×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Americans’ Creator on U.S.-Russia Relations, Why We Won’t See Putin

The Americans” won’t come to a close until 2018. That ending is very much on the minds of showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, yet the specter of worsening U.S.-Russia relations looms large as well. “To see [relations] spiral so out of control doesn’t feel good,” series creator Weisberg told reporters at the show’s TCA press tour panel on Thursday morning.

Although events in years past have lent a certain sense of timeliness to the FX series about a pair of undercover KGB spies, the show has taken on an unexpected topicality of late, with the U.S. intelligence community publishing reports that declared Russian agents attempted to influence the U.S. election and, most recently, salacious Russian-sourced intel on President-elect Donald Trump.

Weisberg, an ex-CIA officer, said to reporters after the show’s TCA panel that he isn’t quite giving in to the current atmosphere of doom-and-gloom where Russia is concerned. “I am in favor of better relations with Russia, and I think that’s possible,” he said. “I do think the idea of the show was, you should look at your enemies, and they don’t have to be your enemy.” He paused a moment before adding with a laugh, “I don’t think the show worked.”

The 800-pound bear in the room is Russian President Vladimir Putin, himself a former KGB official who was very much a part of the Russian intelligence scene during the time of “The Americans.” Weisberg and Fields don’t know yet if Putin has seen the show, though they said they know Russians have. The two added that they had been discussing a possible Putin character making a cameo, until the election results came in.

“Ironically, if Donald Trump hadn’t become Donald Trump, and hadn’t become the president-elect and soon-to-be president, we might’ve been able to do that,” Weisberg said. “But now, we can’t imagine any way of doing it that wasn’t absurdly self-conscious.”

More TV

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    WGA Awards 2019: 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Wins Comedy Series Award

    The 71st annual Writers Guild Awards are underway at dual ceremonies at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. and at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won the comedy series award for Kate Fodor, Noah Gardenswartz, Jen Kirkman, Sheila Lawrence, Daniel Palladino and Amy Sherman Palladino. The series [...]

  • 50 Cent Power

    NYPD Officer Under Investigation for Allegedly Telling Police to Shoot 50 Cent 'on Sight'

    A New York City precinct commander is under investigation for allegedly telling officers to shoot rapper 50 Cent on sight, a police rep confirmed to Variety on Sunday. “The matter is under internal review,” an NYPD rep said, declining to answer further questions. Deputy Inspector Emanuel Gonzalez is accused of telling officers during a June 7 roll [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content