FX Networks had been ramping up development, with some dozen pilots ordered in the past year. It is part of a major original expansion. At an upfront press event in New York, CEO John Landgraf said the company will go up from 11 originals to 20 across FX and FXX during the next year. FX Networks’ $750 million acquisition, The Simpsons, will make its debut on FXX in August with 12-day marathon. “It will be the longest continuous marathon in the history of television,” Landgraf said.
Related: EMMYS: John Landgraf Calls For Tougher Category Rules, Says ‘True Detective’s Entry As Drama Series “Unfair”
On the renewal front, a formal third-season renewal of The Americans is expected soon, he said. “We look forward to it being on our schedule for quite some time,” he said, later adding that he was “confident in the [show's] long-term prospect.” While the series’ live numbers may have dipped, it has been a DVR growth story. The Americans‘ DVR numbers are “unlike anything I have ever seen,” Landgraf said. “Live viewing is essentially just 20% of whole.”
Landgraf and his team will wait for the seasons of Legit and Chozen to end before making a decision on their future but that would be coming soon. Landgraf also touted the new season of Louie as being “amazing” and upcoming limited series Fargo as being “so good I can’t close the door” on another installment. “If it comes back, it will once again be located in North Dakota or Minnesota but telling a different story with different characters.” However, “the bar is high, it has to be an extraordinarily good story.”
Related: Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton & Charlie Day Ink Big New 3-Year Deal With FX Prods
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Netflix Bringing ‘Fargo’ To The Netherlands
Netflix has scored rights to new series Fargo for the Netherlands. The 10-episode limited series is inspired by the Coen brothers’ 1996 feature and will be available exclusively to Netflix members beginning April 16. New episodes will roll out weekly on Netflix Netherlands within 24 hours of the U.S. broadcast on FX. Fargo is produced by MGM Television and FX Productions with MGM handling worldwide distribution. Billy Bob Thornton stars as a rootless, manipulative man who meets and forever changes the life of a small-town insurance salesman (Martin Freeman). Colin Hanks, Allison Tolman, Bob Odenkirk, Oliver Platt, Kate Walsh, Glenn Howerton, Joey King, Peter Breitmayer, Tom Musgrave, Josh Close, Russell Harvard, Adam Goldberg, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele round out the cast. Read More »
Arrow Films has acquired UK rights to God’s Pocket starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Sold by Electric Entertainment, the film is the feature directorial debut of Mad Men’s John Slattery. Electric acquired it at Sundance. IFC has U.S. distribution and Arrow will release later this year in Britain. Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro and Caleb Landry Jones also star in the film written by Slattery and Alex Metcalf. Based on the Pete Dexter novel, the movie follows a man who tries to cover up the accidental death of his stepson in a blue collar neighborhood in South Philadelphia. Arrow’s recent titles include Love Is All You Need, The Hunt and A Hijacking. Read More »
Kenneth Choi (Ironside) has landed a regular role in the NBC drama pilot Coercion, from Universal Television and Keshet Media Group. Based on the Israeli format The Gordin Cell, the high-octane thriller revolves around the O’Connor family and their extremely … Read More »
The ill-timed consolidation of the best TV movie and miniseries Emmy categories will likely be short lived. The TV Academy has started a procedure for the two longform categories to be restored for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, putting an end to the category’s two-year merger. “The recommendation has been made to split Outstanding Miniseries or Movie into separate program categories,” a TV Academy spokesperson said in a statement. “This is on the agenda to be discussed at the February 4th Awards Committee meeting.” The move, first reported by TVLine, is the first in a two-step process, with a recommendation first going to the awards committee and then to the Board of Governors for a vote. It was triggered by the so-called “rule of 14″ where more than 14 submissions in a category prompts a discussion of creating a new category and fewer than 14 opens a consolidation conversation. The dramatic drop in miniseries production at the end of the last decade — which resulted in only 2 getting nominated in the best miniseries Emmy category in both 2009 and 2010 — invoked the rule of 14, leading to the February 2011 vote to merge the best TV movie and miniseries categories.
