It was FX’s turn yesterday on the Television Critics Association press tour and FX Networks Chairman John Landgraf spoke about a range of topics both during and after the presentation.
FX is now under the control of Disney after the merger with Fox, and as a result there are some changes in store for the cable network which has spawned such acclaimed series as “The Americans,” “The Shield,” “Justified,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Atlanta,” “Fargo,” “Legion,” “Damages,” “It’s Always Sunny…,” “American Horror Story” and “Archer”.
All of these will likely be available soon through Disney-controlled streamer Hulu which is expanding aggressively and recently signed arthouse distributor Bleecker Street who has given them the exclusive SVOD rights to Bleecker Street’s library of titles including “Hotel Mumbai,” “The Art of Self Defense” and “Teen Spirit”.
Both Landgraf and Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke yesterday about corporate synergy between the various media brands which could lead to possibilities such as the real potential for FX to create a series that would initially go to Hulu and then find a secondary home on FX.
FX’s programming is expected to be a key part of both Hulu and Disney’s just announced $12.99 per month Disney Plus / Hulu / ESPN Plus combo package, meaning many more eyeballs which is something Landgraf embraces. He tells Variety:
“If we were a linear channel that didn’t have a pathway into a major streaming platform that was going to be accessed by a significant number of people, I would feel really concerned about the future. However it is that they decide to have FX’s brand be a part of that, it’s going to be much more broadly and ubiquitously distributed than it ever would be as a single standalone brand. So essentially, we embrace that… Hulu will still have an original programming brand and FX will have an original programming brand. They’re already quite a bit different from each other, and we’ll have to figure how they can exist in a really complementary way.”
Landgraf says he’s still committed to FX’s ‘curated’ programming strategy which encompasses about fifteen series on air at present, but adds the network will increase its output of original programming while retaining its trademark ‘measured approach’. By the end of 2019, Landgraf says there will be a projected 520 scripted programs airing across television platforms, a 5% increase from the prior year.
In smaller matters, the late John Singleton co-created crack cocaine epidemic drama “Snowfall” has been renewed for a fourth season. The show airs its third season finale next month and the fourth season is slated to debut in 2020.
The third season of “American Crime Story” will be titled “Impeachment” and will deal with the Bill Clinton sex scandal. The episodes will also air right in the final stretch of the 2020 election, and Landgraf is OK with that: “People are going to be very interested in this around the presidential election and it is going to be a great show.” That series will have Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky and Annaleigh Ashford as Paula Jones. Lewinsky herself will also be a producer.
Landgraf admits that though “Taboo” has renewed for a second season, there’s been no progress and everything is now up to its star Tom Hardy: “It comes down to what Tom wants to do, when he wants to do it, when he is available. I could see both those seasons getting made and relatively soon, and I could see neither of those seasons getting made.” He adds that just this week co-creator Steven Knight explained an idea for a potential second and third season.
Finally, they’ve released the official trailer for the second season of the Scott Ryan-led “Mr. Inbetween” which premieres September 12th. The story follows a criminal for hire who juggles a relationship, parental responsibilities, friendships, and a sick brother.
Source: TV Line