EXCLUSIVE: Hit animated comedy Archer is following in the footsteps of fellow FX comedy series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, landing an elusive basic cable-to-basic cable syndication deal. Comedy Central, the off-network home of Sunny In Philadelphia, has inked a deal with Twentieth Television for the off-network rights to Archer, basic cable’s second-highest-rated comedy among adults 18-49 and No.1 on FX. The deal covers all existing seasons and includes commitments for future seasons of the spy toon, which will begin airing on Comedy Central beginning as soon as May 2015. For the first two years, Comedy Central will have exclusive window pre-midnight, while FXX has exclusivity post-midnight. After that there will be no exclusive windowing parameters.
Related: TCA: ‘Archer’ Producers On Show Overhaul, CD Release
FX groomed Archer for a syndication play last spring when it gave it a two-season, 26-episode pickup for Seasons 6 and 7. Reruns anchor comedy-focused upstart FXX. Archer, from FX Prods, was created by Adam Reed, who executive produces with Matt Thompson and their production company, Floyd County.
FX is sticking with Archer for at least another two seasons. Seeing the animated spy series through to 2016 and syndication possibilities, the cable channel today said it has ordered 13 episodes for each of Archer’s’ sixth and seventh seasons. The double pickup comes with a lot of confidence from FX. “Archer is one of the best comedies on television and has played a significant role in the growth of the FX comedy brand,” Eric Schrier, one of the presidents of original programming for FX Networks and FX Productions, said today in a statement. ”We’re grateful to Adam Reed, Matt Thompson and their team at Floyd County, and also our incredible voice cast, and are looking forward to supporting their work for at least two more seasons.” (Archer voice actor H. Jon Benjamin snagged an Outstanding Voice-Over Performance Emmy nom in 2010).
Related: ‘Archer’ Producers On Show Overhaul, CD Release
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Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At today’s TCA, Archer executive producer Matt Thompson and creator Adam Reed addressed the radical show overhaul that has changed Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) and other characters from spies to drug dealers. They joked that FX was on board with this “terrible business decision.” Said Reed cheerfully: It was like: This was going to be great, but we are having daily panic attacks since then. It was a terrible idea.”
Producers also announced the February 17 release of a “real country album” as an adjunct to Archer’s introduction of character Cheryl’s (Judy Greer’s) new alter-ego, country singer Cherlene. The album will debut on the same day as the show’s “Danger Zone” episode featuring Kenny Loggins as “bad-boy “K. Log,” a “bastard image of himself.” Greer does not do her own singing on either the album or the show: “I do not have an awesome voice,” she confessed on the panel.
FX has confirmed January premiere dates for drama Justified, animated comedy Archer and new animated comedy Chozen. Chozen had been scheduled to run on FXX but now will be paired with Archer for a Monday night animation block. With that move, FXX will launch Season 2 of Legit with Ali G: Rezurection in February. Season 5 of Justified premieres on Tuesday, January 7 at 10 PM. This season, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) confronts the Crowes, a deadly, lawless family from Florida intent on settling in Harlan with new criminal enterprises in mind. Archer moves to a new night, airing Mondays at 10 PM ET/PT beginning on January 13. The animated half-hour comedy that revolves around the International Secret Intelligence Service and the lives of its employees is FX’s highest-rated comedy series. The series premiere of Chozen is set for Monday, January 13 at 10:30 PM. The animated comedy revolves around its title character, Chozen, a gay white rapper fresh out of prison. Season 2 of The Americans is scheduled to premiere in February on FX.
The western crime drama Justified will wrap up its fourth season on April 2, FX announced today. Archer and Legit will follow on April 11, with Archer‘s Season 4 finale set for 10 PM and Legit‘s Season 1 capper at 10:30 PM. The Ultimate Fighter ends its season on April 13, with a three-hour finale beginning at 9 PM.
Several weeks into Archer‘s fourth season, FX has ordered a 13-episode fifth season of the animated comedy series, created by Adam Reed and Floyd County Prods and executive produced by Reed and Matthew Thompson. The network also announced that Archer will be submitted into the best comedy series Emmy category this year, a transition very few animated series — most recently Family Guy — have made. “Archer is one the very best comedy series on television,” FX’s EVP Nick Grad said. Season 4 of Archer wraps April 11. When notified of the Season 5 pickup, Reed said, “Thank God.” When Reed notified Thompson, Thompson replied, “Called it.” Read More »
FX announced today 2013 return dates for four series and a premiere date for the new series Legit. Justified will be back on January 8 at 10 PM for its fourth season, with the rest of the series set to return January 17: Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management starts its back-90 run, launching with back-to-back episodes at 9 and 9:30 PM before settling into its regular 9:30 slot. Archer will make its Season 4 premiere at 10, and the recently reordered Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell will air at 11. Legit, the new comedy series starring Jim Jeffries that has a 13-episode order, will have its series premiere that night at 10:30 PM.
