News Corp. sibling to give series extra push
FX is turning to broadcast sibling MyNetworkTV to give its new Glenn Close drama “Damages” a little push.
The first two segs of “Damages” will air Wednesday night on MyNetworkTV, repping the first time the broadcast netlet — originally conceived as a telenovela-only channel — has aired programming from a News Corp. sibling.
“What we’re looking to do with ‘Damages’ is have it seen by as many people as possible,” said FX topper John Landgraf. “The awareness of the show among people who watch FX is very high. But FX is only watched by 40% of adults 18-49. We’re looking for places to get it sampled by viewers other than the network.”
The “Damages” episodes will be edited to reflect a TV-14 rating, which means some of the language will be trimmed, as well as some sexual content, from the original FX airing.
FX has already run the TV-14 version of “Damages” during daytime and fringe time slots, and will also utilize the TV-14 versions when running “Damages” marathons later in the year.
“It’s not hard to cut TV-14 versions,” said Landgraf, who noted that the storylines themselves don’t need to be altered.
“Damages” reps the second FX show to be showcased on a broadcast web; Fox aired a handful of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” episodes last year.
Insiders said FX originally talked to Fox about running “Damages,” but that the net had some concerns about its run time. (The pilot clocks in at around 55 minutes, much longer than the standard 44 minutes produced by broadcast network dramas.)
Because MyNet was able to air two episodes back-to-back, the channel was able to remove some promo time and spread its advertising load throughout the night. MyNet is paying a nominal license fee to run the two “Damages” segs.
“Damages” premiered to decent viewership but so-so demo numbers in its initial bow; but to help spur sampling for the show, which earned mostly raves from crix, FX ran the “Damages” pilot eight times in addition to the premiere.
Landgraf said it was incomplete to just focus on the “Damages” premiere numbers, calling it a “relatively small component” of the show’s overall audience.
Sony Pictures TV is behind “Damages,” which comes from creators/exec producers Daniel Zelman, Glenn Kessler and Todd A. Kessler. Close stars as tough attorney Patty Hewes; Rose Byrne, Tate Donovan, Ted Danson, Zeljko Ivanek and Noah Bean also star.
As for MyNetworkTV, channel is also partnering with sib Fox Reality for the upcoming “Paradise Hotel” revival.