Just four episodes into its inaugural season, FX has already granted its spy drama series The Americans a 13-episode order for a second season. The show has garnered a lot of critical acclaim and is backed by strong performances from its leads, Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich. According to the network, the series premiere was the most-watched debut in FX’s history, with 5.11 million viewers tuning in. The network is also reporting ratings gains every week, making The Americans a bona fide hit.
The show, created by Joe Weisberg (a former CIA agent), takes place in 1981 just after Ronald Reagan’s election, and follows two embedded KGB spies, Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, (Russell and Rhys) who spent years preparing to become “typical” Americans so they could help out their government from U.S. soil. Though Elizabeth struggles with the emotional aspects of assimilation, Philip seems to be developing some positive feelings for the land they were bred to hate. In addition to the spy elements, the show also focuses on the newly budding relationship between the two leads, who were forced into a marriage for appearances sake, but have only now begun to see each other as more than business partners. Hit the jump for more on the series, and click here to catch up on my recaps.
Keri Russell has agreed to star in the FX period drama pilot The Americans. The project comes from Falling Skies’ Joe Weisberg and Justified showrunner Graham Yost and centers on two KGB spies posing as a married American couple in the suburbs of Washington DC in the 1980s. The drama in the show comes not only from the spy aspect, but also from the fact that the couple has two children who are unaware of their parents’ true identities. Their relationship grows into a passionate and genuine relationship, but they’re constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the “intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control.” Deadline reports that, following prolonged negotiations, Russell has signed on to play the wife.
This is one of the more promising pilots currently in development, and Russell is an interesting choice for the lead. She came to prominence on the WB drama series Felicity, but took a stab at comedy in Mitch Hurtwitz’s Running Wilde. The latter show didn’t last, but I think The Americans is a smart move for the actress. Now producers turn to casting the husband, a crucial role as the character grows an affinity for America’s values and way of life.
Back in October, we reported that FX was developing a drama series called The Americans. At the time, all we knew was that it centered on Russian spies living in the U.S. in the 1980s. Now FX has announced that they’ve ordered a pilot for the drama, and we’ve got a few more details on the series. The show follows the arranged marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in the suburbs of Washington DC.
The married spy couple have two children who are unaware of their parents’ true identities, but the duo’s relationship “grows more passionate and genuine by the day, but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control.” Furthermore, the father grows an affinity for America’s values and way of life. The series was created by Joe Weisberg (Falling Skies) who will executive produce alongside Justified’s Graham Yost. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
After crafting a successful sci-fi series for TNT in the form of Falling Skies, writer Joe Weisberg now has a new CIA drama series set up through Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox Television with a talent familiar with espionage coming aboard as executive producer. Deadline has word that The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultiamtum director Paul Greengrass will make his first foray into U.S. television as executive producer of the currently untitled series along with Brian Grazer and Weisberg himself. As of now his deal only has him aboard in the producing capacity, but apparently there’s a chance he might also direct the pilot if his schedule allows.
Plot details are limited, but the series is said to be a high-stakes character-based drama centering on the young assistants of high-ranking officers in the U.S. Intelligence community which includes being inside the walls of the CIA, as well as the DIA, NSA, FBI and other various intelligence components at the White House. Sounds like Fox really needs to fill that void left by the end of 24, and this sounds like it has the potential to bring a real action thriller back to the network. Maybe we could get a little Jack Bauer cameo at some point? I doubt it, but you have to dream every now and then.
FX is currently in the midst of developing two new projects. The first of which is called Scar Tissue, and is based on the autobiography of Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis. The project was originally set up at HBO, but now The Wrap reports that FX is taking on the drama. Entourage executive producers Mike Benson and Marc Abrams will executive produce alongside Kiedis and Jason Weinberg. FX is also developing a project called The Americans, which centers on a group of Russian spies living in America in the 1980s. Graham Yost, the creator/writer/executive producer of the FX drama Justified is producing alongside Falling Skies executive producers Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, with Joe Weisberg (also from Falling Skies) writing and executive producing as well. Hit the jump to read the synopsis for Scar Tissue.