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 ORDERS THIRD SEASON OF THE AMERICANS
Critically-Acclaimed Drama Starring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich
Earns 13-Episode Pick-up for Season Three
Six All-New Episodes Remain This Season, Airing Wednesdays at 10:00 PM ET/PT
With the Season Two Finale Scheduled for May 21
NEW YORK, April 16, 2014 – FX has picked up its hit drama The Americans for a 13-episode third season, it was announced today by Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Presidents of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions. One of television’s most critically-acclaimed series, The Americans has fast become a signature show for FX. Six episodes remain in the current season, including tonight’s broadcast. The series airs Wednesdays at 10:00 PM E/P.
In its first season, The Americans was the most critically-acclaimed new program of 2013, winning the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding New Program. The critical acclaim for season 2 has surpassed that of its remarkable first season.
“The Americans continues be one of the best shows on television,” said Schrier. “Executive Producers Joe Weisberg, Joel Fields and Graham Yost have done a wonderful job delivering two seasons, and the performances from Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich are stellar. Fans will be blown away by the rest of this season, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.”
The Americans was honored by the American Film Institute (AFI) as one of the Programs of the Year for 2013 and earned two Emmy nominations, four Broadcast Television Journalist Association (BTJA) award nominations, a record seven Television Critics Association (TCA) Award nominations, and a Writers Guild Award nomination for New Series. The show recently wrapped production on its second season.
“We are so delighted and grateful to continue telling the stories of these characters,” said Fields. “John Landgraf, Eric Schrier, Nick Grad, and the entire team at FX have been remarkable supporters and creative partners for the show – and we are blessed to have Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, and an awesome ensemble who bring it all so brilliantly to life.”
“We’re also truly excited to continue our collaboration with our lead studio, FTVS, led by David Madden,” added Weisberg. “And we’re so grateful to our incredible production team led by Dan Sackheim and Mary Rae Thewlis, our producing partners Graham Yost, and Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey at Amblin TV. Seriously, if the Soviet Union had this level of support from its allies, the Cold War might have turned out differently.”
Widely praised as one of the best dramas on television, following is a small sampling of recent press raves:
- “nothing else on TV can match The Americans for the dizzying highs of its suspense or the unsettling depths of its emotion…the best show on television” – Andy Greenwald, Grantland.com (February 26, 2014)
- “Watch The Americans…there are certain TV series that bring out the evangelist in any writer, and, in a world of hype for ‘prestige cable dramas’—the Internet’s favorite topic to obsess about—FX’s smart thriller The Americans came in way too far under the radar last year…sharp dialogue…oh, my God, the wigs—so many, so varied, so eighties…The Americans can be wrenchingly emotional, and it’s terrifically well paced…I’d recommend skipping work, ignoring your family, going directly to iTunes, and watching the first season, binge-style, while drinking vodka. Tell the Jenningses I sent you” – Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker (February 24, 2014)
- “Holy Mother Russia, you need to be watching The Americans. Very few shows are able to combine pleasurable episodic storytelling so deftly with solid character building and delicious suspense…What more could you possibly want from a television program?” – Maureen Ryan, The Huffington Post (February 25, 2014)
- “One of television’s finest dramas…Not only does The Americans get better – a nifty trick given how impressive season one was – but it deepens along the way and confidently asserts the narrative abilities of creator, writer and executive producer Joe Weisberg and executive producer and writer Joel Fields” – Tim Goodman, HollywoodReporter.com (February 26, 2014)
- “Brilliantly conceived spy thriller…The Americans redefines domestic espionage with its multiple layers of emotionally charged suspense” – Matt Roush, TVGuide.com (February 26, 2014)
- “fabulously played by Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys…excellent series” – Robert Bianco, USA Today (February 26, 2014)
- “gripping…Everything I praised about the series when it debuted a year ago holds true…I’m still at a loss to explain why The Americans or its cast wasn’t up for an Emmy last year…I hope that The Americans’ time has arrived” – Hank Stuever, The Washington Post (February 26, 2014)
On a Live+7 basis, season 2 of The Americans is averaging 3.08 million Total Viewers and 1.47 million Adults 18-49, respective declines of just -9% and -14%, due in part to the lofty performance of the series’ premiere episode. Time-shifted viewing has increased significantly with season 2 averaging respective gains of +130% in Adults 18-49 and +109% in Total Viewers (Live+Same Day to Live+7, compared to +93% and +83% respectively for season 1.
Set in 1981 just after Ronald Reagan is elected president, The Americans, starring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich, is a drama series about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. The series was created by and is executive produced by Joe Weisberg (Falling Skies), a former CIA agent who went on to become an accomplished author. Joel Fields and Graham Yost are also executive producers, along with Amblin Television heads Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. The Americans is produced by Fox Television Studios and FX Productions.