it was a another anthology-series worth watching.moreless
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    House of Lies

    House of Lies

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    Showtime (Returning January, 2015)
    Executive Producer Matthew Carnahan's new comedy project on Showtime is set in the world of corporate management consulting. The series is based on the book House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Tell You the Time by Martin Kihn. Don Cheadle is set to star.moreless
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    The Tudors

    The Tudors

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    Showtime (ended 2010)
    The Tudors focuses on the life and romances of the young King Henry VIII. The first series takes a look at the often overlooked, early political relationships as well as Henry's trysts with such notable women as Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn.
    The second series looks at King Henry's struggle with the Pope over his divorce, and his marriage to Anne Boleyn as well as the creation of the Church of England.
    The third series focuses on the people's response to the creation of a new national Church and on the king's third and fourth marriage. The series is shot on location in Ireland. Michael Hirst, writer of the Oscar-winning movie Elizabeth, is the series creator, writer and executive producer.moreless
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    Episodes

    Episodes

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    Showtime
    Friends favorite Matt LeBlanc teams up with David Crane of the Friends fame and Jeffrey Klarik of Mad About You to serve up a single-camera comedy about the television business. The Showtime project will focus on the funny process of reworking a hit British show for American audiences.moreless
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    The Borgias

    The Borgias

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    Showtime (ended 2013)
    The show follows the Borgia family that rose to power in Italy during the Renaissance. Jeremy Irons leads the cast as Rodrigo Borgia who becomes Pope in 1492.
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    The Big C

    The Big C

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    Showtime (ended 2013)
    Award-winning actress Laura Linney stars and produces dark comedy from Showtime about a suburban wife and mother diagnosed with cancer.
  • 16
    Beverly Hills Bordello

    Beverly Hills Bordello

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    Showtime (ended 2008)
    This adult anthology series portraying business and life in an exclusive bordello housed in an upscale residence located in the "world famous" City of Beverly Hills California. Originally aired in 1996 this series can be seen on Showtime and Showtime 2. The first thirteen episodes feature Nicole Gian in the role of Madam Victoria Winston. The series returned in 1998 without Ms. Gian. Instead it featured Monique Parent in four episodes and Gabriella Hall in eight. Two episodes did not include the character Madam Winston.moreless
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    The Outer Limits

    The Outer Limits

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    Showtime (ended 2002)
    Like the classic 1960s series of the same name, each episode is a celebration of the human imagination in which humanity's exploration of new frontiers in technology, outer space and the human experience reveal our greatest hopes and darkest fears. Stories on The Outer Limits have explored the consequences of such controversial and thought-provoking topics as genetic manipulation, alien visitation and life after death.moreless
  • 18
    The Real L Word

    The Real L Word

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    Showtime
    Six lesbians living in Los Angeles are the subjects of this reality revival of the successful Showtime series The L Word. The powers behind the project are The L Word creator Ilene Chaiken and reality producers Magical Elves of the Top Chef fame.moreless
  • 19
    United States of Tara

    United States of Tara

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    Showtime (ended 2011)
    Another twisted comedy about the unexpected nature of American families, this single-camera Showtime offering examines a wife and mother of two teens who suffers from dissociative identity disorder, which means she suffers from multiple personalities. Coping with it all is never easy, but it's always funny. Toni Collette has signed on to play the lead role.moreless
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    The Chris Isaak Show

    The Chris Isaak Show

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    Showtime (ended 2004)
    The Chris Isaak Show takes an irreverent look at the sexy, outrageous backstage world of rock music. Featuring Chris, his real life band members and an ensemble of oddball characters, the stories offer a fanciful mix of fact and fiction and follow Chris on the road, into the studio and even onto his surfboard as he tries to live an ordinary life - in spite of - his chosen profession.

    Season Three episodes of The Chris Isaak Show air on Canada's MuchMoreMusic. Check their schedule at: www.muchmoremusic.com/ChrisIsaak/.

    Australia's The Comedy Channel has aired episodes in the past. Check their schedule at: http://www.thecomedychannel.com.au/whatsOn/7days.aspx.

    UK fans can catch the show on Channel 4. Though airings don't appear to follow any regular schedule, you can check their current lineup at: www.channel4.com/listings/C4/index.jsp?offset=3&position=3&startHour=23.

    Series Notes:

    There are a lot of quirky bits and dabs in the series that some fans of the show may not necessarily connect with Chris, personally. For example, Chris really does drink Tang, he really does surf, and he really does drive a 1964 Chevy Nova. (It's not red and it's not a convertible, but his own car is very similar to what he drives on the show.) Additionally, his home is in San Francisco, it is modest, and, by his own admission, it's furnished with thrift store bargains. Sharp-eyed viewers will also notice that Chris will occasionally wear multiple tiepins on his neckties, something he was known for doing in the late 1980's and early 1990's, though in those days, he frequently wore them on his jacket lapels. The message on his white Gibson electric guitar "I [heart] Carole L." refers to his first girlfriend, Carole Lowe, who died of cancer in late 1999 or early 2000. (Please follow the link to the Baja Beach Club to read the Sacramento Bee article about Carole and her special message in the Files folder.)

