Masters of Sex

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Masters of Sex
Masters of Sex title.png
Genre
Based onMasters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love 
by Thomas Maier
Developed byMichelle Ashford
Starring
Composer(s)Michael Penn
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes12 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Michelle Ashford
  • Sarah Timberman
  • Carl Beverly
  • Amy Lippman
  • Judith Verno
Location(s)
CinematographyBen Davis
Running time55–60 minutes
Production company(s)
Broadcast
Original channelShowtime
Original runSeptember 29, 2013 (2013-09-29) – present
External links
Official website
 
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Masters of Sex
Masters of Sex title.png
Genre
Based onMasters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love 
by Thomas Maier
Developed byMichelle Ashford
Starring
Composer(s)Michael Penn
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes12 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Michelle Ashford
  • Sarah Timberman
  • Carl Beverly
  • Amy Lippman
  • Judith Verno
Location(s)
CinematographyBen Davis
Running time55–60 minutes
Production company(s)
Broadcast
Original channelShowtime
Original runSeptember 29, 2013 (2013-09-29) – present
External links
Official website

Masters of Sex is an American television drama series on Showtime. It was developed by Michelle Ashford and based on Thomas Maier's biography Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love. The series tells the story of Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson and was picked up for a first season consisting of 12 episodes,[1][2] and premiered September 29, 2013.[3]

On October 22, 2013, Showtime renewed Masters of Sex for a second season to air in 2014.[4]

Plot[edit]

Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan star as the lead characters, Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson, two pioneering researchers of human sexuality at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.[5]

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Showtime ordered the pilot for Masters of Sex in August 2011,[9] and greenlit it for series in June 2012, with the first season consisting of twelve episodes.[2]

Writer/producer Michelle Ashford serves as showrunner for Masters of Sex. She assembled a majority-female writing staff, although she says this was unintentional.[10]

Ashford created the character of Barton Scully out of a combination of several men whom Masters knew. One of them was gay, but was not the man serving as provost during Masters's initial study.[11]

Prop master Jeffrey Johnson noted the difficulty of obtaining accurate information about sexual devices from the time period. "They were so taboo it was hard to find research drawings. People didn’t even put them in writing." He obtained some vintage vibrators and dildos for use in the series along with acquiring condoms manufactured in the era (which did not have the reservoir tips of modern condoms). He designed "Ulysses," a transparent dildo with attached camera first seen in the pilot episode, from scratch, along with a diaphragm sizing kit seen in later episodes.[12]

Annaleigh Ashford, who has a recurring role in the first season as Betty DiMello, will be promoted to series regular in season two.[13]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedDVD and Blu-ray release dates
Season premiereSeason finaleRegion 1Region 2Region 4
112September 29, 2013 (2013-09-29)December 15, 2013 (2013-12-15)TBATBAMarch 20, 2014 (2014-03-20)[14]
212[4]2014[4]TBATBATBATBA

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The first season of Masters of Sex received critical acclaim. Based on 49 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the first season received a 90% approval rating from critics, with a rating average of 8.4 out of 10. The sites consensus states: "Seductive and nuanced, Masters of Sex features smart performances, deft direction, and impeccable period decor."[15] Metacritic gave the first season a score of 85/100, based on 32 reviews.[16] The American Film Institute listed it as one of the top ten television series of 2013.[17]

Matt Roush of TV Guide wrote that "There is no more fascinating, or entertaining, new series this fall season."[18] Diane Werts of Newsday gave it an "A" grade, complimenting the series on its use of humor, stating "its deft balance of epic scope and whimsical humanity", as well as the strong performances of the actors and creator Michelle Ashford's "scene-setting scripts".[19] David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle particularly praises the performances, calling them "extraordinary" and "stunning", and noting the series' A-list directors such as Michael Apted and John Madden.[20] Hank Stuever of The Washington Post wrote that after the first two episodes, "the characters get better and more complex, the story builds, strange things start to happen and now I can't wait to see how its interweaving plots unfold.[21] Alan Sepinwall of HitFix praised lead actors Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, calling them "terrific", and that "Masters of Sex is the best new show of the fall by a very long stretch. It's also a refreshing anomaly: a prestige cable drama that doesn't feel like a recombination of elements from 15 shows that came before it."[22]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In June 2013, the series was honored, along with five others, with the Critics' Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series.[23] The series received two nominations for the 2014 Writers Guild of America Awards, for Best New Series and Best Episodic Drama for "Pilot".[24] For the 71st Golden Globe Awards, the series was nominated for Best Drama Series, and Michael Sheen was nominated Best Drama Actor.[25]

