TV tonight: Ray Donovan gets 2nd season renewal after only 3 episodes

Ray Donovan premiere was the best in Showtime history
Photo: Facebook/Ray Donovan

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2013Last month “Ray Donovan” was honored, along with five others, with the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series. Although the show has a long way to go before catching up with “True Blood” in viewer numbers, the story line of “Ray Donovan” is one of limitless possibilities that can easily carry it into a second season and beyond.

For this reason, it should come as no surprise that Showtime has enough confidence in “Ray Donovan” to renew it for a second season after only three episodes, and for good reason.

SEE RELATED: TV tonight: ‘Ray Donovan’ premieres and ‘Dexter’ starts final season

The premiere of “Ray Donovan” set a record for its parent network, and each episode since then has topped the 1.3 million viewers of the first episode. In short, the more people who hear about “Ray Donovan” around the water cooler on Monday morning, the more people who tune in for the next episode.

The decadence of Hollywood and the habit of putting a positive spin on everything while keeping the grimy underbelly of the industry a secret confirms everything we’ve ever suspected about the entertainment industry. This affirmation in itself makes the show compelling enough to tune in. The added allure of Jon Voight as a “Whitey Bolger” type Boston gangster serves the show well in adding yet another layer of intrigue.

As the real Bolger trial continues to reveal the inner workings of the Boston mob scene, fans of “Ray Donovan” can’t help but see the similarities between Bolger and Jon Voigt’s character as Ray’s mob connected father. And just like Bolger, the secrets possessed by Voight’s mob character may be just as damning to others as it is to himself.

The timing of the Bolger trial is definitely serendipitous for the creators of “Ray Donovan,” and lends a level of authenticity to the undeniable hint of menace of Voight’s character. Despite his character’s efforts to pull together the family unit after being away for so long, Ray, and the viewer aren’t fooled by Voight’s dear old granddad act for a moment.

SEE RELATED: TV tonight: True Blood and Dexter steal the night from major networks

Only Ray’s immediate family is falling for the act, and this conflicting dynamic has Ray at constant odds with his father and his family. For this reason, every scene with Voight and Schreiber has the viewer anticipating the inevitable showdown between the two. Voight and Schreiber play off of each other so adeptly that every scene between them reminds us why the two veteran actors are so respected in the entertainment industry.

As more A-list celebrities take TV roles, the viewer is the obvious winner, especially when it involves great actors like Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight. Add to the mix James Woods and Elliot Gould in recurring roles, and the sky is the limit for “Ray Donovan.”

“Ray Donovan” may not turn out to be as ground-breaking as “The Sopranos,” but the potential to do so is definitely there. At this point it is up to Showtime to take the stellar cast and unique storyline and do just that. We can only watch and hope.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EDT:

7 p.m.

CBS: 60 Minutes: (New) Bob Simon addresses disillusionment among nuns in the U.S.; Charlie Rose interviews Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Also: a study of morality via the behavior of infants.

NBC: America’s Got Talent: (Repeat) Twelve acts perform at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

8 p.m.

ABC: Celebrity Wife Swap: (New) Singer Gerardo Mejia’s wife, Kathy, and singer Sisq�’s girlfriend, Elizabeth, trade lives for one week.

CBS: Big Brother: (New) Nominations for evictions are revealed.

FOX: The Simpsons: (Repeat) Marge hires Slava’s attractive daughter as Bart’s piano teacher, while Homer flips when he loses the last two hairs on his head, and must resort to a variety of headgear to keep the secret from Marge.

8:30 p.m.

FOX: Bob’s Burgers: (Repeat) Louise expects to get a charge out of taking down her Thomas Edison-obsessed science teacher when she re-creates one of the famous inventor’s experiments that involved electrocuting an elephant.

9 p.m.

ABC: Whodunnit: (New) Following a double murder, the guests come face to face with their doppelgangers as they race to solve the killings and save themselves.

CBS: Unforgettable: (New) Carrie Wells is a detective who remembers everything. Now she’s back in all new episodes, new cases, new team, and same amazing ability.

