You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bowling, Travolta Selfies and Weighty Issues Enliven FX Networks Upfront

Bowling, billiards, burgers and beer. FX Networks took a typically offbeat approach to its upfront event on Wednesday night, hosting a gathering at Manhattan’s Lucky Strike bowling alley.

A slew of FX stars and producers took to the lanes, and some even kept the balls out of the gutter. Holly Taylor and Keidrich Sellati, better known as teenagers Paige and Henry from “The Americans,” impressed with their skills on the pool table. The pair’s TV father, Matthew Rhys, was peppered with questions about the any-day-now birth of his child with his “Americans” co-star Keri Russell (who not surprisingly skipped the party).

“People V. O.J. Simpson” stars Sarah Paulson, Sterling Brown and Courtney B. Vance collected compliments on their work in the series. And everybody but everybody wanted to take a selfie with fellow star John Travolta.

But this year’s gathering also had a serious side. The party was preceded by a screening at the Times Square AMC 25 of the final episode of “People V. O.J. Simpson.” The powerful concluding segment of the series that has drawn rave reviews squarely addresses the nation’s thorny racial divide that lay at the heart of the Simpson case.

John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks, hailed “People V. O.J. Simpson” as the kind of meaningful television “that makes people think and talk about issues,” contributing to the current robust cultural conversation about race and the criminal justice system.

In particular, Landgraf said “People V. O.J. Simpson” excelled at presenting differing viewpoints on the merits of the prosecution’s case against Simpson, perspectives that were frequently skewed along racial lines.

Landgraf noted that the nation’s struggle with racially motivated police brutality and misconduct has “not gotten better in the last 21 years” since the trial ended. “We hope that it will get better in the next 21 years, but that will happen only if we acknowledge and talk about these issues.”

(Pictured: John Landgraf, Cuba Gooding Jr. and John Travolta)

More Scene

  • Nicole KidmanWarner Bros. Pictures World Premiere

    How James Wan Convinced Nicole Kidman to Star in 'Aquaman'

    While some actors dream of playing a superhero, that wasn’t the case for the cast of “Aquaman.” “I knew nothing about this,” Amber Heard, who plays Mera in the James Wan-directed action film, told Variety at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “I knew nothing about comic books in general. I didn’t know anything about this [...]

  • Hugh Jackman'To Kill a Mockingbird' Broadway

    'To Kill a Mockingbird's' Starry Opening: Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and More

    The Shubert Theatre in New York City last was filled on Thursday night with Oscar winners, media titans, and, of course, Broadway legends who came out for the opening of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The starry guest list included Oprah Winfrey, Barry Diller, “Les Misérables” co-stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Gayle King, [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • John CenaSports Illustrated Sportsperson of the

    John Cena on WWE's Acceptance by Hollywood and the Professional Sports World

    John Cena says the WWE is finally getting the attention it deserves by Hollywood and the professional sports world. “I’m just glad that no longer are we looked down upon, not only by the sport industry, but by the performing arts industry,” Cena told Variety on Tuesday night in Beverly Hills at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of [...]

  • Steve Carell Welcome to Marwen

    Steve Carell on New Film 'Welcome to Marwen' and Reprising His 'Anchorman' Character

    In 2000, Mark Hogancamp was nearly beaten to death by five men outside of a bar. Left with brain damage and little money to afford therapy, Hogancamp began creating miniature doll versions of himself, his friends, and his attackers as a way to cope. This true story inspired the 2010 documentary “Marwencol” and the upcoming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content