Showtime Shows Stay in USA


Showtime has green-lighted three new series -- The Cell, Brotherhood and Barbershop -- the network told TV critics Wednesday at the annual press tour.

The shows, two hour dramas and a half-hour comedy, will all be shot in the U.S.(many TV shows shoot in Canada to save money) and will roll out in the next 12-15 months.

The network has also picked up a third season of original series The L Word.

The Cell is an hour drama about an undercover FBI agent infiltrating an LA terrorist cell. Executive produced by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, the show focuses on an African-American Muslim who infiltrates an Islamic sleeper terrorist cell while doing undercover work in the US for the FBI.

Showtime has ordered 10 episodes, including the pilot and will shoot the show in L.A.

Brotherhood, the other hour drama, tells the story of a pair of brothers from Providence, R.I., one who went into the government and the other who chose a life of organized crime.

The show takes place in a fictional irish neighborhood known as "The Hill" and stars Jason Isaacs (The Patriot) and Jason Clarke as Michael and Tommy Caffee, the two brothers determined to protect their neighborhood.

The series will probably be shot totally on location in Providence and also stars Annabeth Gish and Ethan Embry.

Barbershop, the half-hour comedy, is a TV-adaptation of the MGM films from writer/director John Ridley. Like the movie, the Showtime series will focus on the issues facing a Chicago barbershop owner in a gentrifying neighborhood.

Robert Teitel and George Tillman Jr., who produced the "Soul Food" movies and their Showtime TV adaptation, will executive produce. The series has not yet been cast, but the network does not expect the the film's stars to reprise their roles, although one of the stars, Michael Ealy, is starring in The Cell. Ten episodes have been ordered to be shot in L.A.

The show will be co-produced by Showtime and MGM.

The L Word, Showtime's provocative series about a group of gay and straight women, is already returning for a second season Feb. 20 at 10 p.m. Production on 12 hour episodes of the third outing will begin this June. The network had previously announced a pick-up of Weeds, a black comedy starring Mary-Louise Parker.

Showtime Networks Inc. is a subsidiary of Viacom, which owns premium networks Showtime, The Movie Channel and Flix.