The final commercial network to present at TCA did so Monday, and FX had a lot to say, with panels for a whopping nine shows (yours truly won’t be able to cover them all here, so here’s the selected stuff:)
- Exec session: John Landgraf took the stage and talked about where his network stood – and it was looking good – FX was nominated for 45 Emmy Awards – the most of any basic cable network. Landgraf even had to jokingly apologize to critics to contributing “too much good TV”.
Much like Showtime chief David Nevins, Landgraf talked about the FX brand taking risks, pushing against the confines of storytelling. “We’d rather fail spectacularly and nobly than succeed in a quiet, middling way”, he said. Landgraf also previewed the fourth season of American Horror story, and talked about the failure of W. Kamau Bell’s late-night talk show, one of two African-American late-night hosts who lost shows the past year (the other was Arsenio Hall, whose show premiered days after Bell’s was expanded to a late-night strip.)
Landgraf also announced renewal for Louie and for Fargo, but the latter’s next season won’t be until fall 2015.
- The finale for Sons Of Anarchy still hasn’t been written, so even the creator of the show (Kurt Sutter) doesn’t know how it’ll end, so stop asking him. But you ask about if he cares if the series gets an Emmy (which it never did.). Sutter’s response: “I don’t give a shit.” Big changes are in store, with Ron Pearlman gone (character was killed off) and Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) ascending to the leadership of Sons Of Anarchy. The final season premieres Sept. 9.
- Here comes another vampire show: this one is The Strain, from co-creator Guillermo Tel Doro, and he was joined by co-creator Chuck Hogan (who also co-authored The Strain books with Del Toro) and exec prodcer/showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost) at the panel. The premise: A government head investigates a runaway full of dead bodies at JFK airport – and it turns out the bodies are infected with vampiric worms that spreads into the populace.
As for the books, don’t assume that’s how it will go onscreen: “The way things happen and the fate of the characters is not completely determined by the books,” Cuse said. But let’s have Del Toro have the last word on vampires: “[They] are truly revolting parasites. They drink you like a Capri Sun. They don’t hold you and say, ‘Now I give you my life.’ No, they crush you and throw you away.”
- At the Fargo panel, the just-renewed show announced some major changes for season two: according to creator Noah Hawley, the series is relocating to Sioux Falls, S. D. and based in 1979, with an all-new cast. In fact, only Keith Carradine is returning for season two, only his character is now 33 and just returning home from Vietnam.
How fans would react to these changes remains to be seen – and we won’t find out until fall 2015 – that’s when Fargo returns for its second season.
- So what’s on tap for The Bridge’s second season? “If I’m going to tell a story about the U.S.-Mexican border, one which these characters warranted, I couldn’t tell that story while they were tracking a serial killer’, said EP Elwood Reid, who seems to be steering away from the serial killer plotline and onto other crimes in the area, which is close to the U.S.-Mexican border. Reid will exec produce the yet-to-be-announced season two solo, with co-exec producer Meredith Stheim departing for Showtime’s Homeland.
- Other FX panels held at TCA include Tyrant, Married and You’re The Worst, in addition to unveiling SimpsonsWorld, a new website scheduled to October where viewers can watch every Simpsons episode ever made (but needs cable authentication since it uses the TV Everywhere platform.) Beginning August 21, FXX (the new cable companion to FX) will air all 552 episodes of The Simpsons non-stop through Labor Day.
And that’s a wrap for the TCA Press Tour. See you at Comic-Con!