UPDATE: In our eagerness to publish this ridiculously long press-release that we were, frankly, just too lazy read all the way through, we forgot to mention the most important news of the piece: FX has renewed It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League and Legit and they will all be moving to the new network, FXX.
Via Press Release:
FX NETWORKS TO LAUNCH FXX A NEW NETWORK FOR YOUNG ADULTS DEBUTING ON SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 AND AVAILABLE TO 74 MILLION HOMES
FX NETWORKS BECOMES THREE-NETWORK SUITE WITH FX, FXX AND FXM AND WILL GROW TO OFFER 25 SCRIPTED ORIGINAL SERIES
FX WILL TARGET ADULTS 18-49, FXX WILL FOCUS ON ADULTS 18-34, AND FXM WILL AIM FOR ADULTS 25-54
FX NETWORKS TO LAUNCH ITS VERSION OF TV EVERYWHERE WITH “FXNOW”
NEW YORK, March 28, 2013 – On Monday, September 2, FX Networks will launch FXX, a new network aimed at young adult viewers, it was announced today by John Landgraf, President and General Manager, FX Networks. With the addition of FXX, FX Networks will become a suite of three networks consisting of FX, FXX and FXM.
FXX will be available in 74 million homes in year one, making it one of the most widely distributed entertainment networks ever for an ad-supported cable network in its inaugural year. FXX initially will be built on a foundation of original comedy series, movies and acquired series, and expand to include original drama series, all primarily designed to attract young adults 18-34.
FX, the flagship of FX Networks, will continue to offer award-winning original comedy and drama series, movies and acquired series targeted to Adults 18-49. FX will increase the number of drama series and begin offering limited series and miniseries.
FXM will continue to be home to prestige movies, and related short-form original programming – as its universe grows, it will begin to televise its own limited series and miniseries.
Landgraf said, “This is a landmark day in the almost 20-year history of FX Networks. As we add FXX to become a suite of three channels, FX will remain the foundation of the brand, which is why we chose to include it in the names of each of our three networks. We will maintain the exceptional quality associated with the FX brand, a reputation we have established with consumers through our numerous, award-winning hit comedy and drama series for more than a decade.
“With this expansion, FX, FXX and FXM will specifically target one of the three major adult demos, enabling us to focus on creating passionate engagement across the entire range of adult viewers ages 18 to 54. This will enable the FX Networks to deliver more impressions and gain greater reach across all key adult demos without falling into the ?all things to all people’ pitfall that plagues broadcast television.
“We are embarking on an incredibly ambitious ramp-up of program development and production required to sustain these networks. I’m very confident that the pilots, projects and talent we have deals with will allow us to double our already best-in-class roster of scripted original series over the next several years. Our three-network platform will enable us to achieve even greater goals and solidify our position as a leader in quality scripted original programming.”
FX Networks will invest heavily in original programming and massively ramp up its development and pilot production slate, more than doubling its current offerings to feature 25 scripted original series across the three networks over the next three years (see Attachment 5 for Comedy Series Pilot Slate; see Attachment 6 for Limited Series Development Slate).
Also, additional season orders have been placed for returning hit series, including Justified, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, The League, and Legit (see Attachment 2). The late night series Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell will become a five-nights-per-week strip (see attachment 3).
FX Will Continue to Offer Award-Winning Scripted Dramas and Comedies Network to Launch New Drama The Bridge in July and Will Debut Its First Limited Series, Fargo
FX has enjoyed a decade-long track record of success in original programming, and its slate of award-winning original hit series is unmatched by any of its basic cable competitors. The network will build on that success and bolster its slate of originals, introducing The Bridge, a new drama series in July, and its first limited series, Fargo (see attachment 4), next spring.
FX is off to a great start in 2013, recording the most-watched first quarter ever and posting gains of +23% gains in Adults 18-49 and +28% gains in Adults 18-34 versus first quarter of 2012.
Earlier this year, FX launched the most critically-acclaimed new drama series of the year, The Americans. The period piece set in 1981?about KGB spies posing as Americans in the US will conclude its first season on May 1. It’s already been renewed for a second season which will debut in January of 2014.