International broadcast[edit]

In Canada, the series debuted on September 29, 2013, on The Movie Network.[26] In Australia, the series premiered on SBS One on October 3, 2013.[27] In Ireland, the series premiered on October 4, 2013 on RTE 2.[28] In the UK, it debuted on Channel 4 on October 8, 2013.[29] In New Zealand, it debuted on SoHo on October 23, 2013.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 11, 2012). "Showtime Orders Twelve Episodes of Two New Dramas, ‘Ray Donovan’ and ‘Masters of Sex’". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Littleton, Cynthia (June 11, 2012). "Showtime gives series orders to 'Donovan,' 'Sex'". Variety. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 12, 2013). "Showtime Announces Premiere Dates for 'Nurse Jackie,' 'Dexter' (Returning Early) 'Ray Donovan,' 'Homeland,' 'Masters of Sex' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Showtime Announces Pickups of Homeland and Masters of Sex". CBS. October 23, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  5. ^ Maier, Thomas (2009). Masters Of Sex : The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How To Love. New York: Basic Books. p. 400. ISBN 9780465003075. 
  6. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (February 8, 2013). "Showtime's 'Masters of Sex' Adds 'Lovely Bones' Actress". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 4, 2013). "Linda Lavin To Co-Star In NBC’s Sean Hayes Pilot, Ann Dowd Recurs On ‘Masters Of Sex’". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Compelling Gay Story in "Masters Of Sex"". The Backlot. November 19, 2013. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 21, 2011). "Showtime Picks Up Pilots From Andrew Gurland, Michelle Ashford & Ann Biderman". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ Davis, Allison P. (September 30, 2013). "Q&A: Dirty Talk With the Woman Behind Masters of Sex". New York Magazine. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  11. ^ Halterman, Jim (November 25, 2013). ""Masters Of Sex" Creator On The Show’s "Exciting" Gay Storyline". The Backlot. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 
  12. ^ Langmuir, Molly (September 30, 2013). "Talking to Masters of Sex’s Prop Master About Glass Dildos and Old Condoms". Vulture. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 3, 2013). "Annaleigh Ashford Upped To Regular On ‘Masters Of Sex’, Will Depart ‘Kinky Boots’". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Masters of Sex: Season 1". Ezy DVD. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Masters of Sex: Season 1 (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Masters of Sex - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 28, 2013. 
  17. ^ Gray, Tim (December 9, 2013). "AFI Names Best Movies and TV Shows of 2013". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  18. ^ Roush, Matt (September 27, 2013). "Weekend Playlist: Masters of Sex and Homeland, Breaking Bad Finale on Jam-Packed Sunday". TV Guide. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  19. ^ Werts, Diane (September 25, 2013). "'Masters of Sex' review: Showtime scores". Newsday. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  20. ^ Wiegand, David (September 26, 2013). "'Masters of Sex' review: Satisfying look at sex". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  21. ^ Stuever, Hank (September 26, 2013). "Showtime’s ‘Masters of Sex’ gets better as it goes along". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  22. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (September 26, 2013). "Review: Michael Sheen & Lizzy Caplan shine in Showtime's 'Masters of Sex'". HitFix. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  23. ^ "The BTJA Announces Icon Award Recipient and Most Exciting New Series Honorees". The Broadcast Television Journalists Association. June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  24. ^ Ausiello, Michael (December 5, 2013). "Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards Lead 2014 WGA Nominations". TVLine. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  25. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 12, 2013). "Golden Globes: House of Cards, The Good Wife, Candelabra and Breaking Bad Lead Noms; Parks & Rec, Brooklyn, Spader and Maslany Score Nods". TVLine. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Masters of Sex". The Movie Network. Retrieved September 28, 2013. 
  27. ^ Butler, Dianne (October 3, 2013). "TV Picks: It's a Date, Masters of Sex and Upper Middle Bogan". News.com.au. Retrieved October 7, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Masters of Sex RTE2: 11.20pm". entertainment.ie. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  29. ^ Munn, Patrick (September 25, 2013). "Channel 4 Sets UK Premiere Date For ‘Masters Of Sex’". TVWise. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  30. ^ Philpott, Chris (October 24, 2013). "Masters Of Sex masters sex on TV". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 

External links[edit]