×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

FX focuses on more originals

John Landgraf sez he wants to beef up drama slate

Despite record ratings and critical acclaim for its original series, FX has no intention of resting on its laurels.

Network topper John Landgraf said the goal in 2012 will be to add a few more dramas to its lineup. At present the cabler airs “Sons of Anarchy,” “Justified” and its most recent hit, “American Horror Story.”

“We’re actually a little light on the drama side,” Landgraf told scribes in Pasadena on Sunday for the final day of the Television Critics Assn. tour. “We’d like to have four or five dramas and would like to launch two more in the next year from this point. … Our priority is to find something great and distinctive that moves the form.”

Net recently decided not to give a series order to the pilot “Outlaw Country,” which centered on a Nashville crime family.

Now Landgraf and his exec team will need to make a decision on supernatural-themed “Powers,” starring Jason Patric. Pilot has undergone some revisions since it was completed. It’s based on the comicbook by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming that revolves around a futuristic society where police supervise people with superpowers.

“It’s as difficult an adaptation as I’ve worked on. It’s a really hard one,” said Landgraf. “It can be done but is proving really difficult.”

Another project that was picked up to pilot last month is “The Americans,” a drama set in the early 1980s revolving around married KGB spies living in suburban Washington, D.C. Show was created by former CIA staffer Joe Weisberg.

On the comedy side, FX made news with the acquisition of Lionsgate comedy “Anger Management,” which marks the return of Charlie Sheen to primetime. Distributed by Debmar-Mercury in a deal that is similar to the Tyler Perry skeins on TBS, the show will get an additional 90-episode order if the first 10 episodes meet a high ratings threshold.

Impressed with the pitch from creator Bruce Helford, Landgraf said the Sheen-fronted redo of the 2003 Adam Sandler-Jack Nicholson comedy is a chance worth taking.

The FX topper, who collaborates closely with the showrunners of the cabler’s originals, admitted to being a bit concerned that the network wouldn’t have much creative input on “Anger.”

“We don’t like to go to series without making pilots,” admitted Landgraf, which is the case for “Anger.” “I believe deeply in the pilot process but the model is the model. It’s a very inexpensive series for us, but we don’t have the same level as creative control as other FX series.”

Landgraf also said he remains sketchy on how the storylines will develop, but he has faith in Helford, who has a wealth of sitcom experience on shows including “The Drew Carey Show” and “George Lopez.”

As for concerns about the behavior of Sheen, who was publicly fired from “Two and a Half Men,” Landgraf said he is convinced that the actor will put his best foot forward.

“My opinion is that this could be a really good thing,” for Sheen, Landgraf said. “I believe in redemption.”

Other upcoming programming for FX includes animated skein “Unsupervised,” from the team behind “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and “Strangely Uplifting,” a new weekly latenight show with Russell Brand. Cabler is also about to get into the mixed martial arts world and will air UFC matches 32 weeks a year.

FX hit its all-time best in overall viewers in 2011, averaging 1.5 million viewers in primetime, up 21% from the year before. In the 18-49 demo, net drew 859,000 viewers, a 22% uptick.

More TV

  • Paula Kaplan

    Viacom Digital Studios' Paula Kaplan Expands Role to Oversee Talent for Nickelodeon

    Paula Kaplan, the executive vice president of talent and development at Viacom Digital Studios, is expanding her role to new include overseeing talent for Nickelodeon. Kaplan’s new title will be executive vice president of talent and development for Viacom Digital Studios and EVP of talent for Nickelodeon. Kaplan will report to both Brian Robbins, president [...]

  • THE MAGICIANS -- Pictured: (l-r) Trevo

    'The Magicians' Renewed for Season 5 at Syfy, Adds New Co-Showrunner

    Syfy has renewed “The Magicians” for a fifth season just ahead of the fourth season premiere. The show has also promoted Henry Alonso Myers to co-showrunner for the fifth season. “‘The Magicians’ raised the bar at Syfy and has gained momentum season after season, attracting a new audience to the channel. We are proud of [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Kaye Ballard, Star of 'The Mothers-in-Law,' Dies at 93

    Singer-comedienne Kaye Ballard, who starred alongside Eve Arden in the 1960s sitcom “The Mothers-in-Law” and was among the stars of the 1976 feature based on Terrence McNally’s farce “The Ritz,” died Monday in Rancho Mirage, Calif. She was 93. She had recently attended a screening of a documentary about her life, “Kaye Ballard: The Show [...]

  • Animated cast of OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT.

    'Our Cartoon President' Renewed for Season 2 at Showtime (EXCLUSIVE)

    Showtime has renewed the animated comedy “Our Cartoon President” for a second season, Variety has learned exclusively. The 10-episode second season is slated to debut later this year. Stephen Colbert executive produces along with Chris Licht and showrunner R.J. Fried. Tim Luecke serves as lead animator and co-executive producer. Matt Lappin serves as consulting producer. The [...]

  • Michael Strahan

    Michael Strahan, Endemol Shine North America to Develop U.S. Version of 'Money Drop'

    Endemol Shine North America is teaming up with Michael Strahan’s SMAC Entertainment to develop a U.S. version of the game show “The Money Drop.” Originally launched in 2010 as “The Million Pound Drop Live” by Endemol UK’s Remarkable Television for Channel 4, the format has now been produced locally by Endemol Shine Group in 54 [...]

  • BBC Buys Australian Psychological Thriller Series

    BBC Buys Australian Psychological Thriller Series ‘Safe Harbour'

    The BBC has bolstered its international drama lineup, acquiring Australian limited series “Safe Harbour” and inking deals for new seasons of shows from Canada, France and Iceland. The shows will all run on the U.K. pubcaster’s BBC Four channel. “Safe Harbour” is a psychological thriller that played on pubcaster SBS in Australia. It follows a [...]

  • It's Time For Another 'Punisher' Video

    It's Time For Another 'Punisher' Video Game

    Last year saw the release of the most recent iteration of a Spidey game, “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” developed by Insomniac Games. “Marvel’s Spider-Man” smashed all kinds of records. It dethroned “God of War” as the fastest-selling Sony-exclusive of all time and it achieved launch month sales 37% higher than the launch month sales of every previous [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content