Last night, FX held their NYC upfront event for advertisers and the press, and while it was star-studded (they impressively brought out almost all their talent for interviews, which I'll be posting later today), the content portion of the presentation was pretty light on new show information. I saw a 30-second trailer for the Elijah Wood comedy Wilfred, and then network president John Landgraf kind of ran down a few details of other shows they've got in the works for the next 12 months, most of which were reported on in the trades months ago. Here are my impressions of what I heard and saw, based on almost no new information whatsoever.
Their new comedy tentpole, Wilfred stars Elijah Wood as a suicidal recluse who sees his love interest's dog Wilfred as a grown man (Jason Gann) dressed in a dog suit. This hallucination gradually draws Wood's character out of his shell (Wilfred's a real stuffed animal-humping troublemaker) and helps him overcome his depression. It begins airing this June and is an adaptation of an Australian series, though Landgraf certainly didn't mention that last part in his presentation. Groans about adaptations aside, the trailer looked like the kind of demented humor FX really does well, though I'm fairly certain the premise is too weird for audiences to embrace in droves, and the way Landgraf was over-selling it as "the best pilot everrrrr" speaks to some insecurity about the project. This will be a one-seasoner, but nonetheless a good one, I'd estimate.
American Horror Story
Hey, have you heard about this new fall show by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk? Starring Connie Britton? Then you still know about as much as I do. Oh wait, that's not true -- FX "revealed" last night they're "so excited" about the show that they've gone right on ahead and hired a writing staff for it! I mean, honestly. The level of secrecy about this project is only going to lead to overhype and disappointment, guys. (Still going to watch it, though. Still soooo excited to watch it I can barely breathe.)
Planted firmly in FX's wheelhouse, Outlaw Country is set in the world of the "Dixie Mafia" that the people on Justified are always going on about. Also, it's set in the world of country music? I have no idea, but I have no problem with FX making another kick-ass outlaw series. This one stars John Hawkes, who was the best thing about Winter's Bone (sorry, JLaw), and Mary Steenburgen, who is the second-best thing about Ted Danson. This should promptly become our new obsession if the pilot's picked up some day.
Because superhero shows always do so well and end up being ever so sustainable on other networks (eyeroll), FX is adapting the award-winning graphic novel Powers to series, about a "gritty," "dark" (FX pilot macro!) Chicago where superheroes are commonplace, and two cops (a tiny blonde girl and a brawny ex-hero guy) are tasked with solving superhero-related crimes. Most early casting wish lists are calling for Holt McCallany and Kristen Bell for the cops, which would certainly be fun, and if anyone can do the seemingly impossible and pull off a quality superhero show, it's a boundary-pushing network like FX, but forgive me if I'm gun-shy about this genre after so many miserable failures. Good news is, Tim Kring is nowhere near the project at this point. Great sign!
A new animated comedy from the animation talent behind Archer, Townies is being written by three It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia writers (one of them being Rickety Cricket, which is amazing) and should be highly entertaining if and when it ever gets made. Can you believe how informative I am?
Your take on the new lineup? Sound off below.
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