In his first series regular role, Liev Schreiber has been tapped as the lead in Showtime’s drama pilot Ray Donovan, created and executive produced by Southland creator Ann Biderman and executive produced by Mark Gordon. Schreiber will play the title character in the Showtime-produced project, which takes a novelistic look at contemporary Los Angeles. A dark family drama with comedic undertones, the show centers on Ray (Schreiber), a professional “fixer” for LA’s rich and famous, the go-to guy in Hollywood who deftly solves the highly confidential problems of the city’s most intriguing personalities and yet he can’t quite escape the damage in his own troubled family. The Mark Gordon Co’s Bryan Zuriff will also executive produce the pilot, which is slated to start production in Los Angeles in the first quarter of next year.
This marks only the second series gig for Schreiber following a four-episode arc on CSI in 2007, when he subbed for William Petersen as a leading man on the CBS crime drama. Back then, he talked about his hesitation to take on series jobs. “I hadn’t done any television, not because I was against television, but mostly I was afraid of the contracts,” he said. “I have kind of a two-month attention span and I figured if I get locked into one of those, I would be dead.” He ended up liking the experience. And cable series, especially on pay cable networks, are far more accommodating to feature actors with seasons of as few as 6-8 episodes. On the longform side, Schreiber earned an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Orson Welles in the movie RKO 281. CAA-repped Schreiber is the second film star tapped by Showtime for its current crop of pilots; the network recently signed Paul Bettany as the male lead in Masters Of Sex.