FOX: Family Guy: (Repeat) Stewie will stop at nothing to get back his beloved teddy bear after it is recalled, while an ailing Peter is unable to compete in a bowling tournament, so Lois fills in. However, she bonds a little too tightly with the team, and Peter turns jealous.

NBC: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: (Repeat) The detectives try to identify an unconscious woman found in a river near the mayor’s home, and through their investigation they discover that she’s an ordinary mom with a hidden wild side.

HBO: True Blood: (New) Eric makes a last-ditch attempt to save Nora by pledging allegiance to Bill; Sam ignores Alcide’s warning and returns to Bon Temps; Sarah vows to get revenge on Jason; Jessica shows her gratitude to a fellow prisoner.

Showtime: Dexter: (New) Dr. Vogel gets abducted by the Brain Surgeon, and Dexter and Deb try and rescue her.

PBS: Masterpiece Mystery: (New) Season 1 of “Endeavour” concludes with “Home,” about the investigation into the hit-and-run death of a college professor. At the same time, an old foe of Thursday’s surfaces in Oxford and Morse heads home to visit his ailing father.

9:30 p.m.

FOX: Family Guy: (Repeat) When the Griffins move to a farm, Peter launches an illegal drug business.

10 p.m.

ABC: Castle: (Repeat) Castle and Beckett discover evidence that links a young woman’s murder to Sen. William H. Bracken (Jack Coleman) — the man responsible for the murder of Beckett’s mother; Beckett faces complications as she tries to finally bring Bracken to justice.

CBS: The Mentalist: (Repeat) The remains of an elderly heiress are uncovered in her eerie mansion, and the CBI has a long list of suspects for her homicide.

NBC: Crossing Lines: (New) Hickman is taken hostage during a hunt for a criminal mastermind. Meanwhile, the rest of the ICC team race against the clock to discern the real motive behind the crime; and Tommy deals with a potentially damaging secret from his past.

Showtime: Ray Donovan: (New) Ezra has an accident, and Ray and Avi learn some very unsettling news.

HBO: The Newsroom: (New) A new Genoa witness emerges on Twitter; Will decides to tell Nina Howard the truth; Jim can’t get any answers to his questions in New Hampshire.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Food Court Wars at 8 p.m. on Food Channel

The Real Housewives of New Jersey at 8 p.m. on BRAVO

The Killing at 9 p.m. on AMC

Keeping Up With the Kardashians at 9 p.m. on E!

Food Network Star at 9 p.m. on Food Channel

Love it or List it, Too at 9 p.m. on HGTV

Rock My RV With Bret Michaels at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Princesses: Long Island at 9 p.m. on BRAVO

Sister Wives at 9 p.m. on TLC

Drop Dead Diva at 9 p.m. on LIFE

Mountain Men at 9 p.m. on History Channel

Naked and Afraid: Uncensored at 9 p.m. on DSC

Call of the Wildman at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet

Call of the Wildman: More Live Action at 9:30 p.m. on Animal Planet

Inside the American Mob at 9 and 10 p.m. on NGC

Naked and Afraid at 10 p.m. on DSC

Falling Skies at 10 p.m. on TNT

Ice Road Truckers 10 p.m. on History Channel

Copper at 10 p.m. on BBC

Brother vs. Brother at 10 p.m. on HGTV

Devious Maids at 10 p.m. on LIFE

Restaurant Impossible at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Breaking Amish: LA at 10 p.m. on TLC

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Tequila Sunrise on ENC

Holy Man on FLIX

What Women Want on FXM

X-Men Origins: Wolverine on FX

Heathers on SUND

Year One on TBS

Great Expectations on TCM

Bulletproof Monk on TMC

9 p.m.

The Watch on HBO

Ted on HBO

The Art of War on MOMAX

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on STARZ

Later tonight:

Payback at 9:45 p.m. on TMC

Strike Back at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

21 Jump Street at 10 p.m. on ENC

The Distinguished Gentleman at 10 p.m. on FLIX

Black Swan at 10 p.m. on SUND

So Long at the Fair at 10:15 p.m. on TCM

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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