United States of Tara

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.

United States of Tara
United States of Tara promotional poster
Created byDiablo Cody
Theme music composerTim DeLaughter
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes36 (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
Production location(s)Overland Park, Kansas (setting)
Los Angeles, California (actual filming location)
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)DreamWorks Television
Showtime Networks
Original networkShowtime
Picture format480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Original releaseJanuary 18, 2009 
June 20, 2011
External links

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, two further personalities are introduced: Shoshana, Tara's "therapist" of sorts, and 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.



Portia Doubleday was cast as Kate in the pilot episode of United States of Tara. Doubleday was replaced by Brie Larson when the series' creative team chose to go in a different direction with the character.[4]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
112January 18, 2009 (2009-01-18)April 5, 2009 (2009-04-05)
212March 22, 2010 (2010-03-22)June 7, 2010 (2010-06-07)
312March 28, 2011 (2011-03-28)June 20, 2011 (2011-06-20)

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.[5] Season two premiered on March 22, 2010.[6]

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.[7] 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

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. Season 2 has 79% with 10 reviews, and Season 3 has 84% ("universal acclaim") with 5 reviews.[8] However, some online reviewers, notably the Entropy System, a DID system, have presented a much more negative review of the show, saying that they do not believe it to be a good representation of the disorder. [9]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2009 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Toni Collette Won[10]
Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series Allison Jones, Cami Patton and Elizabeth Barnes Nominated[10]
Outstanding Main Title Design Jamie Caliri, Dave Finkel, Brett Baer and Alex Jukasz Won[10]
Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music Tim Delaughter Nominated[10]
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[10]
Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series Cami Patton and Jennifer Lare Nominated[10]
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

Home media

DVD Name Release Date No. of
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[12]
  • "Chats with the Cast" – Short interviews with the cast
  • Cast bios
The Third and Final Season
  • Region 1: August 2, 2011[13]

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. Carlbert, Michelle (January 18, 2011). "NURSE JACKIE and UNITED STATES OF TARA Season 3 Premiere Date Announced". TV Equals. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  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. Ouzounian, Richard (January 5, 2010). "Portia Doubleday: Michael Cera's transformer". Toronto Star. Toronto. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  5. "Showtime United With Tara For Second Season". Multichannel News. February 10, 2009. Archived from the original on February 14, 2009.
  6. Caitlin, Roger (November 6, 2009). "'Nurse Jackie,' 'Tara' Both Back March 22". Hartford Courant. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  7. "Showtime renews 'Nurse Jackie,' 'United States of Tara". HitFix. March 25, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  8. "United States of Tara - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  9. "DID In The Media: United States of Tara". YouTube. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  10. "United States Of Tara". Emmys. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  11. Lambert, David (October 5, 2009). "United States of Tara - A Change Comes to 'Tara': DVD Delayed, Extras Revealed". TVShowsonDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 9, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  12. Lambert, David (September 7, 2010). "United States of Tara - The 2nd Season DVDs: Date, Bonus Material, Cover Art". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  13. Lambert, David (May 16, 2011). "United States of Tara - 'The 3rd Season' Announced: Date, Details and Early Cover Art". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
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