Early this morning in Los Angeles, FX and John Landgraf addressed the critics at the bi-annual TCA presentation to talk about the future of the network’s programming slate. While there were still things up in the air (though Landgraf loves Wilfred and wants it to continue for a long time, they are currently negotiating season three deals so a pick-up was not official just yet), there were quite a few exciting announcements, as well.
- LOUIE RENEWED FOR SEASON FOUR. Landgraf praised Louis C.K. for not only being an incomparable performer, but also a writer/producer/editor, and he does much of the soundtrack, too. Thirteen new episodes will be coming to the network next year.
- AMERICAN HORROR STORY EVEN SCARIER THAN SEASON ONE. Though Landgraf pointed out that Ryan Murphy is trying to keep story points underwraps for fear of spoilers, he did say that the network always knew this would be a miniseries, and that it will get progressively scarier as time goes on. The second season, he confirmed, will be set in the 1960s, at a New England sanitarium run by the Catholic Church. No official return date was announced, just the general “coming in October” explanation.
- THE BRIDGE PICKED UP. Cold Case creator and recent Homeland consulting producer Meredith Stiehm has adapted the Danish series The Bridge for American television, and FX announced today that they are going into business on producing the show. The original series is a Killing style murder mystery when a dead body is found on the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden, erupting a political conflict over the jurisdiction. However, FX’ version will be set on the U.S./Mexico border to keep with the current political climate.
- MARTIN SHEEN JOINS ANGER MANAGEMENT. Though the network wasn’t ready to officially move on a pick-up of the back 90 episodes of Charlie Sheen‘s new sitcom, Landgraf shared that “if and when” that announcement gets made (and by all accounts it will soon since they are very happy with the performance), Martin Sheen will join the cast as Charlie’s on-screen dad. “It will make it more of a multi-generational family show,” Landgraf noted, pointing out that was what made Two and a Half Men work so well in the beginning, too. The episode is the ninth of the season, airing on August 16th, and it was the last one the team shot before wrapping the season, but Sheen felt it was the best to date. “I hope we haven’t peaked!…It’s not Martinville, and it’s not Charlieville, [though]” he promised.
- POWERS IS NOT OFFICIALLY DEAD. Landgraf confirmed that FX will see a total of four episodes of Powers to reconsider the show as part of their line-up. Hoping to grow their brand to six or seven original dramas and adding two more original comedies, the pilot of Powers would be re-shot in its entirety, should the network decide to make the series after all. Landgraf feels strongly that Jason Patric would stay in his role, but Lucy Punch has been cast on FOX’ Ben and Kate, so she, if not the majority of the supporting cast, would be recast in the new incarnation.
- FX WANTED MORE SYNDICATED COMEDY. Though FX got the rights to Mike & Molly for syndication, Landgraf admitted his first choices also included The Big Bang Theory, New Girl, and Modern Family but the fees were “astronomical.” However, FX is leading with blockbuster film television rights, including Twilight.
- CREATIVE CHANGES COMING TO BRAND X. FX announced today that another seven episodes will be coming starting October, most likely behind the new seasons of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League, keeping its Thursday at 11 p.m. time slot. But with new episodes, so comes a more conventional late night look. Russell Brand promised guests every week, and he pontificated that he would allow his interest in spirituality in be more subversive than the “excited zeal” with which he shared it previously. Still, he refuses to talk down to the audience when it comes to topics or style because he has faith in humanity that people are smart and considerate and not all cynical.
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