We’ve got more news from the FX Upfronts today, including the exciting announcement of five limited series with some big names attached to them. The first one up is a 10-episode run of Fargo, that will premiere in the Spring of 2014. Production will begin this fall and Joel & Ethan Coen will be executive producers along with Warren Littlefield. Noah Hawley (Bones, The Unusuals) is going to write series.
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President and General Manager, FX Networks, John Landgraf announced that it will be a true crime series with a new case and new set of characters with the trademark Fargo style, sense of humor and charm that made the 1996 murder mystery a cult favorite and Academy Award-winning film.
“For years, people have tried to adapt this Academy Award-winning gem into a TV series with no success,” said Landgraf in a statement. “I have always loved Fargo and I was skeptical about this as a series, but Noah Hawley’s script made me a believer. This script is so good and so true to the tone of the original movie.”
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But the limited series slate doesn’t end with Fargo. Four more are in the works but there is no timeline yet and that may have to do with the timing and success of Fargo. There are some really interesting projects including an American adaptation of British series, Mad Dogs which is the return of Shawn Ryan to FX, who hit it big with The Shield, but has had three consecutive series fail to make it past the first season. Those series include The Last Resort for ABC, The Chicago Code for Fox, and most notably, the San Diego-based buddy private investigation drama Terriers for FX. Most viewers felt the latter was not given enough time to catch on and all three of Ryan’s past efforts were universally praised by critics.
FX has successfully launched American Horror Story and The Americans since that rough year for the network, which also canceled the boxing drama, Lights Out with Terriers. So the limited series might be a smart way to give Ryan the space to produce another hit show without the pressures of trying to get the ratings for renewal. Others getting involved in FX’s limited series is Skyfall director Sam Mendes, Academy Award winning actor, Paul Giamatti, and Sideways director Alexander Payne. Based off of these projects and the talent involved, FX is looking more and more like HBO every day that passes.
Check out the descriptions of four other limited series in development at FX:
This series is an unflinching portrait of the Puritan settlers at Plymouth Colony and their uneasy alliance
with the local Native Americans. The series will be executive produced by Gil Netter (Life of Pi, The
Blind Side) and marks his first foray into television. Serving alongside Netter as Executive Producers are
Dan Carey and Paul Giamatti (Sideways, John Adams). Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard (The Sorcerer’s
Apprentice) are writing the series and executive producing. Produced by FX Productions in association
with Touchy Feely Films.
In this series, an international luxury hotel in Paris turns into a hellish trap when it becomes the center of
a terrorist attack. Written and executive produced by Richard McBrien (Merlin, Wallander), Grand Hotel
will also be executive produced by Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road, Jarhead), Sam Mendes (Skyfall,
American Beauty), and Alain & Vassili Clert (Spiral).
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Based on the British series and written by Cris Cole (Mad Dogs, The Bill), this series follows the
reunion of four forty-something guys who head to Belize to visit their old school friend, when things take
an unexpected and dark turn. Shawn Ryan (The Shield, Terriers, The Chicago Code) will serve as
Executive Producer alongside Cole. Produced by Sony Pictures Television, in association with Left Bank.
Based on the novel “Sutton” by J.R. Moeringher, this extraordinary journey begins on Christmas Eve
1969, when Willie “The Actor” Sutton – Irishman, lover, folk hero, and the most prolific bank robber
in American history – stepped out of Attica Prison and boarded a plane for New York City, where he
proceeded to take a reporter and photographer on a five-borough guided tour of his remarkable life
and crimes. Written and executive produced by Rob Siegel (The Wrestler, Big Fan), Sutton will be
executive produced by Jim Burke (The Descendants, Cedar Rapids), Michael De Luca (Moneyball, The
Social Network), Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways),) and Jim Taylor (The Descendants,
Sideways). Produced by FX Productions.