TCA: FX’s Cable-Streaming Approach a ‘Tremendous Success’, Said Landgraf

John Landgraf at the 2019 TCA winter press tour
FX chairman John Landgraf at the 2019 TCA Winter Press Tour (Image credit: FX Networks)

FX is on course to do 30 original series a year, said John Landgraf, FX chairman, at a TCA press event. In the works are a Noah Hawley series based on the Alien film franchise; Retreat, from Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, creators of The OA; and Fleishman is in Trouble, an adaptation of the Taffy Brodesser-Akner novel. 

Comedy Atlanta is scheduled to return in the first half of 2022. Season three shot primarily in Europe, and season four is in production in Atlanta. 

“I absolutely adore those scripts for both seasons,” said Landgraf. 

Landgraf said comedy Reservation Dogs “got off to a great start” earlier this week. “We’re very excited about its strong early performance on FX on Hulu,” he added. 

Landgraf called FX’s Hulu partnership a “tremendous success.” Some FX originals premiere on cable, and shift to Hulu the next day, and some debut on the streaming platform. The Hulu viewer is 15-17 years younger than their FX counterpart, Landgraf shared. 

He likened the growth on Hulu to the early “go-go” days of cable networks spreading around the country. 

“Hulu is a really, really vibrant platform,” said Landgraf, “and it’s growing very fast.”

FX’s documentary brand is “a work in progress,” said Landgraf, but is off to a strong start with hit projects such as The New York Times Presents

FX announced spinoffs of the American Horror Story/American Crime Story brands, with American Sports Story and American Love Story limited series in the works. The network also announced orders for season two of American Horror Stories and season four of What We Do in the Shadows. 

Hawley’s Alien project will probably premiere in 2023. Landgraf likened the production to “a beast.” He said it has the fingerprints of both Hawley’s distinctive touch and the “cinematic universe” from which it was born. 

“It’s a really big world-building exercise,” he added. 

Hawley’s Cat’s Cradle project will not continue at FX, Landgraf said, but might elsewhere in the Disney universe. 

Limited series are hot on FX, and elsewhere, but Landgraf said he continues to search for long-running series. FX brass gets pumped “when we hear a pitch and think it has 50 or 70 or 100 episodes in it,” he said. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone is content director at B+C and Multichannel News. He joined B+C in 2005 and has covered network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television, including writing the "Local News Close-Up" market profiles. He also hosted the podcasts "Busted Pilot" and "Series Business." His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The Boston Globe and New York magazine.