FX had its very first upfront presentation Thursday (March 28), when it introduced its new channel, FXX, and teased a plethora of new shows.
FXX will launch later this year and will initially feature four scripted comedies and one late night program, then in 2014 will expand to six comedies and more late night programming. Eventually, the channel will also feature original scripted dramas.
The launch will be spearheaded by the move of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “The League” and “Legit” from FX to FXX. “Sunny” and “League” have also been renewed for the fall of 2014 — a 10th season for “Sunny” and a sixth season for “The League.” “Legit” has received a Season 2 pick-up.
“Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” will also be moving to FXX and will expand to a five-night per week format.
The presentation also announced the first limited series for FX. The hope is to include more limited series in the years to come and also one limited series each quarter on the FX movie channel, FXM.
The first limited series is “Fargo,” which will have 10 episodes and will be produced by MGM Television and the Coen brothers, the creators of the 1996 Academy Award-winning movie of the same name on which the series is based. The scribe behind the adaptation is Noah Hawley, of “Bones” and “The Unusuals.”
Other limited series the company has in development include “Grand Hotel,” from Sam Mendes, based on a terrorist plot in Paris; “Sutton,” from Alexander Payne; “Mad Dogs,” from Shawn Ryan; and the story of the Mayflower from Paul Giamatti.
For new comedies, FX is developing “How and Why,” about a brilliant engineer who is clueless at life, from Charlie Kaufman, and “Chozen,” about a white rapper just out of prison, from Grant Dekernion, Danny McBride and the team behind “Eastbound & Down.”
Further, FX’s session included sneak peeks at “The Bridge,” “Tyrant” and “The Strain,” new dramas coming later this year. Guillermo del Toro is writing and directing “The Strain,” a new look at vampires that is not the romantic version of the bloodsuckers we’ve seen so much recently in TV and movies.
“The Strain” is the story of a brutal plague that takes New York City. A plane lands at JFK and all the passengers on board are dead. The CDC is brought in to investigate, as vampires take over the city.
“There’s a take-down of society and a way we spread the plague that is very poignant,” says del Toro. “It’s the first time I can take a scientific look at one of the greatest myths of mankind.”
The expansion stems from FX’s widespread success with original programming. It intends to focus original channel FX on the adults 18-49 demographic, with FXX skewing younger (adults 18-34) and FXM skewing slightly older (adults 25-54).