TCA: 'Big C' to End Run With Four One-Hour Episodes


Los Angeles - The Big C will end its run with a limited fourth-season run, Showtime president of entertainment David Nevins announced at the TCA summer press tour here Monday.

The dramedy starring Laura Linney will air four final one-hour installments to wrap the story of a housewife dealing with a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Nevins described the last year, which saw Showtime launch the buzzy and Emmy-nominated drama Homeland and well-received comedy House of Lies, as a "transformative" one for the premium network and sees it well-positioned for 2013 with new dramas Masters of Sex and Ray Donovan.

On the comedy side, Showtime will bring back Inside Comedy, its interview series hosted by David Steinberg, for a second season in early 2013. Ben Stiller, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey and Carol Burnett are among the comedians set to appear in its 10-episode run. The network will also air the comedy special Larry Wilmore's Race, Religion & Sex on Aug. 25, which will serve as the basis of a possible series with the Daily Show comedian, Nevins said.

Nevins maintained that Dexter will likely conclude after the next two seasons the network has ordered, but stopped short of announcing an end date, calling its upcoming seventh season a "game-changing year" for the serial-killer drama.

Nevins stressed that ending series needs to be planned, a sensibility partly informed by his work on Friday Night Lights, which had two seasons to plan its finale.

"We try to make these decisions about when to end series from a creative point of view so the creators have big say in that," he said. "We don't have to be like the broadcast networks that have to make split-second decisions and cut shows. I think it can be built in satisfying ways."

Showtime has been more conservative than its premium cable rival HBO in rolling out its TV Everywhere app, Showtime Anytime, but Nevins expects it to be available on all its distributors by first quarter of 2013.

Nevins said that while he wants Showtime subscribers to be able to watch their content how they want, online is not a main viewing platform for Showtime. Neither, in fact is real-time viewing -- Nevins said 65%-70% of viewing of a show like Dexter happens outside of its Sunday-night premieres.