Jimmy Smits is set to return to FX‘s flagship drama Sons Of Anarchy, reprising his role as Neron “Nero” Padilla, a former gangbanger whose exit strategy is trumped by his partnership with Jax (Charlie Hunnam). Smits appeared in 12 of the 13 episodes from Anarchy‘s fifth season. He has now signed on to do all episodes from Season 6, which is shaping to be even more intense and volatile. Production begins in late spring for a September premiere. Emmy winner Smits, repped by UTA and Brillstein Entertainment and Tom Hoberman, is coming off a successful run in Motherf**ker With The Hat at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre. On Anarchy, produced by Fox 21 and FX Prods, he is joined by Donal Logue, who also is coming back after making his debut on the show last season. Sons of Anarchy is the highest-rated series ever on FX, and its recent fifth season ranks as the series’ highest-rated yet with first-run episodes averaging 6.37 million total viewers and 4.35 million adults 18-49, a +16% increase in both categories vs. Season 4.
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.”
Just four weeks into its first season, FX’s Cold War drama The Americans has been picked up for a Season 2 with a 13-episode order. “The Americans has quickly established itself as a key part FX’s acclaimed drama …
EXCLUSIVE: FX has put in development Crash And Burn, a drama project from The Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd and Universal Cable Prods. It is written by Jeffrey Lieber (Necessary Roughness) and loosely inspired by the non-fiction book The Full Burn by Kevin Conley. Crash And Burn tells the story of Doc Dixon, a man trying to survive as a Stuntman during the anything goes world of pre-computer-generation, post Vietnam San Fernando Valley, California. He’s trying to save his family, hold together his union, and live to see 50… all with the understanding that if his work doesn’t kill him… the weekends probably will. This marks UCP’s first project for FX.
FX has handed out a 13-episode order to The Bridge, its drama pilot from writers Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid starring Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir. Filming on the series, co-produced by Shine America and FX Prods, begins in April for a July premiere. It marks Shine’s first major U.S. scripted series since the 2008 acquisition of Reveille.
Based on the Danish/Swedish series Bron, which was set on the border of Denmark and Sweden, The Bridge is set on the border between El Paso and Juarez. It centers on two detectives — one from the U.S., Detective Sonya Cross (Kruger), and one from Mexico, Marco Ruiz (Bichir) — who must work together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Homeland writer/executive producer and Cold Case creator Stiehm and novelist and TV writer-producer Reid wrote the adaptation, which the two executive produce with Shine America’s Carolyn G. Bernstein and Lars Blomgren of Shine Group’s Filmlance, which co-produced the original series with Denmark’s Nimbus Film. The Bridge co-stars Ted Levine, Annabeth Gish, and Thomas M. Wright; Matthew Lillard guest starred in the pilot directed by Gerardo Naranjo (Miss Bala).
A stuntwoman who says she was injured on the set of Justified during a late night shoot in 2011 today sued Sony Pictures and various individuals connected with the FX series. Citing “severe and permanent physical and mental injuries,” Lisa Hoyle and her husband Robert Jakubik have filed a suit (read it here) for Negligence, Premises Liability and Loss of Consortium for injuries the Stuntchicks employee suffered during a car crash stunt on February 3, 2011 at Santa Clarita Studios. While Hoyle and her husband don’t specify any dollar amount in their complaint, they are certainly looking for more than loose change. The nine-page filing seeks general damages “in an amount to be proven at trial” as well as loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, legal fees, “medical and related expenses” and “other and further general and special damages in a sum according to proof at the time of trial” and further relief as the court “deems just and proper.” The plaintiffs are requesting a five-to-seven day jury trial in the matter. The defendants in the case are Sony Pictures Entertainment, Woodridge Productions, Santa Clarita Studios Corp, Don Kurt, Gary Lennon, Mark Glick, Susan Carpenter, Alison Try and over two dozen other unnamed individuals.
What could possibly go wrong? One of the most uninhibited personalities in show business, Russell Brand, is getting to do an hour on TV live every week. Luckily for censors, it’s in late night and on cable. …
FX‘s drama pipeline is busier than ever with four pilots in addition to the newly picked up cold war spy drama The Americans which premieres on Jan. 30. It will be joined by one more new drama …
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
What was it like to be a KGB spy posing as a suburban American at the height of the Cold War? This is the question at the heart of the new FX period drama The Americans, which was rolled out for critics during the FX panel at TCA before lunch. The hour stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as KGB operatives posing as an American couple with two kids and living in Washington, D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan’s election as President in 1981. It’s inspired by the real-life story that broke in 2010 about sleeper Russian agents who had infiltrated American society and ultimately were exposed. “That was absolutely the inspiration for the show,” noted creator and exec producer Joe Weisberg, who was himself a CIA agent from 1990-94. “I got a call from DreamWorks TV about trying to create a TV show from that event.” He said it wasn’t really going anywhere until those involved hit on the idea of setting it in 1981 during rising Cold War tensions, “a time when we were really enemies with that nation” following Reagan’s declaration of it as the “Evil Empire.” It’s only really now that a story like this could be woven with potentially sympathetic Soviet characters… We want you to root for the KGB,” Weisberg emphasized. “Enough time has passed where people are willing to look with their hearts and try to understand,” he said. “By the same token, trying to tell the story of al-Qaeda now would would be impossible. It’s just too soon.”
