In his first foray into American television, British actor Paul Bettany is in negotiations to star in the Showtime drama pilot Masters of Sex. The project, from Sony Pictures TV, is an adaptation of Thomas Maier’s book Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love. It chronicles the lives, romance and pop culture trajectory of 1960s human sexuality pioneers Masters (Bettany) and Johnson whose research touched off the sexual revolution. Michelle Ashford wrote the script and is executive producing with Timberman/Beverly Prods’ Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly and Sony TV-based Judith Verno, as well as John Madden, who is set to direct. Maier and Pettany’s manager Melanie Greene serve as producers. UTA-repped Bettany, who has co-starred in such movies as A Beautiful Mind, Master And Commander and The Da Vinci Code, currently stars in Margin Call and will next be seen in The Avengers.