The fairly tranquil ballroom at the Beverly Hilton got a bit cantankerous when eager reporters wanted answers on the controversial new additions to Season 3 of Masters Of Sex. When asked about the decision to include an infant who didn’t exist in real life, creator/EP Michelle Ashford, explained that it was strictly legal. “We are telling a nonfiction story, one where there are people who are still alive out there in the world, and those people need to be protected and that is the way to go about protecting them.” The reporters at the TCA Summer Press Tour didn’t let her off the hook that easily. When further pressed, she expanded, “We were advised to add children to protect people that are still alive. It wasn’t a storytelling prerogative; it had to do with protecting living people.”
When asked about incorporating stories around the now-teenage children, Ashford said, “Part of the legacy of Masters and Jonhson, not only did they put this incredible work out to the world, but how it affected their families. We knew that some point we were going to delve in that territory. It isn’t the focus of our season… We did need to age the children appropriately to say this is part of what happened in this complicated dynamic.” Exec producer Sarah Timberman added, “The most fertile territory for Michelle [Ashford] and the other writers is to look at what the experience was to be a teenage child [of sex researchers].”
Despite legal issues and hormone-crazed adolescents, producers assure the show will not deviate much from factual accounts. “We still adhere closely to what actually happened,” Ashford said. “There’s a couple things that are heightened a bit, but … the events that transpire all the way down to the end of the season are all based on fact.”
Season 3 picks up four years from where the previous season left off, as the famed sex researchers William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) deal with the glare of the national spotlight as their sex study finally is made public. Masters and Johnson’s work has a profound impact not only on society but also their own three-way “marriage” with Masters’ wife Libby (Caitlin FitzGerald).
It was announced at the top of the program that the series has been renewed for a fourth season.