FX Networks is preparing to move to Disney’s ownership, but CEO John Landgraf on Monday told reporters at Winter TCA in Pasadena, Calif., to expect FX’s critically acclaimed, carefully curated raft of programming to remain essentially the same.
Much like at HBO, which also is under a new owner in AT&T, Landgraf expects his network’s program offerings to increase as part of Disney’s stated mission to build a global streaming platform to take on Netflix.
FX’s greater short-term challenge is to continue to release content from its creators, many of which have found so much success on the network that they have been wooed to do other things. Ryan Murphy, creator of American Horror Story, American Crime Story and Feud, signed a reported $300 million deal with Netflix last February, while Donald Glover, creator, executive producer and star of Atlanta, is all over the place with film roles and Grammy-nominated albums.
That said, Murphy is still on board to do American Horror Story for FX, with his deal on that show renewed through season 10. Season 8, Apocalypse, concluded last year and season nine is expected to air later this year.
The future of the Emmy-winning franchise American Crime Story, which thus far has explored the landmark O.J. Simpson trial and the murder of designer Gianni Versace is less clear, although Landgraf said the anthology program’s writers are working on concepts for another season.
Similarly, the future of Murphy’s Feud, which in season one explored the relationship between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, is on hold as well. FX had announced that the next season would be focused on Prince Charles and Diana Spencer, but that appears to not be going forward.
Noah Hawley, creator behind both Fargo and Legion, is currently producing a movie starring Legion star Dan Stevens as well as Natalie Portman, Mad Man’s Jon Hamm and Atlanta‘s Zazie Beetz. Fargo’s fourth season won’t go into production until next winter, Landgraf said, meaning it’s unlikely to air until 2020. FX also announced Monday that the upcoming third season of Legion, scheduled to premiere in June, would be its last.
Landgraf told critics that Hawley had always seen Legion as a three-season project. That said, the show wasn’t a ratings success, with season two’s viewership dropping by more than half to an average of 430,000 viewers a week. Delayed viewing improved that to about 1 million viewers on average, but that was also about half of season one’s viewing levels.
FX isn’t out of the X-Men business, however, with the network having signed Diane Lane and Barry Keoghan to star in Y: The Last Man, coming in 2020. In the series, Keoghan stars as Yorick Brown, who is literally the world’s last person to carry the Y chromosome.
Michael Green (American Gods,Blade Runner 2049, Logan) and Aïda Mashaka Croal (Luke Cage, Turn) serve as showrunners and executive producers on the series. Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force (American Crime Story, Pose, Crazy Rich Asians) and Brian K. Vaughan are executive producers and developed the series. Melina Matsoukas (Insecure, Master of None, Beyoncé: Formation) directed the pilot episode and also serves as executive producer. Y is produced by FX Productions.
FX also announced at press tour that its new series, What We Do in the Shadows (trailer above), a series spin-off of the movie of the same title, will premiere on March 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
The series is created by Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement, who also stars in Legion, and he, Ta ika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) and Paul Simms are executive producers with Scott Rudin, Garrett Basch and Eli Bush.
What We Do in the Shadows is produced by FX Productions and stars Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén and Mark Proksch, who guest starred in the pilot before being promoted to series regular.
READ MORE: Variety