TCA: FX’s Vampire Series ‘The Strain’ – A Statement About “Empiricism And Religion” Without Sex

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 5:17pm PST

TCADeadline__140109155905FX’s new vampire series The Strain is a “really original re-imagining of vampire lore” that “says something about the precariousness of our modern world” and also about the 2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 6intersection of “empiricism and religion,” exec producer Carlton Cuse told TV critics this afternoon.

Then he showed critics a clip from the pilot episode.

“I got a massage just watching that,” Cuse tittered when the gore-tastic clip wrapped. Critics, who looked like the clip had had the same effect on them, were disappointed to learn from Cuse that the vampires of The Strain won’t engage in actual sex. That’s because the particular strain of vampire in Chuck Hogan’s novel trilogy on which the series is based sloughs off genitalia – no use for them. Read More »

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TCA: ‘Tyrant’ Producer To Detractors: “Bring It On!”

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 5:11pm PST

TCADeadline__140109155905Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

During today’s TCA panel on the new FX drama Tyrant, Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff — who executive produce with Craig Wright — compared the story of an American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent fictional Middle Eastern nation to The Godfather. That is, as Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff TCAmuch family drama as political thriller. If there is a larger theme to the series, Gordon said, it is, “What does it mean to be a good man?”

Related: TCA: Lost Ad Revenue Biggest Challenge To TV, Says FX Networks Chief John Landgraf

After the panel, Gordon addressed recent grumblings that the team’s popular Showtime series Homeland may have veered too far in the “family” direction by playing out the story of Brody’s troubled daughter and her disturbed boyfriend. Gordon said he doesn’t see it that way. That story line, he said, was necessary to show the “collateral damage” to the families of the political story. “I just think people got impatient with it,” Gordon added.

Related: Page Out Of ‘24’ Book? ‘Homeland’s Morgan Saylor, Morena Baccarin No Longer Regulars
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TCA: FX’s ‘Justified’ EP On Final Seasons, Life Without Elmore Leonard & The Late Writer’s Upcoming Tribute

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 3:00pm PST

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

UPDATED, 3 PM: There were plenty of plot and story questions about what’sTCADeadline__140109155905 in store for the sprawling ensemble of characters on the FX series Justified at today’s TCA. A few tidbits from EP Graham Yost: “You will see the Harris brothers again. I’m not going to tell you who you’re not going to see again.” The current fifth season will be a big season for the character of Art Mullen (Nick Searcy). In Season 6, expect more on the relationship of Rachel Brooks (Erica Tazel) and Tim Gutterson (Jacob Pitts).

Related: TCA: Lost Ad Revenue Biggest Challenge To TV, Says FX Networks Chief John Landgraf

2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 6But two questions loomed larger: A) Why will the sixth season be the last? and B) What life is like without the late Elmore Leonard, on whose writings the series is based?

Related: FX Confirms ‘Justified’ Endgame Plans

First, the final season: “A lot of it was just figuring out how much story we had left,” Yost said. “Our biggest concern telling these stories is that we don’t run out of story and start repeating ourselves. Although there were financial incentives to keep it going, it really felt in terms of the story of Raylon Givens in Kentucky, that six years felt about right.” Read More »

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TCA: FX’s ‘Fargo’ Star Billy Bob Thornton Says TV Replacing Film For Interesting Drama

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 2:00pm PST

UPDATED: The movie world has changed drastically, particularlyTCADeadline__140109155905 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.

2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 6“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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TCA: Critics Of ‘Chozen’s Gay White Rapper Character Need To Get A Sense Of Humor, Says Actor

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 11:35am PST

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

TCADeadline__140109155905Those who are blasting FX’s new animated series Chozen (which premiered last night) for featuring a gay white rapper (voiced by SNL’s Bobby Moynihan) need to grow a 2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 6sense of humor, says series’ voice actor Method Man. On today’s TCA panel for Chozen (Moynihan appeared via satellite), Method Man said that he didn’t have “even a second thought about the character” when he signed on for the show. “It didn’t occur to me that there would be a problem, I didn’t react like that.”

Related: TCA: Lost Ad Revenue Biggest Challenge To TV, Says FX Networks Chief John Landgraf

When a reporter in the audience pointed out that the show makes fun of hip-hop, the performer grinned. “Absolutely, and that makes me want to do it even more,” he said. “It is making fun of hip-hop, gay people, [everyone].” He blasted rap artists who put themselves on a pedestal: “Got to knock people off their horse now and then,” he said.

