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

Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight headline stellar cast of ‘Ray Donovan’

Photo: Showtime/Ray Donovan

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2013 — On rare occasions when the planets are properly aligned and all the reality show producers are busy in Alaska waving contracts at the locals, a show slips through that knocks it out of the park. Showtime’s newest drama “Ray Donovan” does just that.

The cast features Liev Schreiber as the preeminent “fixer” in Hollywood, a capable man who is just as at ease with disposing of bodies as he his with hugging his children. Schreiber is probably best known for his role as “Sabretooth,” in the “X-Men” series, but his considerable film career is also complemented by a highly respected stage career.

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Combine Schreiber’s skill in both genres with the perfect role playing opposite Oscar winner Jon Voight, and the result is a show of rare depth and character. In addition, it’s been a long time since Jon Voight found a role that fits him as well as the ex-con father and aging Boston mobster Mickey Donovan. Watching Voight effortlessy go from menacing mobster to jolly old pop makes us wonder why he hasn’t had a decent role in so long.

Fresh from a  20-year stretch at Walpole, Mickey heads west intent on insinuating himself into the life of Ray and his other two sons, all of which combine to give new meaning to the term “dysfunctional family.”

Ray is equally intent on making sure he keeps Mickey away from his family. But Voight’s character charms everyone so completely that it becomes obvious early in the series the dynamic between the mobster and his equally dirty son will be the steady fuel that drives this delicious new drama.

Add a cast worthy of any high-budget film production and the equation nears perfection. Along with Schreiber and Voight, the cast includes Elliott Gould, James Woods, Eddie Marsan and Rosanna Arquette. The storyline of “Ray Donovan” presents endless possibilities for episodes, and the Hollywood setting of the series will add to its authenticity.

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What we get when we add all these parts together to create “Ray Donovan” is a drama unlike any other, and definitely worth a look tonight 10 at p.m. on Showtime.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EDT:

8 p.m.

ABC: Celebrity Wife Swap: (New) The significant others of former professional wrestlers Ric Flair and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper trade lives for a week.

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

FOX: The Simpsons: (Repeat) Homer is bummed when his “MyPad” tablet computer breaks, but hope springs eternal when Ned Flanders discovers a tree with magical powers and a bark that spells out “HOPE” in the Simpsons’ backyard.

PBS: Secrets of Henry the VIII’s Palace: (New) A tour of Hampton Court, which was built by Cardinal Wolsey in the early 16th century and eventually given to Henry VIII, who furthered its development. Its rooms chart Henry’s physical decline and also recall the women who became his queens.

BET: BET Awards 2013: (New) Chris Tucker hosts the 13th annual awards gala. Honorees include Charlie Wilson and Dwyane Wade. Slated performers include Chris Brown; Mariah Carey; Stevie Wonder; Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion); Nicki Minaj; Kendrick Lamar; R. Kelly; Erykah Badu; Miguel; Ciara; Justin Timberlake; and India Arie.

8:30 p.m.

FOX: Bob’s Burgers: (Repeat) Bob buys a food truck to compete with vendors who have set up shop outside the restaurant, and when the family brings the truck to a food festival, the kids’ antics spark a revolt from truckers and foodies.

9 p.m.

ABC: Whodunnit: (New) The 11 remaining guests work to solve a fiery murder; a medallion, a note and socks serve as key evidence. 

CBS: Under The Dome: (Repeat) A small New England town is sealed off from the world by an enormous transparent dome that inexplicably appears. In the opener, the dome materializes and the residents of Chester’s Mill struggle to survive as resources rapidly dwindle and panic sets in.

FOX: Family Guy: (Repeat) When financial woes compel Lois to get a job, she’s discovered by a voice-over talent agent who hires her for a well-paying gig at an adults-only phone line, where she’s rather surprised when one of her callers turns out to be Peter.

NBC: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: (Repeat) A 9-year-old boy’s violent behavior escalates, forcing his parents to face the truth about him as authorities decide how to proceed with his case. Before long, a standoff scenario emerges. Meanwhile, Amaro tries to form a relationship with his son.

PBS: Masterpiece Mystery!: (New) Lewis and Hathaway investigate the murder of a chemistry professor who had just been released from prison after serving time for causing a death while driving. At the same time, Lewis contemplates his future on the force.

HBO: True Blood: (New) Eric makes a risky move in response to Burrell’s crackdown on vampires, but learns some valuable information from someone in the governor’s inner circle. Meanwhile, Sookie begins to learn why Warlow is after her; Steve Newlin has an unexpected visit from a familiar face; and Bill sends Jessica on an important errand when he devises a solution to a current problem.

Showtime: Dexter: (New) The eighth season begins six months following LaGuerta’s murder. Debra works as a private investigator, with Batista replacing her as lieutenant. Meanwhile, Miami Metro investigates a murder in which the victim had pieces of his brain removed.

9:30 p.m.

FOX: American Dad: (Repeat) Francine sets out to teach Roger a lesson in the importance of working hard, but the idea backfires. Meanwhile, Steve’s school project requires interviewing Stan about his past, and he’s soon sorry he asked.

10 p.m.

ABC: Castle: (Repeat) Castle and Beckett investigate when a bearded man named Kriss Kringle falls from the sky in Central Park; Beckett and Castle work on a Christmas list together.

CBS: The Mentalist: (Repeat) The CBI team investigate the death of a young model who was a patient at an elite rehab facility. Meanwhile, Lisbon intensifies her probe of multimillionaire Tommy Volker.

NBC: Crossing Lines: (New) The team investigates a series of murders - why are wealthy businessmen dying of a mysterious virus?

Showtime: Ray Donovan: (New) Ray Donovan, a Los Angeles fixer, does the dirty work for the city’s top power players. In the opener, Ray’s father is unexpectedly released from prison five years early. When he arrives in L.A. he murders a priest and vows to take revenge on his son for framing him.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

HGTV Star at 8 p.m. on HGTV

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

Cupcake Wars at 8 p.m. on Food Channel

Long Island Medium: Beyond the Read at 8 and 8:30 p.m. on TLC

Covert Affairs at 8, 9, 10 and 11 p.m. on Syfy

The Killing at 9 p.m. on AMC

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

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

Mountain Men at 9 p.m. on History Channel

Drop Dead Diva at 9 p.m. on LIFE

Ultimate Survival Alaska at 9 p.m. on NGC

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

Long Island Medium at 9 p.m. on TLC

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

Unusual Inspects at 9 p.m. on ID

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

How the Universe Works: Expanded Edition at 9 p.m. on SCI

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

Naked and Afraid at 10 p.m. on DSC

Iron Chef America at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Falling Skies at 10 p.m. on TNT

Ice Road Truckers 10 p.m. on History Channel

Life Below Zero at 10 p.m. on NGC

Breaking Amish: Brave New World at 10 p.m. on TLC

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.
The Bourne Supremacy on ENC

Traffic on FLIX

Cast Away on FXM

360 on SHO

Slumdog Millionaire on SUND

The Hangover on TBS

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on TCM

The School of Rock on TMC

9 p.m.

Lola Versus on HBO

The Dark Knight Rises on HBO

Kingpin on MOMAX

Ice Age 2: The Meltdown on ABCFAM

Later tonight:

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance at 9:50 p.m. on  ENC

Heat at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

Grown Ups at 10 p.m. on FLIX

The English Patient at 10 p.m. on SHO

Premium Rush at 10 p.m. on STARZ

Big at 10 p.m. on SUND

It Happened in Brooklyn 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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