Michael C. Hall, Kristen Bell
Showtime's raunchy comedy House of Lies will premiere on Sunday, Jan. 8, between the returns of Shameless and Californication, Showtime's president of entertainment announced to TV critics during fall previews Thursday.
"We're not an advertiser environment, so we have the ability to push the limits," David Nevins said. "Beneath [the show]'s glossy, fancy prettiness is a really subversive show. It's an R-rated comedy that's really addictive in a way that no one else can get away with."
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House of Lies — starring Don Cheadle as a slick management consultant and Kristen Bell as someone who works for his company — and the upcoming political thriller Homeland (which premieres after Dexter's season premiere on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9/8c) are part of Showtime's strategy, which includes extending popular series as "renewable resources" and reinvention. "I believe in real diversity of programming. There's no formulas," Nevins said, adding that the series should "have sophistication and be adult and have rich psychology. They must be bigger and have edge to them."
Part of that edgy renewal includes having serial killer Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) exploring questions of faith in the upcoming sixth season of Dexter. A parallel story with guest stars Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos will also have religious connections and mysteries "in a Dan Brown kind of way," Nevins said, explaining: "We take on the taboos. Dexter's in a really interesting place. Things happen this year that will set up future life on the show."
Check out the Season 6 trailer, which debuted at Comic-Con:
Last season, Showtime debuted three new series -- Shameless, Episodes and The Borgias -- all of which have been renewed for second seasons. Borgias will have 10 episodes in Season 2 (one more than its freshman run), will be more "violent and visceral" and will feature historical figures Machiavelli and Leonardo Da Vinci.
Showtime has yet to announce renewals for Weeds ("I'm optimistic," Nevins said) or The Real L Word yet, but Oliver Stone's documentary series Secret History of America is on hold for now. Finally, Nevins said Showtime decided to cancel United States of Tara because it "accomplished what it was going to accomplish" and it was time to "plant some new seeds."