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.
That was the overall consensus from a panel of producers at the cable industry trade show this morning that featured Marc Cherry (who created Desperate Housewives), Mark Johnson (Executive Producer of Breaking Bad), and Joe Weisberg (creator of The Americans). “Some of the most exciting work is being done on cable,” says Cherry who’s about to introduce Devious Maids on Lifetime. Networks are “so hungry for viewers that they’re willing to take risks.” He relishes the opportunity to develop a series without having to generate 23 or more episodes. With the intense plotting of a soap opera “the workload is just overwhelming…You can kind of feel it around episode 14 where the story starts to not make sense.” With Devious Maids “I had every episode plotted out. I couldn’t do that” with Desperate Housewives. Weisberg says he “didn’t think I had it in me” to handle the broadcast networks’ demands. “In cable you could do 13 episodes and then take a couple of months off.” Read More »
FX has greenlighted its next pilot, The Americans, a period drama created/executive produced by Joe Weisberg (Falling Skies) and executive produced by Justified showrunner Graham Yost. The project centers on two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington, DC in the early 1980s. The arranged marriage of Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings grows more passionate and genuine by the day but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control. Complicating their relationship further is Phillip’s growing sense of affinity for America’s values and way of life and the couple’s two children, who know nothing about their parents’ true identity. “Joe Weisberg has written one of the best pilot scripts we have ever read with two richly drawn and indelible characters embarking on an epically exciting, emotional, and morally complex journey,” FX’s EVP original programming Nick Grad said.
The Americans has been laid off at Fox TV Studios, which will produce the pilot with FX Prods. DreamWorks TV is executive producing alongside Weisberg and Yost. The project originated with an idea by DreamWorks TV toppers Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, who pitched it to Weisberg, a writer on the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Feature director Paul Greengrass has joined Fox’s untitled CIA drama project from writer Joe Weisberg (Falling Skies), Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox TV. This marks the first foray into U.S. television for British director-writer Greengrass, who will serve as an executive producer on the CIA drama alongside Brian Grazer and Weisberg. I hear Grazer was instrumental in bringing the Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum helmer on board. Greengrass’ deal is limited to producing, but I hear that he may also direct the potential pilot subject to availability. Penned by CIA officer-turned-writer Weisberg, the project, which was sold without Greengrass last month, is described as a high-stakes character-based drama centering on the young assistants of high-ranking officers in the U.S. Intelligence community. The show takes place within the walls of the CIA, as well as the DIA, NSA, FBI and the intelligence components at the White House. Greengrass was nominated for an Oscar for his 9/11-themed 2006 movie Flight 93.
Fox has bought a CIA drama from writer Joe Weisberg (Falling Skies) and a multi-camera comedy from actor-writers John Ross Bowie and Kevin Sussman, best known for their recurring roles on CBS’ hit comedy The Big Bang Theory. The hourlong project, from former CIA officer-turned-writer Weisberg, Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox TV, is described as a high-stakes character-based drama centering on the young assistants of high-ranking officers in the U.S. Intelligence community. The show takes place within the walls of the CIA, as well as the DIA, NSA, FBI and the intelligence components at the White House.
The comedy, from Bowie and Sussman, Principato-Young Entertainment and Sony TV, is tentatively titled The Ever After Part. It centers on a hip couple who go to extreme lengths to support their eccentric 5-year-old daughter, including moving in with the groom’s tyrant mother to take advantage of the great public school in her area. Peter Principato, Paul Young and Joel Zadak of Principato-Young, which manages Bowie, will executive produce, and Sussman’s manager Jill McGrath will co-produce. Bowie and Sussman met and became friends while guest starring together on The Big Bang Theory, where they recur as Leonard and Sheldon’s nemesis Barry Kripke and comic book store owner Stuart, respectively. The two wrote comedy spec Dark Minions, which caught Sony TV’s attention … Read More »