FX at TCA Press Tour: rise of the female anti-hero, TV-MA bloodbaths, and the fate of ‘It’s Always Sunny…”
John Landgraf, FX President and General Manager, sat down for a brief Q&A focused on the fate of FX programming and what it’s like running a cable network focused solely on TV-MA entertainment. All in all, he seems like a pretty cool guy who thoughtfully cares about the material his network is putting out. He feels it’s important for FX to maintain a unified relationship among its shows, whether he butts heads with the show runners or not. FX has never once had to ditch a show runner. (Burn, AMC’s Walking Dead!)
Regarding It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Landgraf considers the series to be a cornerstone for FX, citing it among the likes of Rescue Me, Nip/Tuck, and The Shield. Fans, look forward to one or two more seasons, most definitely, with the possibility of more depending on ratings and the desires of the cast and crew.
Violence on FX: Let’s face it, nearly all FX shows boast high body counts, from American Horror Story to Sons of Anarchy. When the stakes are life and death, characters bite the dust. “Somebody at a recent conversation says that because humans are animals, we’re riveted by issues of life and death.” When it comes to gun violence after the Connecticut shootings, Landgraf spoke well in favor of gun control while still supporting the 2nd amendment. Basically, he feels there is a difference between a small handgun and a preposterous piece of weaponry like a semi-automatic. Basically, it’s time to get educated
On the TV-MA Rating: If a show is rated “Mature,” it has to air past 9pm. The percentage of viewers under the age of 18 is below 5%! Wow, that’s pretty low. Apparently, this is also an issue with premium network shows. Ultimate Fighter is moving to 9pm, but not for lead-in purposes. Landgraf stated that nearly half of their viewers don’t watch live programs. Oh, that’s a lot! Also, The Americans, a new series starring Keri Russel as a KGB spy, will skew even older than current programming. They’re shooting for the 50+ crowd.
On female anti-heroes and American Horror Story: This one’s for the laaaaadies!.. Landgraf gives Glenn Close on Damages as an example of how the network is moving towards more female-centric series. He doesn’t want FX to become too male-saturated, especially since some shows, like AHS, skew towards the female demo. Jessica Lange will most definitely return to AHS, though no other returning cast members have been announced yet. Jessica Lange plays a great female anti-hero, right?
On Anger Management: The show will run non-stop for two years with 45 episodes per season. Whoa, that’s something a little different. Apparently, Martin Sheet is locked down for approximately every third episode.
Netflix and OnDemand: Landgraf is a little ticked regarding FX programming featured on Netflix. They don’t release any numbers, so FX has no idea how well their shows do. That would be frustrating! Therefore, they’re considering more OnDemand programming. The issue is figuring out how to make money via nonlinear views. New forms of advertisement need to be developed in order to compensate.
Full liveblog: HitFix
I had to end with “The Name Game” scene from American Horror Story because Jessica Lange is spectacular.