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FX Confirms ‘Justified’ Endgame Plans

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 11:20am PST

JustifiedFX CEO John Landgraf today officially confirmed that the network’s drama series Justified will end its run with a sixth and final season. The final installment of the series, executive produced by Graham Yost and starring Timothy … Read More »

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TCA: Lost Ad Revenue Biggest Challenge To TV, Says FX Networks Chief John Landgraf

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 10:27am PST

Lost ad revenue is the biggest threat to theLandgraf cable industry, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf told TV critics this morning. Sons Of Anarchy, he noted, averaged more than 5 million demo viewers in Live +7, but only 2 million who watched live and only 3 million who watched the ads. “We need to find new opportunities to mitigate those losses,” he warned. FXNow, an ad-supported on demand service offering FX Networks’ programming, “will allow us to begin rebuilding our advertising business,” Landgraf said.

TCADeadline__140109155905Also critical: stacking rights, he said. Loosely translated: the rights to make available to viewers all current-season episodes of a series on VOD or authenticated streaming. Those stacking rights are “absolutely vital” he said. “People have been talking about the promise of TV Everywhere for a long time now… It’s been a jerky-jerky process but I’m confident that the industry has achieved the key breakthrough. I think a year or two from now people will really have access to a lot of content.” He noted “ownership of content has bailed us out,” in an evolving advertising universe, acknowleding “It’s a nice thing to have long-tail revenue that undergirds a more volatile thing like advertising sales.”

Landgraf thinks the next season of American Horror Story probably will be another period piece and most of the Coven cast will be back. “Ultimately I’m waiting for Ryan [Murphy] to tell me” what’s going to happen. Other than that, he’s not sure what the next season of one of his most important franchises has in store. Read More »

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FX Orders Comedy Pilot Created By, Starring Zach Galifianakis & Co-Written By Louis C.K.

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 9:15am PST
Nellie Andreeva

ZachGalifianakis"American Hustle" New York ScreeningWhen Louis C.K., creator/star of FX‘s acclaimed comedy series Louie, signed an overall deal with FX Productions last month, one of his main goals was … Read More »

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John Hawkes & Michael Cera To Star In Charlie Kaufman’s FX Comedy Pilot

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 9:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

cerahawkesAfter lengthy negotiations, John Hawkes and Michael Cera have signed on to topline How And Why, FX Networks‘ half-hour comedy pilot from Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Read More »

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Tammy Blanchard Joins FX’s ‘Hoke’ Opposite Paul Giamatti

By | Thursday January 9, 2014 @ 6:29pm PST

Tammy BlanchardEXClUSIVE: Tony-nominated actress Tammy Blanchard has landed a series regular role on FX series Hoke, the darkly comedic drama series adapted by Scott Frank (Get Shorty, Out Of Sight) from Charles Willeford’s detective novels Sideswipe, New Read More »

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FX’s ‘Justified’ Down In Season 5 Debut

By | Wednesday January 8, 2014 @ 1:34pm PST

Justified Ratings Season 5 PremiereThe Season 5 premiere of Justified last night saw U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens heading to Florida for a case and the debut of Michael Rapaport as the latest bad guy. The heavily promoted return of the … Read More »

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Comedy Created By & Starring Denis Leary As Middle-Aged Rocker Gets FX Pilot Order

By | Tuesday January 7, 2014 @ 1:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Denis LearyRescue Me co-creator/star Denis Leary is back in business with FX, this time on the comedy side. FX Networks has given a pilot order to Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, written by and starring Leary as a middle-aged rock ‘n roller who desperately wanted to be rich and famous but so far, he’s 0 for 2. The show will feature original music and occasional guest appearances by actual rock stars. The pilot, tentatively slated to film in the spring in New York City, fx_logois produced by FX Prods. and Fox Television Studios where Leary and Jim Serpico’s Apostle has a cable deal. Leary and Serpico exec produce. As is the case with most FX comedy pilots, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll is being ordered under the FX Networks umbrella, with a decision whether the project would be for flagship FX or comedy-centric FXX to be made at a series pickup. “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll is a terrific script and concept with Denis Leary’s signature brand of comedy,” said FX president of original programming Eric Schrier. “Denis is a tremendous talent who played a major role in the growth of our network with Rescue Me, which was one of the most groundbreaking series of the last decade.” Added Leary, “I am very excited to be returning to FX where working with Nick (Grad), Eric and John Landgraf has been one of the best creative experiences of my life. Plus I hear they have much better swag now.”

