WASHINGTON, July 28, 2013―Last 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.
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.
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.
All times are EDT:
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.
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.
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.
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.
FOX: Family Guy: (Repeat) When the Griffins move to a farm, Peter launches an illegal drug business.
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.
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
Breaking Amish: LA at 10 p.m. on TLC
For movie lovers:
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
The Watch on HBO
Ted on HBO
The Art of War on MOMAX
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on STARZ
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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