Showtime series 'Masters of Sex' based on Newsday writer Thomas Maier's book

Maier says the book started as an article for Newsday about the retirement of Dr. William Masters. (1/9/14)

SANDS POINT - The Golden Globe Awards are this weekend, and included in the nominees is a new series on Showtime with a link to Long Island.

Up for Best New TV Drama, “Masters of Sex” tells the story of Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), pioneering researchers of human sexuality. But what you may not know is that the series is based on a book written by Newsday reporter Thomas Maier.

Maier says the idea for his book, published in 2009, actually came from an article he wrote 20 years ago for Newsday about Masters’ retirement.

“And when I finished the article for Newsday, I thought about it – a man and woman studying love and sex,” says Maier. “And I ended up writing a book that came out in 2009. Sony Pictures bought the rights to the book and Showtime developed it as a series.”

The first season is set in the 1950s in St. Louis, Mo. However, some scenes were shot on Long Island. The first episode was filmed at the Hempstead House at Sands Point. And Maier was there.

“I remember Michael Sheen, right here, asking me for the first time, basically what was Bill Masters like,” Maier recalls.

The second season of the series will air Sunday nights on Showtime in the fall. Season one is currently available on Showtime On Demand. The Golden Globe Awards will air Sunday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC. 

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