The Americans centers on two Russian KGB sleeper spies masquerading as Americans while living in suburban Washington D.C. during the early 1980’s. The former Felicity star plays Elizabeth Jennings and is arranged to marry Matthew Rhys’ character, Phillip. They have two children that know nothing about their parents’ true nature and as a unit the family grows closer and more real, until the climate of the Cold War heats up during Ronald Reagan’s presidential term. Phillip and Elizabeth must keep up with their fellow spies and informants in the America, but Phillip is beginning to take to the American lifestyle, making things much more complicated. The arrival of new neighbor, Stan (Noah Emmerich) raises the stakes because he works for the FBI in counter intelligence.
The basic cable network ordered 13 episodes of the series created from the mind of Falling Skies‘ writer Joe Weisberg, who used to work for the Central Intelligence Agency. Justified and Boomtown’s Graham Yost is an executive producer along with Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank who both come from working together on Falling Skies, United States of Tara and Into The West). The pilot episode is directed by Gavin O’Connor who helmed and wrote Warrior a favorite here at BuzzFocus.
Weisberg said in a statement, “For the last two years, I’ve worked with the incredible people at FX, FTVS, DreamWorks, and my personal television guru Graham Yost on this project. More recently, Gavin O’Connor joined our team, and turned the script we’d been working on for so long into a beautiful pilot. Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, and Max Hernandez were sensational in it, and a joy to be around. To have all of this come to fruition has been indescribably exciting. Really, I’m a writer, and I can’t describe it. It’s a great privilege and opportunity to get to make this television show. I can’t wait to get to work on it.”
“We’re proud to welcome The Americans, a taught series that crackles with incredible performances rooted in character perspectives never explored on a U.S. television series, to FX’s line up of quality dramas,” said John Landgraf, President and General Manager at FX in a statement. “We’re equally excited to welcome Graham Yost’s talented young Padawan Joe Weisberg as Creator/Showrunner. He joins a long line of gifted writer/producers who have taken their first shot at greatness on FX.”
Anything FX puts out is on our radar and what’s not to like about Russell? She was particularly excellent in Waitress and this will be the first time we’ll using “Keri Russell” and “spies” in the same sentence since Mission: Impossible III. This sounds like it has a few tiny elements of The Debt and Salt, and we’ll always welcome more spies on television. It’s sure to have that unique, dark humor found in FX dramas too. Production begins in October and will premiere in early 2013 along with Season 4 of Justified.
In other FX news, production is about to begin on a new drama pilot called The Bridge, adapted from the Scandinavian series Bron. When a dead body is found on the bridge connecting El Paso and Juarez, a detective from the United States works with a detective from Mexico to hunt a serial killer working both sides of the border.