Upfront 2013: FX Networks
At its upfront presentation at New York City’s Cipriani on Thursday, March 28, FX Networks announced plans to become a suite of three networks: FX, FXM and the soon-to-be launched FXX, aimed at young adult viewers. “We’re embarking on an incredibly ambitious ramp-up of program development and production required to sustain these networks,” said John Landgraf, President and General Manager, who presented the program, assisted by “Lasagne” Lou LaTorre, Ad Sales President and “Matzoh Ball” Bruce Lefkowitz (their names, not ours). “Our three-network platform will enable us to achieve even greater goals and solidify our position as a leader in quality scripted original programming.” Here are some highlights:
- FX’s The Americans, which concludes its first season on May 1, has been renewed for a second season to debut in January of 2014. Justified, which ends on April 2, has been renewed for a fifth season to debut in January of 2014. Season 6 of Sons of Anarchy is set to return in September. In addition, FX picked up the fifth season of Archer, and season four of Louie will debut on May of 2014.
- The newest incarnation of the American Horror Story miniseries, American Horror Story: Coven, will be set in New Orleans and roll out in October and through January 2014. Academy Award winner Kathy Bates joins the cast opposite Jessica Lange.
- FX has ordered its first limited series, Fargo. Inspired by the film, the series will follow a new case and new characters. The 10-episode series begins production this fall and is slated to premiere in spring of 2014.
- The drama series The Bridge premieres in July. Starring Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger, it centers on two detectives, one from the United States and one from Mexico, who must work together to hunt down a killer operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border.
- FX Networks comedy pilot orders include How and Why from Charlie Kaufman, the story of a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life; and Chozen from Grant Dekernion, an animated comedy about a white rapper, recently out of prison.
- Pilot-to-series projects include Tyrant. From award-winning Homeland Producers Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright, the pilot, which begins production this summer, will be directed by two-time Academy Award-winner Ang Lee. In addition, Strain, which centers on a terrifying vision bloodsucking vampires, begins production in August.
In addition to original series, FX will televise blockbuster movies and its schedule will also include the acquired series Anger Management, Two and a Half Men and, coming in 2014, Mike & Molly.
FXX’s schedule will consist of original series, movies and acquired series geared toward a target demo of Adults 18-34. The new channel will be anchored by season 10 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and seasons 5 and 6 of The League, which move over from FX along with season 2 of Legit.
Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell is also moving to FXX and will expand to a 5-night-per-week, half-hour strip.
FXM will feature prestige movies and grow to feature miniseries and movies.
Beginning this fall, FX Networks will launch the FXNOW app, creating its own version of TV Everywhere for subscribers of FX, FXX and FXM. The FXNOW platform will be available to authenticated subscribers of participating FX cable, satellite and telco providers.