The Emmy Award(R)-winning hit drama Justified is recording the highest ratings in its history, and it remains one of the most consistently excellent shows on TV. Season four ends on April 2 and the network has ordered the fifth season of the series, which will debut in January of 2014.
Also, when it comes to returning drama, very few shows on television compare to the acclaimed hit series Sons Of Anarchy, either creatively or from a ratings standpoint. It is the highest-rated series in FX history. Last season, Sons was TV’s #1 show among Adults 18-49 in the Tuesday 10 PM time period. Season six of SOA kicks off in September.
Also, returning in the fall will be the newest incarnation of the American Horror Story miniseries franchise. Last year, AHS tied with Mad Men for the most Emmy Award nominations for any television program. It is one of the Top 5 ranked scripted shows on basic cable in delivery of Adults 18-49. The next chapter will be called American Horror Story: Coven and it is set in New Orleans and Academy Award(R) winner Kathy Bates is joining the cast opposite Jessica Lange. American Horror Story will once again roll out in October, just in time for Halloween, and it will run through January of 2014.
Original comedy series will remain a staple of the FX schedule.
The Emmy and Peabody Award winning series Louie is the most critically-acclaimed comedy on television, broadcast or cable. Put simply, Louis C.K. is a genius. He created a show that is smart, poignant, painful, hysterical, and truly original. The fourth season of Louie will debut on FX May of 2014.
The award-winning animated comedy, Archer, currently in its fourth season, is irreverent, hilarious and brilliant. It has become a force in television on Thursday nights. FX picked up the fifth season of Archer and we believe this show, which has grown EVERY season it has aired, will continue that trajectory well into the future, just as Sunny did.
The acclaimed hit comedy Wilfred, starring Jason Gann and Elijah Wood, ranked among basic cable’s Top 10 scripted comedies last season in young adults. It will return this summer.
FX has two new drama series this year.
New to FX is The Bridge, a drama series premiering in July starring Academy Award nominee Demi?n Bichir and veteran film actress Diane Kruger. Set on the border between El Paso and Juarez, The Bridge centers on two detectives, one from the United States and one from Mexico, who must work together to hunt down a killer operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. The Bridge was adapted for American television by the Emmy and Golden Globe(R) Award winning Executive Producer of Homeland, Meredith Stiehm, and Novelist and television Writer/Producer Elwood Reid.
New to FX are miniseries and limited series.
While FX has had tremendous success with drama series?with most of our shows running seven seasons, we think there is a huge opportunity to begin producing dramatic programs that have shorter runs. Miniseries were once a staple of primetime, generating some of television’s biggest and most memorable hits, and we can’t wait to bring the FX sensibility to new forms of dramatic storytelling.
Looking beyond The Bridge and Fargo, FX drama development has never been stronger.
FX won bidding wars against multiple premium cable competitors for two of the most sought-after projects this year. Tyrant is from Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning Homeland Producers Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright. The pilot will be directed by two-time Academy Award-winner Ang Lee, the filmmaker behind Sense & Sensibility, Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Life of Pi. It is Lee’s first project after winning this year’s best director Oscar for Life of Pi. Pilot production begins this summer, and a full writing staff is currently working on scripts for the first season.
The other marquee drama series FX captured was The Strain, written and directed by Executive Producer Guillermo Del Toro, the award-winning filmmaker behind Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, and Pacific Rim; and Executive Produced by Carlton Cuse (Lost). The Strain creates a world of vampires unlike any ever depicted in television or film. These bloodsuckers are not the romanticized version of vampires that have become such a clich?but a terrifyingly original new vision. Pilot production begins in August and a full writing staff is at work developing scripts for the first season.
In addition to the original series, FX will televise blockbuster movies in all dayparts, with a library unmatched by any basic cable network. The FX schedule will also include the acquired series Anger Management, Two and a Half Men and, coming in 2014, Mike & Molly.
Launched in June of 1994, FX is now carried in more than 98 million homes.
