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Kristen Bell's series gets a premiere date; plus Dexter's 'Da Vinci Code' connection

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House
Showtime

Kristen Bell will return to TV on … Jan. 9, when her new Showtime comedy House of Lies debuts, announced the network at the critics press tour in Beverly Hills.

Lies stars Bell and Don Cheadle as cut-throat corporate consultants, and will premiere alongside the return of Californication and Shameless.

Meanwhile Showtime president David Nevins gave some more hints about the religious-themed upcoming sixth season of Dexter.

“One of the interesting things about Dexter this year, the killings he’s following — I don’t want to give anything away — but there’s a [Da Vinci Code author] Dan Brown-kind of way to the clues being followed and the story that developments. That story between [the two killers Dexter hunts] has its own mystery to it that’s really cool.”

Critics asked Nevins if Dexter “taking on Jesus” this season will cause outrage among some viewers. “Jesus is not going to be on the show,” he quipped, then admitted the controversy might help ratings.

“It’s good for the business to push into taboo subjects,” Nevins said, “to be taboo to be a little scary. Our shows are not for everybody.”

Nevins also gave some hints about the direction of season two of The Borgias. “Season two is about how power corrupts,” he said. “Season 1 leaned toward white collar crime; season two is more violent and visceral. He’s got great stuff for Machiavelli and Leonardo Da Vinci in season two.” (Yes, there are two Da Vinci references in this story).

Oh, and for fans of the allegedly unscripted show Gigolos, where a gaggle of vain male prostitutes fool around with female clients in Las Vegas, the show just received a second season order.

Showtime also announced a new project, Laughing Stock, a comedian interview program produced by Steve Carell and David Steinberg.

The channel recently passed 20 million subscribers — an all time high for the network — despite seeing some significant ratings drops in shows like Weeds (which, Nevins says, he’s optimistic about renewing) and Nurse Jackie.

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