United States of Tara

United States of Tara

United States of Tara promotional poster
Genre Comedy-drama
Created by Diablo Cody
Starring Toni Collette
Rosemarie DeWitt
John Corbett
Brie Larson
Keir Gilchrist
Theme music composer Tim DeLaughter
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 36 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Steven Spielberg
Diablo Cody
Alexa Junge (season 1)
Jill Soloway (season 2–3)
Darryl Frank
Justin Falvey
Craig Zisk (season 2–3)
Producer(s) Dan Kaplow
Location(s) Overland Park, Kansas (setting)
Los Angeles, California (actual filming location)
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time approx. 30 min.
Production company(s) DreamWorks Television
Showtime Networks
Original network Showtime
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Original release January 18, 2009 – June 20, 2011
External links

United States of Tara is an American television comedy-drama created by Diablo Cody, which aired on Showtime from 2009 to 2011. The series follows the life of Tara (Toni Collette), a suburban housewife and mother coping with dissociative identity disorder.

The series was based on an idea by Steven Spielberg, who is the executive producer, under his DreamWorks Television label. Other executive producers include writers Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, director Craig Zisk, and showrunners Cody and Jill Soloway. Former executive producer Alexa Junge quit as showrunner after the first season.

Principal photography was filmed in Los Angeles, California, while the show's setting is located in Overland Park, Kansas. Collette won the 2009 Primetime Emmy Award and 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her role; the opening title sequence also won an Emmy. The show's third and final season premiered on March 28, 2011.[1]

On May 23, 2011, Showtime announced that the series would not be renewed for a fourth season,[2] and the series finale aired on June 20, 2011.[3]


Tara Gregson is a wife and mother of two children in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, who has been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID). When stressed, Tara often transitions into one of her alternate personalities: wild and flirty teenager T; 1950s style housewife Alice; and male, loud, beer-drinking Vietnam vet Buck. A fourth personality, Gimme, is introduced later in the first season. During the second season of the series, two further personalities were introduced. The former, called Shoshana, is Tara's "therapist" of sorts, while the sixth personality's name is Chicken, an infantile representation of Tara when she was five years old. Another personality emerges in Season 3, that of Tara's previously unknown half-brother Bryce. Tara is supported by her husband Max, daughter Kate, and son Marshall. Her sister, Charmaine, is initially not very supportive of Tara, expressing doubts about the validity of her sister's disorder, though she becomes increasingly more understanding and receptive as the series progresses. The show is a representation of a seemingly typical American family who must cope with the daily struggles of dissociative identity disorder.

Cast and characters


Broadcasting information

The series premiered on the US network Showtime on January 18, 2009. On February 10, 2009, after only four episodes had aired, Showtime Networks president of entertainment Robert Greenblatt announced that United States of Tara would be renewed for a second season, to consist of twelve episodes and air in early 2010. He said the early renewal decision came after the show averaged 2.67 million viewers per week, giving the network its highest ratings since 2004, when Nielsen Media Research began counting original shows on premium channels in its prime time ratings.[4] Season two premiered on March 22, 2010.[5]

On March 25, three days after the season 2 premiere, it was announced that it would be picked up for a third season which aired in spring 2011.[6] Season 3 officially premiered on March 28, 2011.[1] On May 23, 2011, it was announced that the series would not be renewed for a fourth season.[2]


Critical reception

Initial critical response to the show was positive, with many reviewers praising Collette's acting. According to Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the show's first season holds a score of 63 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews", based on 24 reviews.[7]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2009 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Toni Collette Won[8]
Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series Allison Jones, Cami Patton and Elizabeth Barnes Nominated[8]
Outstanding Main Title Design Jamie Caliri, Dave Finkel, Brett Baer and Alex Jukasz Won[8]
Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music Tim Delaughter Nominated[8]
2010 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Toni Collette Won
Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Toni Collette Nominated[8]
Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series Cami Patton and Jennifer Lare Nominated[8]
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Toni Collette Nominated
GLAAD Media Award Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
2011 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Toni Collette Nominated

DVD releases

DVD Name Release Date Ep # Additional Content
The First Season 12
  • Sitting Down with Diablo Cody
  • Audio Commentary
  • Tara's Alters
  • Podcast interviews with Toni Collette, John Corbett, Rosemarie DeWitt and Brie Larson
  • On The Set
  • First two episodes of Californication season 2
  • Episode 2 of The Tudors season 3
  • Bonus Disc: The first two episodes of Nurse Jackie (Best Buy exclusive)
The Second Season
  • Region 1: December 28, 2010[10]
  • "Chats with the Cast" – Short interviews with the cast
  • Cast bios
The Third and Final Season
  • Region 1: August 2, 2011[11]

Episodes 1 and 2 were also available as bonus features on DVD disc 4 (of 4) of Dexter, Season 3; and on disc 4 (of 4) of The Tudors, Season 3.

In Australia, United States of Tara was rated MA 15+, whereas in New Zealand, it was rated R13 for offensive language and sexual references.


  1. 1 2 Carlbert, Michelle (January 18, 2011). "NURSE JACKIE and UNITED STATES OF TARA Season 3 Premiere Date Announced". TV Equals. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  2. 1 2 Carlbert, Michelle (May 23, 2011). "Showtime keeping NURSE JACKIE But Giving UNITED STATES OF TARA The Boot". TV Equals. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  3. "United States of Tara: Showtime Comedy Cancelled; No Season Four". TV Series Finale. May 23, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  4. "Showtime United With Tara For Second Season". Multichannel News. February 10, 2009. Archived from the original on February 14, 2009.
  5. Caitlin, Roger (November 6, 2009). "'Nurse Jackie,' 'Tara' Both Back March 22". Hartford Courant. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  6. "Showtime renews 'Nurse Jackie,' 'United States of Tara". HitFix. March 25, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  7. "United States of Tara - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "United States Of Tara". Emmys. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  9. Lambert, David (October 5, 2009). "United States of Tara - A Change Comes to 'Tara': DVD Delayed, Extras Revealed". TVShowsonDVD.com. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  10. Lambert, David (September 7, 2010). "United States of Tara - The 2nd Season DVDs: Date, Bonus Material, Cover Art". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  11. Lambert, David (May 16, 2011). "United States of Tara - 'The 3rd Season' Announced: Date, Details and Early Cover Art". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
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