During his executive session during FX's portion of the Television Critics Association winter press tour Friday, FX CEO John Landgraf said that the network is expecting to air a fourth season of Hawley's Coen Brothers-derived anthology series in 2019.
Noah Hawley "has told us that he has an idea -- which excites me enormously -- for a fourth cycle of Fargo," Landgraf said. "The plan is to have that ready for 2019. I'm focused right now on what will come in 2018, but the anticipation is that there's another cycle in 2019."
But Hawley isn't sure it'll be ready by then. "He's an optimist, I think, which I've always liked about him. Hopefully we could be making it in 2019. I don't know that you'd be seeing it in 2019," Hawley told TV Guide. "Realistically, it's a winter show, so you're making it at the end of 2018 or the end of 2019. We're in 2018, so that might feel optimistic."
Hawley would prefer to make it an event series and "not race to get there."
During the panel for his other show Legion, Hawley declined to give any details on what Season 4 may look like, but said that the next Fargo project will actually be a book of scripts and photos and interviews covering the first three seasons.
As for Season 4, Hawley said "It's still early for me. I love that world, but it's still very much a question for me of making sure there's something left to say with it and balancing tone. I never want it to be something that people go, 'Oh, that thing. It's the accents and the funny crime show.' It's still very much a work in progress."
He expanded on what he meant to TV Guide, saying "I have an idea but it's mostly out of the corner of my eye. I haven't turned to look at it yet. It's just a little inspiration."
The future of Fargo was up in the air after the conclusion of Season 3, as Hawley was busy with Legion, feature scripts he's writing and his career as a novelist, and he wasn't sure if and when he'd return to Fargo.
Long breaks between seasons are par for the course with Fargo; Season 1 premiered in April 2014, Season 2 premiered in October 2015 and Season 3 didn't drop until April 2017.
Additional reporting by Megan Vick