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‘Ray Donovan’ Canceled Because Liev Schreiber Demanded The Show Move To New York?

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Liev Schreiber attends the "Human Capital" premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival

By Andrew Shuster |

Liev Schreiber attends the "Human Capital" premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival

(Getty Images)

A tabloid claims the reason Ray Donovan was canceled is because Liev Schreiber demanded that the Showtime series be moved from Los Angeles to New York City. The story isn’t accurate. Gossip Cop can correct it.

Earlier this month, Showtime abruptly pulled the plug on Ray Donovan after seven seasons. The cancelation was unexpected, but the National Enquirer is pretending to have an explanation. Back in 2018, the show moved to New York after originally being set in L.A. According to the magazine, Schreiber had forced Showtime executives to switch coasts so he could be closer to his two kids, who he shares with ex Naomi Watts.

“Viewers made it pretty clear they like Ray in L.A. rather than New York City, but Liev felt like he did what he had to do,” an unknown source tell the magazine. “Naomi has the kids in New York, and he couldn’t stand to be away from them – or having them shipped out to L.A. to see him and disrupting their schedules.” The alleged insider adds, “Liev sees the move caused the show to tank, but he doesn’t make apologies. Family comes first to him.”

The tabloid’s breakdown of what happened isn’t factual. When Ray Donovan moved to New York for Season 6, Schreiber told USA Today, “We all felt that after five years, we needed a reboot, we needed some new energy.” The actor noted that there was originally talk of moving the show to Boston, but New York “ felt like an environment that would be exciting, dynamic and potentially rich for Ray and his family.” Schreiber followed up by adding, “And then it worked out great for me, because I live here and my kids are here.” The operative words there being that the move “worked out” for him – he didn’t demand it.

In fact, Schreiber said in that same interview that a large part of him “wanted to stay in L.A.” He noted, “I got used to the lifestyle, so spread out and quiet. And the ocean. I’m a big fan of spending time in Santa Monica and Malibu surfing. It was a great routine that helped me shake off the tension of Ray Donovan.” Those hardly sounds like the words of someone who “demanded” to leave L.A.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Vulture last week, Ray Donovan showrunner David Hollander admitted he was blindsided by the show’s cancelation. When asked for his theory on Showtime’s decision to axe the show, Hollander said, “The corporate elements of show business are complicated… I think the easiest external impact was the merger [between CBS and Viacom]. Whatever new environment grew from the merger clearly had some impact on their choice.” Simply put, it was a corporate “environment” that had the biggest impact, not New York’s environment.

Despite what the tabloid’s unknown insider claims, Showtime execs deny that a move to the Big Apple affected their decision to cancel Ray Donovan. Gossip Cop also reached out to Schreiber’s spokesperson, who tells us the magazine’s story is “false.” The actor didn’t force anyone to relocate the series, nor was the show canceled as a result of the relocation.

This isn’t the first time a tabloid has pretended to have the inside scoop on a show’s cancelation. Back in 2018, Gossip Cop busted the Enquirer’s sister outlet, RadarOnline, for falsely claiming Sarah Jessica Parker’s HBO series Divorce was being canceled as a result of her feud with Kim Cattrall. Shortly after we debunked the story, the show was renewed for a third season. The show wasn’t renewed for a fourth season, but that decision had nothing to do with Cattrall.


Sources

Keveney, Bill. “Liev Schreiber on 'Ray Donovan' in NY, ex-Trump fixer's Ray embrace, 'SNL' hosting nerves.” USA Today, 26 Oct. 2018.

Tallerico, Brian. “Ray Donovan’s Showrunner Has a Few Things to Say About That Surprise Cancellation.” Vulture, 5 Feb. 2020.

Shuster, Andrew. "Sarah Jessica Parker’s TV Show 'Divorce' NOT Getting Canceled Over Kim Cattrall Feud, Despite Report." Gossip Cop, 10 Apr. 2018.

Ina Treciokas, Spokesperson for Liev Schreiber. 12 Feb. 2020.