Get ready for more Louis C.K., Russell Brand and... Martin Sheen?
FX president and general manager John Landgraf addressed the Television Critics Association during its fall TV previews on Saturday, announcing that the cable network was experiencing growth in viewership as well as in developing original programming.
Here's a breakdown of the highlights:
Anger Management, Now with More Daddy Issues: Only six episodes of the Charlie Sheen-starring comedy have aired, and if it continues with its strong ratings through all 10 episodes, FX plans to order an additional 90 ("a back 90") episodes. Additionally, Landgraf announced that Martin Sheen — real-life dad of Charlie — will guest-star on an upcoming episode and could return as a series regular to play Charlie's on-screen dad Martin Goodson. "It will give an extra dimension to the show and make it multigenerational," Landgraf said.
Wilfred Pending: Landgraf said that he was optimistic for a Season 3 order, but that deals have to be worked out before an announcement could be made. "Wilfred has a many-year future on the channel," he said. "We're happy with the show creatively."
Non-Linear Horror: Landgraf wasn't surprised that American Horror Story was treated as a miniseries by the Emmys this season. "There's no continuing story line... there are no narrative elements from one group of episodes to another, which is the definition of miniseries," he said. He wouldn't give many details about Season 2, but said the story, which takes place at a sanitarium in New England run by the Catholic church, was "unbelievably scary."
Sons of Anarchy Snub: The FX chief wasn't certain why the show consistently has been ignored by Emmy voters, especially when it features impressive actors like Katey Sagal and Charlie Hunnam. "The show is grungy and blue-collar and violent and profane," he said. "I just think the Emmy voters don't like it that much. I don't see the Emmys at this point giving it any recognition. I could be wrong."
New Blood: New series pilots The Americans (starring Keri Russell) and The Bridge (based upon the Danish series of the same name) were the next series that were expected to be picked up, although no official announcements were made. Additionally, FX ordered the comedy series pilot for Bronx Warrants, about a group of errant warrant detectives starring stand-up comedian Godfrey, Josh Segarra and Shirley Rumierk.
YouTube and Netflix, The Gauntlet Is Thrown: Landgraf, a usually thoughtful and even-keeled speaker, became unexpectedly passionate when he brought up online original scripted series. More specifically, he tasked the critics to demand the likes of Netflix and YouTube to deliver viewership data that would be comparable to network data — numbers that reflect the average of how many viewers watch an entire episode, not how many people sampled the offering for an unspecified amount of time. "They should release data in such a form to be a basis of comparison," he said. "They have more data than we do, more internal server data... but if you want to report ratings on an apples-to-apples basis, you can request them to provide it to you."