FX has ordered a 13-episode third season of its excellent drama series The Americans. While I enjoyed but wasn’t over-the-moon about its first season, the current second season of the period spy drama has turned the show into one of the very best on TV—and in this current Golden Age of Television, that’s saying something. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star as sleeper KGB agents living in America as a married couple with two kids during the Reagan-fueled early 1980s. While on the surface the show is a thrilling spy series, at its heart The Americans is really a portrait of a marriage as told through the incredibly complicated lives of two individuals, with Russell and Rhys regularly turning in brilliantly nuanced performances. Suffice it to say, I am very much looking forward to The Americans season 3.
Hit the jump to read the full press release, and click here to catch up on Allison’s recaps. The Americans currently airs on FX Wednesdays at 10pm, with six episodes remaining in the second season.
FX has released a new featurette for its upcoming limited event series Fargo. The TV series is an adaptation of the Coen brothers film of the same name, but many have been curious to see how different (and how similar) the show is to the movie—which, to put it simply, is a masterpiece. This new featurette does a good job of explaining the distinction between the two, as the cast and producers note that while the show has new characters and a new story, it’s very much in the spirit of the movie. Fargo is one of my favorite films of all time so I was pretty wary of FX’s spin on the material, but everything we’ve seen thus far has been genuinely promising, and the close-ended nature of the miniseries format allows them to essentially create a 10-hour movie.
Hit the jump to watch the featurette. The show stars Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Kate Walsh, Adam Goldberg, Oliver Platt, Glenn Howerton, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Joey King, and Julie Ann Emery. Fargo premieres on FX April 15th.
The subtitle for the upcoming fourth season of the FX horror drama anthology series American Horror Story has been revealed. There have been rumors for months that season four of the stylistic thriller would take place at a carnival, and it appears that those rumors weren’t far off as today creator Ryan Murphy unveiled the full title: American Horror Story: Freak Show. The cast has yet to be announced, but it was previously made known that this will be Jessica Lange’s final season with the series, so one imagines Murphy will send her off with a bang. Hit the jump for more, including what we know so far about season four.
[Update: An official logline has been released, along with some casting news. More after the jump.]
FX has released a new trailer for their upcoming 10-episode limited series, Fargo. Based on the classic Coen Brothers‘ film of the same name, the series isn’t a straight adaptation, but rather a story that takes place in the same world and with a similar tone. The plot centers on “a drifter named Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton), who arrives in small-town Minnesota and influences the population with his malice and violence, including put-upon insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman).” As you can see from the trailer, Lester is reminiscent of William H. Macy‘s Jerry Lundegaard and Allison Tolman‘s cop could be along the lines of Frances McDormand‘s Marge Gunderson. However it lines up, the dark comedy seems very much alive (the Coens are executive producers), and this is definitely one of my must-see series of the spring.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The series also stars Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Kate Walsh, Adam Goldberg, Oliver Platt, Glenn Howerton, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Joey King, and Julie Ann Emery. Fargo premiers April 15th.
The long, long, long wait is over, folks: new episodes of Louie are on the horizon. After taking a self-imposed 19-month hiatus, creator/writer/star/executive producer/director/editor Louis C.K.’s FX comedy series will return on Monday, May 5th for its fourth season. The comedian asked the network for some time off after season three in order to prevent the show from getting stale, but Louie is now back with 14 all-new episodes. In an atypical move, FX will air two new episodes a week, back-to-back, for seven straight weeks, finishing out the season on June 16th.
Louie is truly unlike anything else on television, mixing sharp comedy and often times very dark drama, all told through the singular voice of Louis C.K. As a big fan of what came before, I can’t wait to see what he’s put together for this new batch of episodes. Read the full press release after the jump.
FX has renewed the fantastic animated comedy series Archer for a sixth season—and a seventh. The network has given a two-season renewal to the show, per THR, ensuring a rich syndication deal and leaving open the possibility for even more seasons past the seventh. The series is a consistent ratings hit in the all-important 18-49 demo, ranking as the second-highest rated basic cable comedy series on TV. By picking up two more 13-episode seasons of Archer, the show’s number of total episodes will put it past the threshold needed to qualify for syndication, meaning previous episodes of the series will now be able to air on cable and broadcast syndication.
Created by Adam Reed and Matth Thompson, the series took a huge gamble in its current fifth season by basically blowing up the central premise of the show and starting over from scratch. The result—subtitled Archer: Vice—is a hilariously ridiculous new conceit buoyed by the sharp writing and excellent voice cast, which is led by Bob’s Burgers voice actor H. Jon Benjamin as the titular character. The season five finale will air on FX April 21st, and one imagines season six will return January of next year.
We’ve got a couple of TV casting stories to report on today. First up, Jay Baruchel has been tapped to lead a new FX comedy pilot called Man Seeking Woman, based on author Simon Rich’s book The Last Girlfriend on Earth. THR reports that Baruchel will play “a naïve romantic on a desperate quest for love” in the potential half-hour comedy series, which is described as a sweet and absurd look at the life-and-death stakes of dating. Jonathan Krisel (SNL) will executive produce and direct the pilot, with Lorne Michaels also acting as executive producer. The show returns Baruchel to television after the actor shined on Judd Apatow’s short-lived Undeclared, and the pilot will be filmed in Toronto this spring.
Additionally, a trio of very talented actors have joined Kyle Chandler in the new Netflix series from the creators of Damages. Hit the jump for more.