FXX Anchored by Hit Comedy Series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and The League
Late Night Show Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell Expands to Five Nights a Week
FXX’s schedule will consist of original series, movies and acquired series geared toward a slightly younger audience than FX, with a target demo of Adults 18-34. It will be somewhat more focused on comedy than FX, given the passion of younger viewers for outrageous characters and big laughs, but it will not be strictly a comedy channel.
FXX will start out with a base of four original comedies and one late night show, but by the second year the original schedule will expand to six scripted comedies, plus the late night show. The channel will grow over time to encompass its own original dramas.
The FXX brand will take its inspiration from what it means today to be young. It will be home to a rebellious passion for the unexpected and unique. FXX programming will share this generation’s commitment to shattering stereotypical genres and tired, clich?d formulas.
The new channel will be anchored by the hit original series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and The League, two of the finest comedies on television and two of the highest-rated among Adults 18-24. These series will move from FX to FXX with the launch of the network this fall.
Sunny is one of the greatest success stories in cable television and it embodies the maverick spirit that has defined FX’s young-skewing comedy brand. It is the first basic cable comedy series to syndicate to another basic cable channel; it spawned the live stage show, “The Nightman Cometh,” and it became one of the highest-selling TV DVDs in the FOX library. The ninth season debuts this fall and we will celebrate the series’ 100th episode this year. In addition, FX exercised its option and has ordered a 10th season, which extends the series run through the fall of 2014.
The League was recently renewed for a fifth season and today we are picking up the sixth season, which will take it through the fall of 2014. The League ranks as a Top 10 Comedy in basic cable, and is one of the most popular shows among young men, ranking #2 in its basic cable time period behind only Thursday Night Football.
Legit, the Network’s newest comedy series, was renewed for a second season. The show was co-created by and stars Australian Comedian Jim Jefferies. The series follows Jeffries and his roommates, the adventurous and well-endowed quadriplegic “Billy” and his romantically clueless older brother “Dan” as they struggle to find a “legitimate” way in life. It is the most critically-acclaimed new comedy of 2013 and its ratings grew over the course of the season. Another series moving to FXX is the late night show we introduced last year, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, from Comedian and Host W. Kamau Bell and Executive Producer Chris Rock. The series is expanding into a five- night per week, half-hour strip?with 130 new original episodes slated to premiere on FXX this fall beginning with the Channel’s launch.
FXX will feature blockbuster movies in all dayparts and also televise the acquired series Parks & Recreation, How I Met Your Mother, Rescue Me, Arrested Development, Sports Night and Freaks & Geeks.
FXM Will Feature Prestige Movies and Grow to Feature Miniseries and Movies
For people who love movies, FXM is becoming a destination channel. A year ago January, we converted the classic film-driven Fox Movie Channel into FXM, an ad-supported channel that airs contemporary films from 3 PM to 3 AM each day with limited commercial interruption. The results have been incredible. After growing more than 100% in Adults 25-54 in the Channel’s first year, we’ve grown another 50% in the 25-54 demo year-to-date. FXM has added more than 10 million new homes in the past 12 months and is now carried in almost 60 million homes.
FXM is a brand that literally lives for movies. Movies are the essence of its DNA and excellence in dramatic narrative the essence of its mission. This network will bring the best filmmakers of our generation together to share their unique creative vision in multiple forms and formats. We will deliver the best lineup of blockbuster Hollywood films?and we will program some of the best original miniseries and limited series on television.
Beginning this fall, FX Networks will launch the FXNOW app, creating its own version of “TV Everywhere” for subscribers of FX, FXX and FXM. The FXNOW platform will be available to authenticated subscribers of participating FX cable, satellite and telco providers. With the FXNOW app, viewers will be able to access the programming of any of the FX suite of Channels that are part of their current TV channel lineup.
Authenticated subscribers can view programs, the day after air, with the five most recent episodes available.
FXNOW will also offer on-demand access to the FXM VOD Movie Library, an unprecedented collection of blockbuster movies, most of which cannot be found on Netflix or other subscription VOD services.