TV & Movies

Everything To Know About Showtime’s American Gigolo

Yes, this is the one where Jon Bernthal plays a male escort.

Jon Bernthal plays Julian Kaye in 'American Gigolo.'
Warrick Page/SHOWTIME

Calling all Jon Bernthal devotees: There’s a new show in town, and it’s rife with murder, sex, drama, and — yes — plenty of shirtless scenes. In Showtime’s American Gigolo, Bernthal plays the titular male escort, Julian Kaye. Julian knows he’s good at pleasuring others, and — because he caters to a clientele of upper-class women in Los Angeles — he has the luxury goods to prove it. But when one of his clients is killed, Julian is wrongly convicted and sentenced to 15 years in jail. When he gets out, he tries to figure out who framed him, all while reconnecting with his past love, Michelle (Gretchen Mol), and his troubled mother. Meanwhile, Detective Sunday (Rosie O’Donnell) digs into the truth behind the murder, and ends up unearthing a much larger conspiracy.

The show is based on Paul Schrader’s 1980s crime movie of the same name, which starred a young Richard Gere. Schrader has no involvement with the new series, which takes place in present day. On Facebook, Schrader admitted he’s not happy about the project. “I thought it was a terrible idea — times had changed, internet porn had redefined male sex work, viruses, etc.,” Schrader wrote, adding that “they did not want my involvement.”

Regardless of Schrader’s opinion, though, Bernthal is likely to draw a whole new generation of fans to the crime story. Audiences are already losing it on Twitter over the teaser trailer: “If there’s one thing Jon Bernthal is gonna do, it’s be sexy as hell,” proclaimed one fan, while another jokingly tweeted, “The tl is about to be so UNGODLY.”

Suffice to say, people looking forward to American Gigolo. Below, everything to know about the gritty, steamy drama.

American Gigolo Premiere Date

The first episode will be available to stream for Showtime subscribers on Friday, Sept. 9. It will then have its on-air debut on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime. Episodes will continue to drop every Friday via streaming before appearing on air every Sunday night, until the series concludes in its Episode 8 finale.

American Gigolo Cast

Alongside Bernthal as Julian Kaye and Mol as Michelle, the series also features Lizzie Brocheré as Isabelle, the heiress to a ring of sex workers; Gabriel LaBelle as Johnny, a younger version of Julian; Leland Orser as Richard Stratton, a self-made tech billionaire; and guest star Wayne Brady as Julian’s best friend and mentor Lorenzo. Other guest stars include Alex Fernandez (Runaways), Sandrine Holt (House of Cards), Yolonda Ross (The Chi), and Melora Walters (Pen15).

The American Gigolo Plot

We don’t know much about the series beyond the basic summary. When Entertainment Weekly asked executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer about the show, he simply said, “Expect heightened mystery, danger, and desires as Jon Bernthal takes the movie's iconic character on a contemporary, exhilarating journey."