As part of the TCA Press Tour presentation for FX, President & General Manager John Landgraf took some time to talk about their current hit series and how they determine the format and renewal for their shows. During the interview, Landgraf talked about how they came to the decision to end Justified with six seasons, the format for Fargo, why they chose to order a second season of The Bridge, and hinted at what the fourth season of American Horror Story will look like. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
On Chozen, FX’s new animated series, the title character’s sister describes him as, “a boy, trapped inside a man, trapped inside a wifebeater.” “You forgot violent and sensitive!” he sputters back. Chozen is indeed all of these things, and more: a gay white rapper who has just emerged from prison, he has a new outlook and a huge chip on his shoulder that are fueling his desire to become the most famous rapper in the world. But an old foe stands in his way.
Chozen is the brainchild of several Eastbound and Down writers and producers, and is animated by Floyd County Productions, which also handles Archer. The connections are obvious, not only visually, but in the show’s overall style. Chozen (Bobby Moynihan) channels Kenny Powers’ self-absorption, love of excessive innuendo (or no innuendo at all), speaking style, and single-mindedness when it comes to fame. Hit the jump for more.
2014 is still quite new, but FX is getting a jump on things by debuting the first images from two highly anticipated new drama series that will be premiering this year. The Strain is created and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro and revolves around a team of scientists who wage war against an ancient strain of virus that confers vampirism, along with those it infects. Del Toro directed the pilot himself but Carlton Cuse (Lost) will be assuming showrunner duties, and these first images give us a look at Corey Stoll (House of Cards) in the lead role. The 13-episode first season of The Strain debuts on FX this July.
Additionally, we have our first look at the limited series adaptation of Fargo. Executive produced by Joel and Ethan Coen, the 10-episode show is a reimagining of the classic Coen brothers film and stars Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, and Allison Tolman. The series premieres sometime this spring. Hit the jump for the first images from both The Strain and Fargo.
Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy may be done for the year, but the creator/showrunner already has a project lined up once the biker drama series takes it’s final ride in the seventh season. Sutter is sticking with FX (and why wouldn’t he?) and teaming up with Brian Grazer to develop a pilot for the drama series, The Bastard Executioner. In keeping with Sutter’s dark and violent material, the series centers on one of King Edward III’s warrior knights whose soul is broken by war, but must pick up the sword when violence finds him once again. Sutter will pen the script with filming on the pilot slated to begin late next year when Sons of Anarchy wraps for good. Hit the jump for more.
FX is adding a new drama series to its roster from Homeland producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff. The network announced today (via THR) that it has ordered Tyrant to series, scheduling it for a summer 2014 debut. The story revolves around an American family that is drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation, and producers aimed high when crafting the pilot. Ang Lee was initially signed on to direct the first episode, but he subsequently backed out citing exhaustion over the very long post-production and awards campaign process on Life of Pi. In his stead, producers nabbed Harry Potter director David Yates to helm the pilot.
Production on Tyrant will begin in earnest this coming March in Tel Aviv and the show will debut next summer alongside Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain. The cast for Tyrant includes Adam Rayner, Jennifer Finnigan, Ashraf Barhom, and Justin Kirk.
While Guillermo del Toro only recently wrapped production on the pilot for his potential FX series The Strain, the network apparently really liked what they saw. FX announced today that it has ordered a full 13-episode first season of The Strain, which will debut on the network in July 2014. The ambitious series is based on the trilogy of novels by del Toro and Chuck Hogan and centers on a team of scientists who wage war against an ancient strain of virus that confers vampirism, along with those it infects. The stellar cast includes Corey Stoll, John Hurt, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, and Kevin Durand, and Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse is onboard to act as showrunner while del Toro will remain involved as an executive producer.
Hit the jump for more info on this exciting new horror series.
FX has released the first red-band trailer for its new animated series Chozen, and it looks like it will make a fine companion to the excellent Archer. Created by Grant Dekernion and executive produced by the same folks behind Archer and Eastbound and Down, the series revolves around a gay white rapper fresh out of prison who sets out for redemption and to claim his rightful position as the world’s top rap artist. Bobby Moynihan voices the lead character to great effect, and this trailer highlights a swell sense of humor that should connect with fans of Archer and Eastbound.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The series also features the voices of Hannibal Buress, Michael Pena, Nick Swardson, Kathryn Hahn, and Method Man. Chozen will premiere on FX January 13th.
FX has announced winter premiere dates for a few of its series. As previously announced, Ali G: Rezurection will premiere in February on FXX. Briefly:
- Archer – Season five of the hilarious animated comedy series will debut on Monday, January 13th at 10pm on FX, and it will remain on the new night for the duration of its 13-episode season.
- Justified – Season five of the beloved drama series will premiere on Tuesday, January 7th at 10pm ET on FX, kicking off 13 all new episodes that revolve around Timothy Olyphant’s Raylan Givens confronting the Crowes, “a deadly, lawless family from Florida intent on settling in Harlan with new criminal enterprises in mind.”
- Chozen – The new animated comedy series centering on a gay white rapper fresh out of prison will have its series debut on Monday, January 13th at 10:30pm on FX after Archer. The show features the voices of Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress, Michael Pena, Nick Swardson, Kathryn Hahn, and Method Man.
- The Americans – Season two of the excellent drama series will return to FX on an unspecified date in February. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star.
Hit the jump to read the full press release.