FX Networks CEO John Landgraf teased the pending renewal at the company’s upfront presentation last week. The network now has ordered a 13-episode third season halfway through Season 2. “The Americans continues to be one of the best … Read More »
At FX‘s upfront presentation last spring, Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell was a central piece as the late-night show was envisioned as a potential cornerstone for the new comedy-centric network FXX. But, facing stiff competition from broadcast and cable, the Chris Rock-produced show didn’t transition well to the new network after its solid original run on FX, leading to its cancellation. That followed the demise of FX’s other late-night effort, Brand X With Russell Brand. At FX’s upfront presentation last week, there was no mention of late-night. Instead, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said announced that FX and FXX will be doubling their primetime original output from 11 to 20 series during the next year. That involves the relocation of resources to primetime as the network is retreating from late-night, at least for the foreseeable future. “There is less interest in late-night, and that is in part driven by the excellence in the arena,” Landgraf said last week, noting the success with young viewers of such cable hosts as Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and the recent shifts on the broadcast networks, including NBC’s highly rated new tandem of Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, along with Jimmy Kimmel on ABC, soon to be joined by Colbert on CBS. “The late-night race is very competitive to get into,” Landgraf said. “You have to be willing to stay there as a very long investment.” Read More »
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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Niko Nicotera (Sympathy For Delicious) and David Labrava have been promoted to regular for the seventh and final season of FX’s Sons Of Anarchy. Nicotera has recurred for the … Read More »
Airing against NCAA basketball on CBS and TBS last night, George Lopez‘s sitcom Saint George drew 721,000 total viewers on FX, down 9% from last Thursday and a new series low for the comedy as it approaches the midpoint of its initial 10-episode run. Compared with its series premiere, last night’s fourth episode was down 40%. In adults 18-49, it delivered 401, 000 viewers, down 15% from last week and off 28% from the premiere (see ratings chart below). Saint George hails from Lionsgate TV and sibling TV distribution company Debmar-Mercury and is produced under Debmar-Mercury’s 10/90 model. That means a straight-to-series 10-episode order which, if a ratings threshold is met, triggers a 90-episode back order. Lionsgate/Debmar-Mercuty’s FX sitcom Anger Management, starring Charlie Sheen, is a product of the same model. Its original 10-episode order, fueled by a big initial interest in Sheen post-Two And A Half Men, hit the ratings target and received a back-90 order that is now airing. With four of the 10 episodes of Saint George broadcast, sources indicate that it appears impossible for the show to fulfill the ratings threshold requirement for a back order. Read More »
Eric André (Two Broke Girls, The Eric André Show), Britt Lower (Unforgettable) and Maya Erskine (Betas) are set as series regulars in FX comedy pilot Man Seeking Woman. Based on … Read More »
UPDATE 12:30 PM: FX just confirmed the series pickup of The Comedians, which has received a 13-episode order and will begin production later this year for a 2015 launch.
Related: 2014 FX Pilots
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE: Billy Crystal is returning to primetime. There is no official word, but I have learned that FX has picked up half-hour pilot The Comedians, toplined by the actor-comedian, to series. The Comedians, based on the 2004 Swedish series Ulveson And Herngren, stars Crystal as a superstar veteran comedian who is reluctantly paired with a younger, edgier comic (Josh Gad) for a late-night comedy sketch show. The project hails from an all-star creative team. Curb Your Enthusiasm and Borat‘s Larry Charles directed the pilot from a script he co-wrote with Crystal, Burn Notice creator Matt Nix, and Ben Wexler. The four executive produce with Mikkel Bondesen and Henrik Bastin of Fabrik Entertainment for Fox TV Studios. Carl Molinder and John Nordling of Stockholm-based Efti AB, which is behind the original series, also executive produce, while Fabrik’s Kristen Campo co-exec produces. Rounding out the cast are series regulars Stephanie Weir, Matt Oberg and Megan Ferguson. Read More »
Alona Tal (Burn Notice) is set as a regular in Amazon Studios‘ pilot Hand Of God, written by Ben Watkins and directed by Marc Forster. It centers on the powerful Judge Harris Pernell (Ron Perlman), a hard-living, law-bending married … Read More »
UPDATED: Tom Everett Scott (Southland) and Niall Matter (Watchmen) have landed series regular roles on TNT’s drama pilot Guilt By Association, from former prosecutor Marcia Clark, on whose book the project is based, and Dee Johnson. The project centers on Rachel Knight (Julia Stiles), a talented, unorthodox and impulsive Deputy DA in the LA County District Attorney’s office who sometimes operates outside the law in order to uphold it. Scott will play Eric Northup, the Head Deputy of the Special Trials Unit. Matter, repped by Gersh, Thruline and Play Management in Canada, will play police Lt. Graden Hales, who is Detective Bailey Keller’s (Elisabeth Röhm) boss. Scott, with Paradigm and John Carrabino Management, currently recurs on CW’s Beauty & The Beast and previously appeared on Sons Of Anarchy and Law & Order. Matter’s TV credits include Arctic Air, Motive, Primeval: New World and Eureka.
Related: 2014 TNT Pilots
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The offbeat comedy that won a writing Emmy in 2012 and scored the first Outstanding Comedy Series nom for a basic cable show finally is heading back to a TV screen near you. There was no Emmy love for FX’s … Read More »
John Corbett, who has been straddling careers as an actor and a musician, will blend the two with a starring opposite Denis Leary in FX‘s music comedy pilot Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. Written by Leary, the project centers on Johnny … Read More »
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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EXCLUSIVE: John Scalzi’s 2012 comedic sci-fi novel Redshirts is headed to the small screen. FX has teamed with veteran feature producer Jon Shestack (Dan In Real Life) and producer-director Ken Kwapis (Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants) and his partner Alexandra Beattie to develop a limited series based on the book, which won the 2013 Hugo Award. Search is underway for writers to pen the adaption, with Kwapis set to direct the opening episode. He, Shestack and Beattie executive produce.
Set in the 25th century, Redshirts follows the adventures of five new recruits on the Starship Intrepid who come to realize that the ship’s crewmembers are dying at an alarming rate. Their investigation leads to the mind-bending discovery that a science fiction television show, produced in the early 21st century, has somehow “intruded” upon their reality and “warped” it. In other words, the lives of the crew are following the course of a television narrative over which they have no control. “Redshirts is a madcap, hyper-meta tale,” Shestack said. Added Kwapis, “If Jorge Luis Borges had been a staff writer on the original Star Trek, he would no doubt have concocted a story like Redshirts.” Read More »
FX has found its man for comedy pilot Man Seeking Woman, from Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video. Undeclared alum Jay Baruchel has signed on for the lead role in the project based on Simon Rich’s book, The Last Girlfriend On Earth, Man … Read More »
The second of three 10/90 comedy series set for FX has a premiere date: Saint George, which stars George Lopez, will bow at 9 PM on Thursday, March 6. As part of Debmar-Mercury and Lionsgate TV’s syndication model, if the series … Read More »
Matt Oberg, Stephnie Weir and Megan Ferguson have joined the cast of FX‘s The Comedians, the hot cable comedy project with Billy Crystal attached to star, co-write … Read More »