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, which has no connection to Eric Bogosian’s play of the same name, is centered on Johnny Rock (Leary) who, as the magnificently talented lead singer of New York’s legendary early 90′s band The Heathens, was on his way to the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. His best friend Flash was being called the next number one lead guitar player on planet earth. The critics loved them. Their live shows were selling out. But Johnny had a problem with booze. And coke. And weed. And pills. And cough medicine. And oh yeah – he slept with Flash’s wife. And his bass player’s fiancée. Read More »

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FX’s ‘The Americans’ Returns February 26

By | Thursday December 26, 2013 @ 9:43am PST

FX_Americans_s640x427Season 2 of FX‘s series The Americans will premiere on Wednesday, February 26 at 10 PM, the cable network said today. Let’s see how those premiere numbers compare with the period spy drama’s series premiere, which drew 5.1 million … Read More »

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FX Orders Executioner Pilot From ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Creator Kurt Sutter & Brian Grazer

By | Thursday December 12, 2013 @ 2:45pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter has lined up his follow-up series to the hit FX drama, and it is as far from SOA‘s contemporary Central Valley biker community grazerkurt-sutter__111207191730-150x150as they come (but probably just as violent). Sutter has teamed with Imagine’s Brian Grazer for The Bastard Executioner, a period drama project that has received a pilot greenlight from FX. Bastard Executioner tells the story of a warrior knight in King Edward III’s charge who is broken by the ravages of war and vows to lay down his sword. But when that violence finds him again he is forced to pick up the bloodiest sword of all. “I love the network. I love the world. I love the blood,” Sutter said. He will write the fxlogo1__130919165223-200x110script and executive produce with Imagine’s Grazer and Francie Calfo for Fox 21 and FX Prods. through Sutter’s overall deal with Fox 21 parent 20th Century Fox TV, where Imagine TV also is based. Sutter is expected to start working on Bastard Executioner when he wraps the upcoming seventh and final season of SOA, with filming of the pilot slated to begin late next year.

“For 13 years at FX, starting as a writer and working his way up to an executive producer on The Shield, then as Creator/Executive Producer of Sons Of Anarchy, Kurt has interwoven literary and pulp storytelling within two of the most successful series in cable history,” said FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. “Now he has conceived a deep, provocative and historically precise narrative journey into our medieval past — and I have no doubt Bastard Executioner will be another remarkably original and gripping series. We’re also thrilled to be in business with Brian Grazer, one of the most gifted film and TV producers in the business.”

Related: FX’s ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Hits Finale High With Season 6 Ender
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FX Drama ‘Tyrant’ From Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, Craig Wright Ordered To Series

By | Wednesday December 11, 2013 @ 2:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Exactly a year after FX landed the tyrantspec for Tyrant in a competitive situation, the cable network has given the drama project from Homeland co-creators Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff and Six Feet Under alum Craig Wright a series order for a minimum of 10 episodes to debut next summer. The series pickup for Tyrant comes on the heels of FX’s series order to Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse’s The Strain. Along with American Horror Story a couple of years ago, Tyrant and The Strain were the only projects to land FX pilot orders off a pitch/spec. HowardGordon_newAll three had such big commitments that a series order was all but certain and all three had received orders for backup scripts in anticipation of a series pickup. Tyrant, produced by Fox 21 and FX Prods., was the riskiest of the three with its Middle Eastern setting. It did hit several bumps along the way — original director Ang Lee exited, with David Yates stepping in. There were questions about where the series would be filmed (It will be shot in Tel Aviv after the pilot was done in Morocco.) I hear FX brass had reservations about the first cut of the pilot but loved the final one. “With Tyrant, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright have produced a beautiful television pilot that will be a groundbreaking television series,” said FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. “Tyrant introduces characters and a world that have never been expfxlogo1lored in a dramatic television series format. There is a reason a bidding war broke out over this project: it grabs you as all great epics do and simply refuses to let go!” Added 20th TV chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman, “This is one of the most ambitious series we’ve ever set out to make and we couldn’t be more grateful to John and everyone at FX who believed in its potential since the very first pitch.”

Related: FX’s ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Hits Finale High With Season 6 Ender
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FX’s ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Hits Finale High With Season 6 Ender

By | Wednesday December 11, 2013 @ 2:06pm PST

Sons of Anarchy Season 6 finaleThe penultimate season of the Kurt Sutter-created biker drama came to a roaring and even more fatally bloody ending than usual last night with 5.2 million viewers watching. That’s a season-finale record for FX’s … Read More »

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Regina King Joins FX Series ‘The Strain’

By | Thursday December 5, 2013 @ 6:06pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

reginalingSouthland alumna Regina King is set to recur on FX‘s new drama series The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan and Carlton Cuse. The Strain is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim … Read More »

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FX Eyes Underground Railroad Event Series From James McBride And Kelsey Grammer

By | Tuesday November 26, 2013 @ 8:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Slavery continues to be in the cultural zeitgeist. FX has joined the trend with The Code, a limited series exploring American slavery from Kelsey Grammer‘s Grammnet NH Prods. It is based on the book … Read More »

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David Bradley To Play Professor Abraham Setrakian In FX’s ‘The Strain’

By | Thursday November 21, 2013 @ 1:41pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

FX has found a replacement for one of the key roles in its upcoming drama series The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan and Carlton Cuse, which is based on the best-selling vampire novel trilogy … Read More »

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