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October 6, 2015

Showtime Sets 2011 Premiere Dates

by Scott Harris, posted Jul 12th 2010 5:20PM
For decades, networks and television fans have looked to the fall for the unveiling of new shows, new seasons and new ideas. In recent years, though, more and more premieres have been taking place at the beginning of the year, with groundbreaking classics like 'The Sopranos' and 'Lost' favoring January or February debuts. Which begs the question: Has winter finally become television most important season?

Showtime, at least, seems to think so: according to The Hollywood Reporter, the influential cable network has announced premiere dates for three of their most anticipated shows -- 'Shameless,' 'Episodes' and returning fan favorite 'Californication' -- and all three will be hitting the airwaves in January.

The trend of moving hot shows to the second half of the television year originally came about in order to extend original runs; with a holiday hiatus, the thinking went, shows could return fresh with a new batch of episodes in January and February, delaying the onset of reruns and allowing new, popular programming to air during the February sweeps.

But when this plan led to some high profile backfires -- both 'Lost' and former ratings champion 'Heroes' suffered losses in viewership after extended mid-season breaks -- networks, particularly on cable, began premiering some of their strongest shows after New Year's rather than during the fall.

The shift in strategy particularly benefits shows like 'Shameless,' which will have its series debut on January 9. The show -- which is adapted from the British series of the same name -- features an all-star cast including Oscar nominee and Emmy Award winner William H. Macy in the lead role, a fact that should help promote 'Shameless' as it will be premiering during Hollywood's awards season.

In addition, since the movie business usually releases all it's awards bait and potential blockbusters during the last two weeks of the year to capitalize on the holiday market and ensure movies are eligible for the Academy Awards, January is traditionally a dead spot on the calendar. The upshot? TV shows with pedigrees like 'Shameless' are likely to be the biggest entertainment game in town.

Of course, 'Shameless' isn't the only show on Showtime's January docket. 'Californication,' which returns for a fourth season with David Duchovny in his "art imitates life imitating art" series about a sex addict, has been pushed back from it's original September premiere and will now debut on January 10. And it will also be sharing a programming block with Matt LeBlanc's new sitcom 'Episodes,' which follows a fictionalized LeBlanc's efforts to remake a successful British comedy for American audiences.

We're not sure how that would pan out if LeBlanc tried it for real, but we do know one thing: if it worked, it would likely be debuting in January.

Here's a sneak peek at LeBlanc in 'Episodes:'

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what about torchwood coming in the spring whats the date it starts.

January 30 2011 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It would have been nice to get, you know, the premiere dates.

July 13 2010 at 1:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DIMeo

why would they possibly put Californication on in January that show should be on in the fall this is stupid

July 12 2010 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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