The Americans’ Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields have inked overall production deals with FX Productions, the company announced today. The 2-year agreements between the Cold War-based drama’s creator/EP and showrunner will cover all projects developed for TV as well as their work on The Americans itself. “Working with Joe and Joel on The Americans has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Eric Schrier as he and fellow Presidents of Original Programming, FX Networks and FX Productions Nick Grad made the new deals public. “Joel and Joe are two of the most talented, genuine, gracious, and hardest-working guys in the business. We look forward to creating more great programs with each of them.”
The feeling is obviously mutual as former CIA employee and novelist Weisberg made clear. “I actually wanted to sign a 30-year deal, but the actuaries wouldn’t sign off on it,” said Weisberg. “I look forward to continuing our work together on The Americans and to developing some terrific new material with them as well,” added Fields of his work with Weisberg and FX. The critically acclaimed The Americans recently completed its second season and is coming back for a third cycle next year.
FX Productions has closed an overall production deal with Noah Hawley, the writer, executive producer and showrunner of Fargo, FX‘s first limited series as part of the cable network’s push in event programming. The two-year agreement for Hawley and his 26 Keys banner covers development for all television, both cable and broadcast. “As is evident by the universal acclaim and extraordinary reviews pouring in for Fargo, Noah Hawley is one of the most talented writer/producers in this business,” said FX Networks and FX Prods President of Original Programming Eric Schrier. Inspired by the 1996 Coen brothers movie, Fargo tells a new story. Hawley wrote all episodes of the limited series, which earned great reviews. It launched to so-so premiere audience of 2.65 million but has grown in time-shifted viewing, amassing 6.3 million viewers in Live+3. “Making Fargo for FX has been the highlight of my career,” Hawley said.”A writer can search his or her whole career for a network partner who truly understands and encourages their vision. For me, the search is over. When John Landgraf announced ‘at FX, we’d rather make something great for somebody, than something good for everybody,’ I knew I’d found a home.”
EXCLUSIVE: FX Productions has signed a two-year overall production deal with writer-producer David Manson and his production company Sarabande Prods. Under the pact, Peabody Award-winning Manson will develop, write and produce series for FX Networks. The pact stems from Manson and FX’s recent collaboration on the network’s drama series pilot Hoke starring Paul Giamatti. Manson serves as executive producer on the project, from writer/executive producer/director Scott Frank, which just wrapped production. Manson first worked with FX on the limited series Thief, which won star Andre Braugher an Emmy. “David is an incredibly talented writer-producer and highly respected in the creative community,” said FX Networks and FX Prods President Nick Grad. “It’s great to have him under the FXP umbrella, and we expect to announce some projects with him very soon.”
Related: Louis CK Inks Overall Deal With FX Productions For New Series
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FX Networks is making it clear it wants to stay in the Louis CK business. The network already has Louis CK’s acclaimed comedy series Louie, produced by FX Productions. Now FX Prods. has inked an overall deal with Louis CK and his company Pig Newton to develop and produce new series. The agreement is separate from Louie, which this year earned ad-supported cable’s first best comedy series Emmy nomination. It returns for Season 4 in May 2014. The new series under the overall pact, Louis CK’s first, will be created or supervised by Louis CK, who would have the option to write or direct any of them and will executive produce. Blair Breard, an executive producer on Louie, would also serve as a producer or executive producer, with 3 Arts Entertainment attached as producers. Louis CK already is a Renaissance man, writing, directing, editing and starring in his shows. Now he will add a new role — guiding other creators as they get their projects off the ground. “Working with Louis CK has been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of my career,” said John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions. “So many incredibly talented artists want to work with Louis and follow down the independent and idiosyncratic creative trail he has blazed. I can’t wait to see who he brings through our door, not to mention any new projects that he wants … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paul Giamatti and FX are in the early stages of a limited series on the spark that started the fire of the Civil War. I’ve learned that Untitled John Brown Project, as it is currently being called, traces the true story of the abolitionist’s transformation from a lowly 50-year old farmer to a notorious anti-slavery freedom fighter in Kansas and his famed 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry. The project is based on Tony Horwitz’s 2011 book Midnight Rising which examines Brown’s attack on the Virginia arsenal. Though ultimately unsuccessful, the raid, which started as an attempt to launch an armed revolt against the forces of slavery in a politically fraught America, is widely acknowledged as being an emotional tipping point toward the South’s secession the following year. Defeated by Marines led by a certain Col. Robert E. Lee, Brown was convicted and killed by hanging for his part in the raid. Horwitz is a consultant on the project which is expected to be 6 to 8 hours in total. Read More »
FX Prods has inked a two-year, first-look production deal with Paul Giamatti, Dan Carey and their production company Touchy Feely Films. Under the pact, the first TV agreement ever for Touchy Feely, the company will develop series for cable. Touchy Feely’s feature credits include Pretty Bird and Cold Souls. The deal was negotiated by UTA.