FX has renewed its animated series Archer for a fourth season with a 13-episode order. Additionally, FX Prods, which produces the comedy, has signed an overall production deal with Archer executive producers Adam Reed and Matt Thompson and their animation studio, Floyd County Prods. In its current third season, Archer has posted ratings gains vs. Season 2 of 62% in adults 18-34 (1.03 million), 44% in adults 18-49 (1.58 million) and 32% in total viewers (2.0 million). The show’s second season also was up from Season 1. On a weekly basis, Season 3 of Archer is averaging 3.31 million total viewers. “It was an easy decision to order more Archer,” said FX’s EVP original programming Nick Grad. “Adam, Matt, and our amazing voice cast are delivering one of the funniest and smartest shows on television.” Read More »
FX has set its midseason lineup, which will feature the return of Justified and Archer and the debut of new animated comedy series Unsupervised. The third season of drama Justified will premiere January 17 and continue to air Tuesdays at 10 PM. Comedy Archer will open its third season January 19 and will air Thursdays at 10 PM. The animated Archer will be paired with Unsupervised, whose premiere will follow Archer on January 19 at 10:30 PM. Unsupervised, which will be animated by Archer executive producers Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, centers on two optimistic best friends navigating the harsh landscape of teenage life and trying to do what’s right without any parental guidance. The series, created and executive produced by Rob Rosell, Scott Marder and David Hornsby, features a voice cast that includes Justin Long, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Romany Malco, Kaitlin Olson and Alexa Vega, along with Rosell and Hornsby. Unsupervised is produced by FX Prods, in association with Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton’s RCG Prods and Floyd County.
At FX’s upfront party in New York, which is going on right now, the network’s president John Landgraf announced a third-season renewal for Archer. The animated comedy has received a 16-episode order, with three episodes slated to run behind It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia in the fall and the rest airing in early 2012.
Additionally, FX is planning to expand its current portfolio of five comedy series. A sixth half-hour series will launch in early 2012, with Townies as a strong candidate. The animated comedy was created by three It’s Always Sunny writers: David Hornsby and Scott Marder & Rob Rosell. It centers on two earnest yet misguided 15-year-old best friends who have no parental supervision, and they are left to raise themselves through the most awkward years of their lives.
More intel from the FX event courtesy of TVLine’s Matt Mitovich: On the drama side, where FX suffered recent setbacks with Terriers and Lights Out, the network plans to launch a new hourlong series in the fall, “likely” Ryan Murphy-Brad Falchuk’s American Horror starring Connie Britton, which is now casting the pilot. Another new drama series will premiere in the winter, with pilots Outlaw Country and Powers in the running. (The Nashville-set Outlaw Country was delivered some time ago, while Powers, based on the comics, is yet to go into production.) Coincidentally, both pilots are directed by Michael Dinner.
The renewal of Archer comes on the heels of the official pickup of another … Read More »
UPDATED: As expected, FX has renewed its sophomore drama Justified for a third season. The pickup for the Sony Pictures TV-produced series comes just in time for FX’s upfront party tonight in New York, where the cast of the neo-Western crime drama starring Timothy Olyphant is slated to appear, along with actors from the other FX series. Also expected to get a renewal momentarily is FX’s animated comedy series Archer.
FX brass have been very happy with Justified’s performance. Despite hitting a season low in 18-49 last week, the series is running way ahead of Season 1 as it has emerged as a big DVR gainer, getting a 55%-60% ratings bump from time-shifted viewing. Season-to-date, the drama has averaged 4 million viewers in Live Plus 7 for its original Wednesday 10 PM telecasts. That is up 16% from Season 1. In 18-49, the average is 2.1 million, up 16%. With multiple plays included, each episode of Justified draws 7.4 million total viewers this season, up 9% from Season 1 and close to the cumulative viewership for FX’s flagship drama Sons of Anarchy. The average total 18-49 audience for each episode is 3.8 million, up 10%. Here is FX’s release:
LOS ANGELES, March 29, 2011 – The FX drama series Justified is enjoying one of the most critically acclaimed seasons of any show on television this year and today the network has ordered another season of the hit series, picking up
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FX has set premiere dates for new drama series Lights Out and returning animated comedy Archer. Lights Out, starring Holt McCallany as an aging former heavyweight boxing champion, will debut on Tuesday, January 11 at 10 PM. The second season of spy spoof Archer will launch on Thursday, January 27 at 10 PM.
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central has ordered Jon Benjamin Has a Van to series with a 10-episode order. The pickup caps a great week for Benjamin who landed his first Emmy nomination on Thursday for his voice work as the title character on the FX animated comedy Archer. And with the pickup at Comedy Central, Benjamin now plays the title character on 3 series, Jon Benjamin Has a Van, Archer and another animated comedy, Fox’s midseason entry Bob’s Burgers, in which he voices the central character Bob Belcher.
Jon Benjamin Has a Van is a newsmagazine-style sketch show starring Benjamin as an investigative reporter hitting the streets in his custom van to do human interest stories. Absolutely Prods. is producing the series, with Benjamin, Andrew Steele and Funny or Die executive producing. “The show is largely scripted with a touch of improv, said Kent Alterman, head of original programming and production for Comedy Central. “It has its own identity and comes out of Jon finding different ways to tell stories.” Alterman first developed a project with Benjamin during his first stint at Comedy Central as head of the New York development office a decade ago.
Jon Benjamin Has a Van was inspired by videos Benjamin did for Midnight Pajama Jam, his live comedy show with Jon Glaser. Through his relationship with Comedy Central via The Important Things with Demetri Martin, on which Benjamin has served as a writer/producer/performer, he showed the videos to the network’s executives who ordered a … Read More »