Brand Builders: John Landgraf

John Landgraf is president and general manager of FX Networks, in charge of all aspects of entertainment and business operations of FX, FX Productions and Fox Movie Channel.

Under his guidance, FX has become the first basic cable channel to boast award-winning hit scripted series in both drama and comedy. In addition, FX has garnered more Emmy and Golden Globe award nominations and wins in acting categories than any other basic cable network.

Landgraf joined FX as president of entertainment in January 2004 and was elevated to the position of president and general manager of FX Networks in May 2005. The first series launched on his watch was the Emmy and Golden Globe award-nominated drama series Rescue Me. Since then, Landgraf has expanded FX’s original offerings to eventually become the first cable network with 11 scripted original series on its schedule.

The increase of original programming is due in large part to Landgraf creating FX Productions, which produces the FX comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Archer, Louie, Wilfred, Unsupervised and Brand X with Russell Brand. FXP also coproduces the FX drama series Sons of Anarchy and Justified.

Landgraf has been responsible for a new generation of drama series including Sons of Anarchy, Justified and the network’s most recent breakout, American Horror Story. Also, Landgraf in 2007 persuaded Glenn Close to take on her first-ever regular series starring role on FX’s critically acclaimed legal thriller Damages, which over its three seasons on FX earned 19 Emmy Award nominations.

Prior to Landgraf’s arrival at FX, the network had not had much success in the comedy arena. That changed in 2005 with the launch of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which grew from cult hit to bona fide hit to become one of the most successful comedies in basic cable history. It is the first basic cable comedy series ever to gain syndication on another basic cable network (Comedy Central). FX has ordered Sunny through season 10, which will make it the longest- running live-action primetime comedy in basic cable history.

In 2010, FX launched the animated series Archer as well as Louie, starring comedian Louis C.K. Last season, Time magazine named Louie the best television show of 2011.

In addition to the success of FX and FX Productions, Landgraf transformed Fox Movie Channel. This year the channel launched the FX Movie Channel programming block, to go along with the FMC’s Emmy Award-winning shoulder programming.

Before joining FX, Landgraf was president of Jersey Television, a company he cofounded in 1999 along with former Jersey Films partners Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher. From 1994-99, Landgraf was VP of primetime series at NBC. He began his television career at Sarabande Productions. Landgraf holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., where he serves as a member of the board of trustees. Landgraf has been named chair appointee to the executive committee of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences board of governors. In May, Landgraf received the Vanguard Award for Programming from the NCTA. —biographical info provided by FX Networks