UPDATED: FX has found Archer a buddy. The cable network has given a 13-episode order to Unsupervised (working title), a new animated comedy series, created and executive produced by It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia‘s Rob Rosell, Scott Marder and David Hornsby. The show will premiere in January and will be paired with FX’s existing animated comedy Archer. Unsupervised hails from RCG, the production company of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia masterminds Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton. It is the first series to come out of the $40 million deal RCG signed with FX Prods. last month.
Unsupervised is a comedy about optimistic best friends Gary and Joel navigating the harsh landscape of teenage life and trying to do what’s right without any parental guidance whatsoever. Its voice cast includes Justin Long, Kristen Bell, Romany Malco, Kaitlin Olson and Alexa Vega, along with Rosell and Hornsby. “Having worked with David, Rob and Scott for many years on Sunny, it gives us great pleasure to see them make their own stamp on FX,” said FX’s EVP Nick Grad. “Unsupervised is a great addition to our comedy roster and, like all of our comedies, it’s smart and really funny.” Unsupervised is produced by FX Prods, in association with RCG Prods and Floyd County. The series will be animated by Archer executive producers Adam Reed and Matt Thompson. It marks the second series for Hornsby, … Read More »
From aliens to pirates – V executive producer/showrunner Scott Rosenbaum has been tapped to write the pilot script for Port Royal, FX’s drama series project produced by Graham King’s GK-tv, Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment, FX Prods. and Fox International Channels. Based on the original idea by Hurd, Port Royal is set in the late 17th century on the island of Jamaica and chronicles the namesake port’s notorious rise as the “richest and wickedest city” in the new world, and as a self-governing safe haven for cutthroat pirates, corrupt politicians and ruthless merchants. UTA-repped Rosenbaum will executive produce the project with Hurd and GK-tv’s King, Tim Headington and Craig Cegielski. This marks Rosenbaum’s return to FX, where he worked on The Shield before switching to broadcast with stints on Chuck and V. If it goes to series, Port Royal will air on FX domestically and on the Fox International Channels abroad.
EXCLUSIVE: Lucy Punch has been tapped as the female lead in the FX drama pilot Powers. Based on the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, the project, written by Charles H. Eglee and to be directed by Michael Dinner, is a police procedural set in a world where superpowers are relatively common. It centers on two detectives, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim (Punch), in a Homicide department that deals with cases involving “powers” (people with superpowers).
Eglee, Dinner, David Engel and Brian Bendis are executive producing for Sony Pictures TV and FX Prods. Filming is slated for mid-summer in Chicago. This marks a return to series television for the British-born Punch, whose first major U.S. role was on the CBS comedy The Class. She has been busy in features lately, appearing in Dinner for Schmucks and Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. Punch, repped by WME, the Schiff Co. and U.K’s United Agents, will next be seen in Sony’s comedy Bad Teacher, which opens this weekend.