    The character of Mona was also based on a real woman at the real Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco, though in actual fact, she's known as "Dolphina." In the 1930's, several different acts played the venue, and one of them was a magician. He had rigged up a series of mirrors that would project an image of anyone who was lying on a rotating table in the basement up into the fish tank located behind the bar. People would come from all over the world to see "the mermaid in the fishbowl" there. As it's a very well known feature (even to this day) at Bimbo's, the writers (and more than likely, Chris himself,) decided that she should be incorporated into the show. So, the character of "Mona," was born. Her purpose is to keep Chris grounded in the wacky world of rock stardom that he lives in. She's his "conscious," his advisor, his therapist, and the one friend he has on the show who has nothing to do with his profession.

    On an interesting note... Chris, himself, has taken a turn on the table in the real Bimbo's. Back in the mid-1990's, he donned a pair of swim trunks, jumped on the spinning table, and went for a "virtual swim" in the fishbowl.



    Season One Notes:

    A considerable amount of time in season one was spent experimenting with relationships between the various characters as the writers tried to figure out where non-band characters might fit with the pre-established unit that is Chris Isaak and Silvertone. Early on, and all throughout season one, the Chris and Yola connection was obvious, and a clear fan favorite. Though the writers were careful never to cross that personal/professional line with the pair, they established a strong sense of mutual respect and playfulness between them that was irresistible to watch. Additionally, Anson seemed to rely on Chris' counsel more often in the earlier episodes, and would frequently be seen alone with Chris at his home, discussing life's various challenges. After episode #12 "Smackdown" however, the Kenney and Anson chemistry began to evolve, and it hit its stride with episode #15 "Storytime." Kenney was something of an older, wiser version of Anson, and that pseudo father/son relationship gradually began to usurp the mentor/pupil relationship that had been established earlier between Chris and Anson. Anson still relied on Chris throughout the series for words of wisdom, so that relationship never ended, but Anson and Kenney connected on a very different level. Fans seemed to really enjoy this shift, and there's no doubt that some of the best moments in season two capitalized on the rather unique relationship between Kenney and Anson.

    Per the Northern California Movies Website at: www.norcalmovies.com/TheChrisIsaakShow/:

    Chris Isaak and Silvertone performed at The Fillmore Theater (1805 Geary Boulevard) in San Francisco on July 12, 2000 in order to obtain actual live concert footage to use in many of the first season episodes. Wherever possible, I've noted where that footage was used throughout the Season One guide. Some of that Fillmore concert was used for Bimbo's concert footage, as well as for many of the tour stops the band made in episode #9, "Tomorrowland."

    Additionally, the establishing exterior shots of Bimbo's 365 Club are actual shots of the real club at 1025 Columbus Avenue in San Francisco. All the interior scenes at Bimbo's were filmed on the Vancouver set.

    This Fillmore footage was only used for Season One episodes.



    Season Two Notes:

    Where season one established the Chris/Yola connection, season two took a decidedly different direction where the couple was concerned. The writers, almost purposefully, chose "not to go there," with the romance, and opted instead to pair them both up with partners who could offer interesting script challenges. While some fans found that distressing, I, personally thought it was a good decision. Believable sexual and romantic tension is difficult to achieve in episodic Television, and when it's there (seemingly effortlessly) between two very likable characters, it's really best just to leave it alone and let it work its magic. There would have been nowhere else to go once Chris and Yola got together, so keeping them apart throughout season two was the right thing to do.

    In addition to this shift, the writers also made a few other modifications to the behavior of some characters and the interactions that many of them had with one another. For example, in the first season, Yola was written as a somewhat stereotypical manager; the micromanagement, the image and style consciousness themes, and the ubiquitous bottle of Pepto Bismol in her purse all contributed to the "neurotic manager" model that could have too easily made her a cartoon character. In season two however, Yola was much more confident; her micromanagement and image issues were minimized substantially, while the "on the threshold of an ulcer" tact was eliminated completely. Yola struggled more in season two with easily identifiable "human" issues (dating, conflicts with her mother, parenting issues) than she did in season one, and I think that made her more "real" to fans.

    The writers also experimented with a Yola/Cody relationship that transcended the sexual encounters the pair shared in season one. Though many fans missed the Yola/Chris relationship, many others (myself included,) found the new Yola/Cody relationship too intriguing to ignore. Both characters grew a great deal in season two, and it was an evolution that they really only could have made together.

    Roly, as well, seemed to have finally found a niche as a philosopher, a scholar, or a voice of reason for the other characters, often bearing a calm and thoughtful style (frequently humorous,) that served as an interesting contrast to Kenney's smart-ass, somewhat self-absorbed manner. Hershel's kinder, gentler nature was enhanced in season two, and he became surprisingly adept at finding a way to say a lot without uttering a word - conveying much of what he had to say through body language and facial expressions – tough to do when you wear glasses… As for Anson? He was just MORE Anson in season two… (As Chris said in season one's episode 5, "You're ten pounds of Anson in a five-pound sack.")

    Perhaps the biggest change in season two had to do with the character of Vivian, whose exit from the show was not addressed. Chris simply no longer had anyone to look after his rather extensive costume collection. Though clearly a supporting character, Vivian was a wonderful female foil to Yola and her neurotic behavior. Viv was very much the "anti-Yola," with her calm, levelheaded demeanor and New Age style. Her departure created a larger void for fans than the producers likely anticipated.moreless
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