'Californication' renewed, 'Tara' and 'Jackie' returning: Notes from Showtime's press tour

david-duchovny-californication-320.jpgShowtime made several announcements during its time Friday (Jan. 14) at the TV critics winter press tour, including ordering more "Californication" and setting premiere dates for several shows in the spring. The details:

- One episode into its fourth season, "Californication" has been picked up for a fifth. The renewal comes on the heels of the show drawing its best-ever season premiere audience (848,000 viewers in its first airing Sunday, 1-million plus combined with a replay later that night), despite not having "Dexter" as a lead-in.

The 12 episodes of Season 5 will go into production in the spring. The remaining episodes of Season 4 will deal with Hank Moody's ( David Duchovny) efforts to stay out of prison and an actor's (guest star Rob Lowe) efforts to adapt Hank's book for a movie.

- Returning shows "Nurse Jackie" and "United States of Tara" and the new drama "The Borgias" will all premiere in the spring.

"Jackie" begins its third season at 10 p.m. ET March 28, and it will pick up right after the events of Season 2 with Jackie ( Edie Falco) facing an intervention. "Tara" follows at 10:30; its new season will feature Eddie Izzard in a recurring role as a professor who challenges Tara ( Toni Collette) when she returns to college.

"The Borgias," about the Renaissance-era dynasty headed by Rodrigo Borgia (Oscar winner Jeremy Irons), will have a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m. April 3. It moves into its regular 10 p.m. home the following week.

- Showtime is headed to the ballpark, collaborating with MLB Productions on an unscripted series following the World Series champion San Francisco Giants through the 2011 season. (HBO has the NFL series "Hard Knocks"; maybe this could be called "Base Knocks"?)

It will shoot over the course of 10 months, starting with spring training in February. A preview episode will air at the start of the regular season, but the regular run won't start until midway through the Giants' title defense.
Photo/Video credit: Showtime