Courtney B. Vance as Dr. Hendricks (season 2), the head of an African-American St. Louis hospital who seeks integration
Danny Huston as Dr. Douglas Greathouse (season 2), the head of a hospital's Obstetrics Department
Development and production
Showtime ordered the pilot for Masters of Sex in August 2011, and greenlit it for series in June 2012, with the first season consisting of twelve episodes.
Writer/producer Michelle Ashford serves as showrunner for Masters of Sex. She assembled a majority-female writing staff, although she says this was unintentional.
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' initial study.
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.
Annaleigh Ashford, who has a recurring role in the first season as Betty DiMello, is promoted to series regular in season two.
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 site's consensus states: "Seductive and nuanced, Masters of Sex features smart performances, deft direction, and impeccable period decor."Metacritic gave the first season a score of 85 out of 100, based on 32 reviews. The American Film Institute listed it as one of the top ten television series of 2013.
Matt Roush of TV Guide wrote that "There is no more fascinating, or entertaining, new series this fall season." 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". David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle particularly praises the performances, calling them "extraordinary" and "stunning", and noting the series' A-list directors, among them Michael Apted and John Madden. 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. Alan Sepinwall of HitFix praised lead actors Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, calling them "terrific", and saying 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."
The second season received a score of 89 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 15 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
In Canada, the series debuted on September 29, 2013, on The Movie Network. In Australia, the series premiered on SBS One on October 3, 2013. In Ireland, the series premiered on October 4, 2013, on RTE 2. In the UK, it debuted on Channel 4 on October 8, 2013. In New Zealand, it debuted on SoHo on October 23, 2013.