Showtime has released the first official trailer for Masters of Sex, its next original drama. Based on Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love by Thomas Maiser, the series adaptation stars Michael Sheen (Kingdom of Heaven) and Lizzy Caplan (Party Down) as the title couple, the first two human sexuality researchers and prominent pop culture figures at the dawn of the sexual revolution. Masters of Sex begins with Masters working at a teaching hospital in St. Louis and continually finding the research he’s attempting rebuffed by his superiors, who claim that what he’s doing doesn’t represent science. However, once he meets Johnson when interviewing for a new secretary, he becomes reenergized due to finally encountering someone who both challenges him and believes in his vision.
Masters of Sex will become the second original scripted series debut of the year for Showtime, following the success (and subsequent renewal) of Ray Donovan, which currently holds the distinction of the highest rated series premiere in network history. Though the period drama might not be able to match that success, if only due to its potentially off-putting subject matter and the crowdedness of Sundays in fall, it should have a strong lead-in in the third season of Homeland and even stronger reviews to fall back on.
In addition to Sheen and Caplan, Masters of Sex also stars Caitlin Fitzgerald (It’s Complicated), Nicholas D’Agosto (Heroes), and Teddy Sears (American Horror Story), while featuring the likes of Beau Bridges (The Closer), Allison Janney (The West Wing), and Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs) in recurring roles.
Will you be watching Masters of Sex? Do you think the show will be able to look frankly at sexuality without it ever being gratuitous? If you’ve read the book the series is based on, how do you think Showtime will handle adapting it to television?