TCA: Showtime Steps To The Plate With SF Giants Series

Showtime Networks has teamed up with Major League Baseball Productions and the San Francisco Giants for a new original series chronicling the world of professional baseball.

The untitled series, announced Friday by Showtime Entertainment President David Nevins at the TCA winter press tour, is slated to air during the 2011 season. The first installment will be timed toward the opening of the campaign -- the Giants start the season against their rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 31 -- with regularly scheduled episodes to air during the second half.

Nevin, in an interview last week, hinted that Showtime was about to throw out the first pitch on a new sports show.

"Well I think there are certain things that, again, in the pay cable world I happen to be interested in sports, I never had a chance to really work in it before but it's always been an interest of mine," he said. "And there's a couple of ideas, a couple tricks up my sleeve that I think is uniquely suited to Showtime and pay cable that no one else.. that makes sense. There's some things that I'm working on right now."

Nevins also revealed at TCA that the premium network has picked up its comedy Californication for a fifth season, following the show's fourth season premiere-its most-watched premire to date-Jan. 9.
In addtion, Showtime announced the premiere dates of several returning series. The third season of Nurse Jackie will debut March, 28 at 10 p.m., followed by the third season premire of United States of Tara at 10:30. Freshman drama The Borgias will bow April. 3 with a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m. It will begin airing at its regular one-hour 10 p.m. timeslot on Apr. 10. 

Tom Umstead contributed to this report.