One can argue that when made, that decision was already outdated because by early 2011 the miniseries genre was already coming out of the collapse with a number of solid Emmy contenders that year, including the opening installments of PBS’ Downton Abbey, which started off as a limited series; PBS’ Sherlock and BBC America’s Luther; as well as HBO’s Mildred Pierce, ReelzChannel’s The Kennedys, Sundance Channel’s Carlos and Starz’s The Pillars Of The Earth. But the TV Academy continued combining longform categories.
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UPDATED: The movie world has changed drastically, particularly in the last five or six years,” Billy Bob Thornton said when asked why he’d signed to star, along with Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman, in FX’s first limited series Fargo.
“When I was coming up, if you went to television from film it meant something was wrong…Now it’s the opposite,” Thornton told TV critics at Winter TV Press Tour 2014 for FX’s series inspired by Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 film of same name. The kind of “mid-level movies and higher-budget independent films” Thornton said he and his peers came up in the business making, “that doesn’t exist any more. The motion picture studios make big event movies, and broad comedies, and action movies — and movies where vampires are all models. Television has now taken that spot. For actors who want to do good dramatic work, with dark humor and drama, you have to do it on television. If you want to be a celebrity, then go to the dentist in Beverly Hills and punch somebody,” he quipped — a reference to a reported recent Kanye West encounter with a guy outside a Beverly Hills medical office.
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Breaking Bad‘s Bob Odenkirk and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia‘s Glenn Howerton have signed on to FX‘s 10-episode limited series Fargo. They will … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Kate Walsh, Joey King and Josh Close have joined the … Read More »
Dexter alum Colin Hanks has signed on to co-star opposite Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman in FX’s first limited series Fargo, executive produced by Joel and Ethan Coen. Inspired by the Coens’ 1996 film, FX’s Fargo, from FX Prods and MGM TV, features an all-new crime story and characters. It centers on Lester Nygaard (Freeman), a small-town insurance salesman henpecked by his wife, whose life is changed when a mysterious stranger, Lorne Malvo (Thornton), comes to town. Hanks will play Duluth Police Deputy Gus Grimly, a single dad who must choose between his own personal safety and his duty as a policeman when he comes face-to-face with a killer. Hanks, repped by UTA and The Schiff Co, co-stars in the upcoming feature Parkland. Read More »
Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman is set as the co-lead opposite Billy Bob Thornton in FX’s first limited series Fargo, executive produced by Joel and Ethan Coen. A 10-episode limited series inspired by the Coens’ 1996 … Read More »
UPDATED: Billy Bob Thornton is set to star in FX’s first limited series Fargo, executive produced by Joel and Ethan Coen. A 10-episode limited series inspired by the Coens’ 1996 film, FX’s Fargo will … Read More »
Emmy-winning veteran TV helmer Adam Bernstein (30 Rock, Breaking Bad) has signed on to direct the premiere hour of FX’s first limited series Fargo, executive produced by Joel and Ethan Coen. A 10-episode limited series inspired … Read More »
UPDATED: FX has given the green light to the first limited series under the cable network’s push in that programming area — an adaptation of Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 comedic crime drama Fargo.
Additionally, FX president John Landgraf announced several high-profile limited/miniseries projects in development as the genre will become a cornerstone for FX’s sibling FXM (Fox Movie Channel): Grand Hotel from Sam Mendes, about a fictional terrorist plot in Paris; Sutton, from Alexander Payne and Michael De Luca, about the infamous bank robber; Mad Dogs, from The Shield‘s Shawn Ryan, based on the British black comedy/psychological thriller miniseries; and Mayflower, from producers Paul Giamatti and Gil Netter (Life Of Pi). (See their descriptions below.)
Related: FX Officially Unveils FXX Channel To Launch In September Read More »