The Big Gipper is bundling up for Fargo.
The second season of the Golden Globe-winning drama will be set in the late '70s with Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign as the backdrop, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf announced at the Television Critics Association winter previews on Sunday. "Reagan is a character in it and some of the movies he's reputed to have made," Landgraf said.
As previously announced, Season 2 will take place around Luverne, Minn. and Sioux Falls, and features Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson, playing a younger version of Season 1's Keith Carradine) who has come home as a veteran of the Vietnam War. "It's also about feminism," Landgraf said and added that it's "big, sprawling, incredibly ambitious.... I really love the scripts I've seen."
Joining Wilson for Season 2 are Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson, Jean Smart, Jesse Plemons, Jeffrey Donovan, Nick Offerman, Brad Garrett, and Kieran Culkin. The series will return sometime in the fall. Production on Season 2 begins on Monday.
Check out more highlights from the FX executive session:
Better Things FX wants more of Louis C.K.'s magic touch. The network has ordered the comedy pilot Better Things, created by Louie's Pamela Adlon, who also stars as Sam, a working actor who juggles her demanding job, three daughters, having fun and possibly even having sex. Adlon and Louis C.K. will write the pilot and executive-produce alongside Blair Breard, Dave Becky and 3 Arts Entertainment.
Louie The fifth season of Louie will return on Thursday, April 9 at 10:30/9:30c on FX for eight episodes. Louis C.K. has been busy lately. Besides working on Better Things and enjoying a successful comedy tour, he's also a producing and co-writing the Zach Galifianakis comedy Baskets for FX and will begin writing and producing for the big screen. "We give him as much flexibility as we can," Landgraf said.
The Comedians Leading into Louie is the new series The Comedians, which will premiere on Thursday April 9 at 10/9c on FX. The comedy stars Billy Crystal as a comedy legend who is reluctantly paired with an eager up-and-comer (Josh Gad) for the fictional late-night comedy show "The Billy & Josh Show." Landgraf called the series "gut-splittingly funny." Perhaps because it features an overly serious FX chief with a receding hairline? "That part of the portrayal is accurate," Landgraf said.
The Americans Landgraf thinks that The Americans could last for five seasons, but renewals are dependent on "how good it remains." The FX chief expressed hopes that the Emmys will finally step up and take notice of the drama.
American Crime Story The new anthology series from Ryan Murphy will premiere on FX in early 2016. The first season is about the O.J. Simpson trial.
Tyrant, The Strain Both series premiered this past year to mixed critical reviews and will return this summer for their second seasons. Tyrant will shoot mostly in Eastern Europe, Morocco and Turkey.
American Horror Story The anthological miniseries' latest incarnation, Freak Show, was the second-most popular series on FX after Sons of Anarchy, and averaged 22 percent more viewers than Season 4's Coven. The fifth season will premiere in October.
The Bridge Landgraf cited the series' "relentless downward trajectory" in the ratings as the reason for its cancellation after two seasons. Nevertheless, he admitted, "I have a lot of regrets about not renewing that show."
The Bastard Executioner Although FX said goodbye to Sons of Anarchy in December, it did not bid adieu to creator Kurt Sutter, who will be back with The Bastard Executioner, which will "reinvent the knight and sword genre," Landgraf said. The series shoots in Wales this summer and will likely premiere in the fall.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia The FXX comedy recently launched its 10th season, and Landgraf reminded critics that it had already been renewed for an additional two seasons. He also pointed out that that will make It's Always Sunny the longest-running live-action cable comedy and the second-longest-running live-action comedy of all time, second only after The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and tied with My Three Sons.
Married The FX comedy also debuted to mixed reviews and will return for a second season, paired with Denis Leary's new series Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, this summer.
You're the Worst The rom-com ended the year lauded as one of the best new comedies and ranked at No. 14, tied with The Walking Dead, for the best shows of the year, according to Metacritic. The show will be moving to FXX for its second season.
FXX For those trying to keep the two networks straight, FXX is also the home to The Simpsons, It's Always Sunny, The League (returning for its seventh and final season) and the newly premiered Man Seeking Woman. FXX was the fastest-growing cable network, increasing 70 percent in its adults 18-49 demographic, which is wholly owed to the cable debut of The Simpsons and its "Every Simpsons Ever" marathon stunt.
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