On the heels of record-breaking premiere night ratings for both original series, Showtime has picked up new seasons of its hit comedies The Big C and Weeds. Season 2 of The Big C (from Sony Pictures Television) and Weeds (from Lionsgate) will premiere on the network in 2011.
The Big C took the country by storm last month as more than 6.5 million people viewed the premiere episode across various platforms, making it the network's highest-rated original series premiere in 8 years. The night kicked off with Weeds, which also garnered over 6 million viewers - a record premiere episode for the series.
"The unprecedented viewership for both The Big C and Weeds proves that audiences love these shows as much as we do," said Showtime President of Entertainment David Nevins. "There are definitely more comedic adventures in store for these fascinating, complex women. For six seasons, we've happily traveled along with Nancy Botwin and we're equally as excited to follow Laura Linney and The Big C team as they chart Cathy's unique journey through such a provocative and personal subject as cancer. We're thrilled that these two signature shows will be returning to the network in 2011."
Hailed by critics, including a four-star rave from People magazine, The Big C stars three-time Academy Award nominee, three-time Emmy winner and three-time Tony Award nominee Laura Linney (who the Boston Globe contends "...earns THE BIG C a big 'A'...") as Cathy Jamison, a reserved, 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. The series also stars Oliver Platt (Huff, Frost/Nixon) stars as her immature but well-meaning husband, John Benjamin Hickey (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Phyllis Somerville (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Gabriel Basso (Alabama Moon). Season one special guest stars include Gabourey Sidibe (Oscar nominee for Precious) as a precocious student and Idris Elba (Luther) as a love interest for Cathy.
Additional guest stars include Reid Scott (My Boys) as her oncologist, Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) as a flaky, long-lost friend, Brian Cox (X2: X-Men United) as her emotionally distant father, and Liam Neeson as "Bee Man," an eccentric character who Cathy consults for a possible treatment for her terminal cancer. The Big C is created by Darlene Hunt, who serves as executive producer, along with Jenny Bicks, Laura Linney, Vivian Cannon and Neal H. Moritz. It is produced by Sony Pictures Television.
Showtime's critically acclaimed comedy series Weeds took to the open road for season six, to hilarious ends. Dubbed by TV Guide as "....TV's most compelling bad mama," Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker in her Golden Globe Award-winning performance) and family are now on the lam after Shane (Alexander Gould) killed Mexican VIP Pilar (Kate del Castillo) with a croquet mallet. To elude the Mexican FBI, police and mafia, they grab what they can, toss their cell phones and IDs and get rolling, taking odd jobs and meeting new characters along the way (season six guest stars include Richard Dreyfuss, Linda Hamilton, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alanis Morissette and more). Weeds is executive produced by creator Jenji Kohan, Roberto Benabib and Matthew Salsberg and produced by Lionsgate.