LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- While its barrage of press releases did the heavy lifting for Showtime today, the executive session with David Nevins (President of Entertainment) provided a few additional tidbits:
-- Multi-episode event documentary series "Years of Living Dangerously" - from executive producers James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others - will air next spring. The project features Schwarzenegger, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Alec Baldwin (with more to be announced) as correspondents for stories about those affected by - and seeking solutions to - global warming.
-- The network will air its first sports "Closeup" - "LT: The Life and Times," about the controversial life and career of football legend Lawrence Taylor - on Friday, September 20.
-- "We looked hard at doing a two-hour finale," Nevins admitted about "The Borgias." "The economics of it just didn't make sense, so we didn't move forward. And I think it came to a good stopping place at the end of season three."
-- "I think it's going to scare the shit out of people and be really creepy and interesting," Nevins said about "Penny Dreadful," from writer John Logan and director Antonio Bayona. As for the just cast Josh Hartnett and Eva Green, the executive revealed that the former will play "an American fake cowboy... in turn of century London where American cowboy shows were very popular... And he, sort of impresses the Victorian, the London society women. And there's an intense dark side to his character that I'm going to wait until January to give you more detail."
-- Could "Homeland" exist without Claire Danes and/or Damian Lewis? "You know in, 'Friday Night Lights,' we flipped over the entire cast in one season, and it made the show better," he said. "It's like are you ever going to love the show without the characters who you loved initially? Yeah, you start to fall in love with other characters... and I think the same thing with 'Homeland.' Seasons one and two were really founded on the fulcrum of trust and mistrust between Brody and Carrie. And that still exists in season three, but the characters are extremely estranged... You move forward in time, and you take risks. And sometimes you get beat up for them, but... I think I've said this before. The enemy of good television is boredom and predictability."
-- And finally, Nevins teased a potential "Dexter" spin-off by saying, "We announced a deal with [showrunner] Scott Buck today. Draw your own conclusions."