Showtime Heats Up Expansive Summer Slate

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Showtime has set its summer schedule, a slate featuring the concluding episodes of the current campaigns of Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara, a host of comedy specials, the premieres of new seasons of Weedsand Penn & Teller: Bullshit and a trio of new skeins, The Big C, The Real L World and The Green Room with Paul Provenza.
The action heats up on the premium network in June, when Showtime wraps up the sophomore seasons ofNurse Jackie and United States of Taraon June 7 at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., respectively.
With the former Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco) returns to work from a disastrous family vacation and her professional and personal lives are about to boil over between situations with O'Hara, Eddie, Kevin and a drug dealer whom she stole from when he was having a seizure.
Meanwhile, it's Charmaine and Nick's wedding day and the Gregson family is on board to make it perfect. Tara (Emmy-winner Toni Collette) has almosts figured out the past and gets even closer when her father absentmindedly reveals a family secret. When she confronts both parents, the truth is finally revealed.
In the days before those season finales, Showtime will air a pair of comedy specials. On June 2, the network will serve up the Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam, hosted by Oscar-script writer and satirist Bruce Villanch and four comics, Alec Mapa (Ugly Betty), Sandra Valls (Latin Divas of Comedy), Poppy Champlin (Logo) and Scott Kennedy.
Two days later it will bow Hal Sparks: Charmageddon, during which the actor/comic (Talk Soup, Showtime's Queer as Folk) dissects and dismantles some of America's most sacred cows in a one-hour concert.
Another special, the documentary I Am Comic, is set for June 11 at 11 p.m. Retired comic Ritch Shydner, through interviews with the likes of Sarah Silverman, Louis CK, Lewis Black, Tim Allen, Jeff Foxworthy, Janeane Garofalo, Kathy Griffin and Carlos Mencia, is inspired to return to the stage for the for the first time in 13 years. Does he have the write stuff for today's audience?
On June 10, Showtime will also be looking for laughs as it conjures the first of 10 installment of the eighth-season of Penn & Teller: Bullshit at 10 p.m., where the duo will skewer such topics as cheerleaders, vaccinations and teen sex.
In the following half-hour, Showtime will unveil The Green Room with Paul Provenza as the comedian, actor and director of The Aristocrats brings together such top-flight talent as Roseanne Barr, Sandra Bernhard, Eddie Izzard, Paul Mooney, Bob Saget, and Jonathan Winters for wide-ranging panel discussions on the craft, state of comedy and the day's top issues.
It will be a dose of lesbian reality when The Real L Word, inspired by the long-running Showtime original series, comes out on Sunday June 20 at 10 p.m. Produced by one of the original executive producers of The L Word, Ilene Chaiken, and Magical Elves (Project Runway, Top Chef), this series will follow a group of real-life lesbians in their daily lives, at work and play in Los Angeles.
During the 13-episode sixth season of Weeds, it will be life of road and the lam for the Botwins, after Shane (Alexander Gould) bopped Mexican VIP Pilar (Kate del Castillo) to death with a croquet mallet. To elude the Mexican FBI, police and mafia, Nancy (Mary-Louse Parker in her Golden Globe-winning turn) and brood grab what they can, toss their cell phones and IDs and get rolling. A new business may be in order to boot.
Returning Aug. 16 at 10 p.m., Weeds will serve as a lead-in to dark comedy The Big C, which stars three-time Emmy winner Laura Linney as a suburban wife/mother/teacher, whose terminal cancer diagnosis forces her to shake up her life and find hope, humor and the light side of a dark situation. Oliver Platt (Showtime's Huff, Frost/Nixon) stars as her immature but well-meaning husband, with recurring guest star Gabourey Sidibe (Oscar nominee for Precious) portraying a precocious student.
Elsewhere, Showtime has two other comedy specials in the works: Chris Spencer's Minority Report in July, during which the former Vibe host, writer and comedian assembles four ethnically diverse, rising comedy stars, including Nema Williams, Eliot Chang and Flo Hernandez, on the stage for a snapshot of America today; and Kevin Pollak, during August, in his third one-hour stand-up special for the network, Kevin Pollak: The Littlest Suspect.
Finally, Showtime will go musical in August with a 90-minute documentary chronicling legendary guitarist Jack White and former drumming partner and wife Meg White on the White Stripes 2007 tour, which not only featured stops at typical venues, but performances on buses, cafés and even before Indian tribal elders in remote parts of the country. The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights, directed by music video maker Emmett Malloy, showcases live cuts of the band's raw, blue-inspired rock songs and the relationship between the extroverted Jack and introverted Meg.

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