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Following today’s TCA session on FX’s Justified, showrunner and executive producer Graham Yost spoke about how he planned to juggle duties on Justified and his role as an executive producer of new FX series The Americans, which would be the subject of the following panel.
“It hasn’t been that hard, it has certainly been more work but it has been great”, Yost said. “My involvement with The Americans is, I talk to Joe Weisberg [creator and executive producer] and [executive producer] Joel Fields all the time”, said Yost. “I read the outlines and give them notes, I read the scripts and give them notes, I read the cuts and give them notes.”
Added Yost: “Sometimes I’ll weigh in on casting, but basically that’s my involvement”. He described himself as a good sounding board because of his long relationship with FX.
Actress Margo Martindale, who won an Emmy for her role on Justified even though her character was killed, now has a role in The Americans. Yost was asked jokingly whether The Americans is where characters that die on Justified will go to resurrect.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The subject of violence was raised during the morning TCA panel for the weekly FX late-night talk show Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell, as it has been during every panel of TCA thus far. Not that there’s any violence in Bell’s show, per se. But exec producer Chris Rock has famously riffed on gun control in his own stand-up comedy act, ranting that there should be no restriction on guns, but bullets ought to cost $5,000 apiece. “The gun lobby also says people need to be able to protect their property,” Rock said, “but every mass shooting is done by guys who live with their mother. So I believe you should need to have a mortgage to buy a gun. A mortgage is a real background check. Even if you go to jail for 30 years, you’ve still got to pay your fucking mortgage.”
Rock was asked if he’d maybe like to get back into the talk show game himself. “Well, a part of me would want to do it,” he said. “I just don’t know if I could do it all the time. Michael Jordan could play one game and score 50, but he couldn’t do it the next night. I just don’t care about Lindsay Lohan. Maybe if this show is successful, I can be like Barbara Walters on The View and just step up and be funny and then leave.” And if Rock were to do his own scripted comedy series, he would want the same do-everything-yourself model that Louis C.K. has at FX. “I’d want nothing less than that,” he said.
FX’s ‘Sunny’ Likely To Go To Season 10, ‘Anger Management’ To Air 45 Eps A Year, John Landgraf On AMC Showrunner Firings
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is the only one of what FX president John Landgraf called the “four cornerstones” of FX (The Shield, Rescue Me, Nip/Tuck and Sunny) that is still on the air. The comedy has already been renewed for a ninth season, and it will likely won’t be the last. “There is a high likelihood for a 10th season,” Landgraf said during the FX portion of TCA this morning. “Whether it goes beyond that depends on whether the people who created the show want to go and whether the audience still wants to watch. But there will definitely be one more year, probably two.”
Landgraf also shed light on FX’s scheduling plans for the back 90 episodes of Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management. “It will stay on the air with no interruption for two years, basically 45 episodes a year,” Landgraf said. That means that, save for major holidays and sports pre-emptions, there will be an original of Anger Management on Thursday night for two years, starting with the Season 2 premiere January 17. The biggest change made following the initial 10 episodes was the addition of Martin Sheen as Charlie Sheen’s father for a multi-generational dimension on the series.
Ahead of tonight’s hourlong Season 4 finale of The League, FX has renewed the fantasy football league comedy series for a fifth season with a 13-episode order. “The League is flat-out one of the funniest shows on television,” said FX’s EVP Original Programming Nick Grad. “Another season was an easy decision and we hope to have it on our schedule for many more years to come.” On a first-run basis, Season 4 is averaging 1.63 million total viewers and 1.45 million adults 18-49. On a multi-run total basis, the fourth season is delivering about 2.43 million Total Viewers and 2.09 million Adults 18-49 per week. “It’s a dream job — we get to make a show we love with a brilliant cast on a fearless network,” said Jackie Schaffer, who co-created the series with husband Jeff Schaffer. “If the Mayans and Dirty Randy are right and the world ends tomorrow, at least we can say we made it to Season 5.”