On this final day of the TV Critics Association press tour, FX CEO John Landgraf gave his biannual data dump on the state of Peak TV (a moniker he coined), which is just one reason why he’s always a favorite among critics and journalists. By his team’s calculations, there will be 534 scripted series airing by the end of 2017 across broadcast, cable, and streaming, and this is before Apple has started to make a dent in creating scripted content (and as he pointed out, they have quadrillions to spend on it).
When it comes to competing against these streaming services, Landgraf said it feels (to cable networks) like being “shot in the face with money.” As we’ve seen with Netflix, the amount of money that’s available in that realm leads to a deluge of content that is looking to lock down attention and then monetize that attention, thus owning that scripted real estate.
So FX has to carefully curate its series, which shows, as it’s once of the best channels on TV based on the overall quality of its programming (and how much they have of it). Per the data we were shown, FX’s viewership has also remained “stable in an environment where the perception is that everything is sinking like a stone.”
And speaking of that programming, Landgraf gave us a few updates on some of their most high-profile projects:
- Regarding whether or not Fargo Season 4 is happening: “I hope so, I haven’t heard, we haven’t heard the idea from Noah,” but that “a fourth season would be nice.” Landgraf said that they’ve encouraged Noah Hawley to only do it if there’s an idea he’s really, really excited for though, because he is so busy (with Legion Season 2 and more). So, it may not happen, but the door is open.
- As far as Louis CK and the future of Louie, Landgraf noted that CK has four shows he’s EPing right now, and if Louie does return it will not be the same as it was (something CK echoed during the Better Things panel). “Because he has become so much more successful than the Louie on his show, it started to feel a little false to him […] I think if it ever comes back it’ll be a very different show, because he’s a very different guy than he was then.”
- There has been a lot of chatter about the upcoming American Crime Story season focusing on Hurricane Katrina … and a lot of hesitation about the idea of Ryan Murphy tackling it. The season has been pushed (it was originally meant to air before Versace), but Landgraf confirmed that “I’m confident that it will air, and I’m really, really excited.” However, he also noted that there has been a “creative pivot” with the season, and that Ryan Murphy will be announcing what that is at some point.
- There’s a lot of excitement for the Deadpool animated series being written by Donald and Stephen Glover, which we were told will be “very different from the movies, not just because one is live-action and one is animated.” Landgraf said that it will have a different tone and voice, and that there is a writing staff in London now working with Donald Glover while he is shooting his Star Wars movie. Apparently Glover completed the Atlanta Season 2 scripts before he left for London, and when he returns they will start shooting the new Atlanta episodes as well as starting to animate Deadpool. Right now there are no scheduling announcements for when it might debut, but we will let you know when we hear more!