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Showtime Orders Two New Series Starring Kristen Bell, Claire Danes, Don Cheadle and Damian Lewis

by Maureen Ryan, posted Apr 7th 2011 3:20PM
House of Lies'Veronica Mars' fans, Kristen Bell is returning to TV.

On Thursday, Showtime ordered 12 episodes of 'House of Lies,' a half-hour comedy starring Don Cheadle as a "self-loathing," cutthroat management consultant and Bell as one of Cheadle's razor-sharp employees.

The network also ordered the hour-long psychological thriller 'Homeland,' which stars Claire Daines as a CIA officer "battling her own demons" and Damian Lewis as a soldier who may be connected to an Al Qaeda plot. The show comes from Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa and Gideon Raff. Gansa and Gordon both used to work on '24,' and the show is based on Raff's Israeli drama, 'Prisoners of War.'

Both shows begin production this summer.

Clearly, the new president of Showtime, David Nevins, is trying to put his own stamp on the network, which has relied for the past few years on the increasingly formulaic serial killer drama 'Dexter' and on a series of women-in-distress half-hour star vehicles. Neither of these new projects fit into those molds, that's for sure.

Under Nevins' watch, 'Shameless' and 'Episodes' have been given second seasons, and the network recently launched the historical series 'The Borgias' to some success.

'House of Lies' was created by Matthew Carnahan ('Dirt'), and it's based on a tell-all book by Martin Kihn titled 'House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Tell You the Time.' Ben Schwartz ('Parks and Recreation,' 'Undercovers'), Josh Lawson, Dawn Oliveri, Glynn Turman (a favorite from 'In Treatment') and Donis Leonard Jr. round out the cast.

Jessica Borsiczy of the ill-fated 'Flash Forward' will be the executive producer.

In 'Homeland,' Danes' CIA character "becomes convinced that the intelligence that led to the rescue of Scott Brody (Damian Lewis) a U.S. soldier who had been missing and presumed dead for nine years, was a setup and may be connected to an Al Qaeda plot to be carried out on American soil," according to Showtime's press release. Mandy Patinkin will portray Saul, a veteran agent who is the boss and mentor of Danes' character.

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Kirsten Bell might even get me to watch a half hour comedy, and I usually avoid them like the plague.

April 11 2011 at 5:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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April 08 2011 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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April 07 2011 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Damien Lewis made Band of Brothers the best mini series ever. Glad to see him back on tv.

April 07 2011 at 8:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JT's comment
Poor Richard's Son

Yes, he was great in Stephen King's Dreamcatcher also

April 07 2011 at 11:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So many favorites returning to t.v.! I can't wait.

April 07 2011 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Can't wait for Mandy Patinkin inevitably get bored and walk off the show!

April 07 2011 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am so excited for these.

April 07 2011 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deborah Lipp

Hmmm...I was a HUGE fan of "Life" and have been waiting for the chance to watch Damien Lewis again. Doesn't this sound strangely similar? From a cop who had been in prison for 12 years to a soldier who had been "missing" for 9 years? Isn't that odd?

April 07 2011 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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