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Excellent Reading: Why FX’s Landgraf Hopeful ‘Damages’ Will Last More Seasons; Plus the Financial and Psychological Differences Between Dramas on Broadcast and Cable

Apr 5, 2010  •  Post A Comment

As money issues and viewership forces FX to consider what to do with the critical-darling "Damages," FX president John Landgraf said the show could last at least two more seasons with the right deals, our friend Bill Carter reports in the New York Times.

Landgraf, talking to the Times about how the cable industry has changed drama production, said international financing and DVD sales could push "Damages" along for another few seasons.

"Damages" "may go four or five seasons; we’ll see," he said. [Separately, last week there was a report that DireCT might show "Damages" in a separate window, which would help future financing of the series.]

Landgraf said broadcast networks don’t program 10 p.m. dramas anymore, opting to create dramas whose episodes are interchangeable. Dramas that aren’t as focused on serialization, like "Law and Order," tend to sell better in syndication, as opposed to serialized cable dramas, like "Damages."  

While Carter’s article focuses a lot on the financial reasons dramas are becoming so prevalent on cable, on the opposite coast Neal Gabler has an intellectually sparkling  piece in the Los Angeles Times about the social and psychological underpinnings that make cable dramas different than broadcast dramas.

Gabler writes: "The cosmology of HBO, FX and AMC is fierce and unrelentingly grim. It is a cosmology for a different America in a different television age than the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, when things seemed so much simpler. It speaks to our doubts and our debits, to our anxieties and apprehensions. It tells us that we are not necessarily good and that neither is our world. It tells us that not everything can be made right in the end. It is a journey into the American heart of darkness."

We’d recommend you read both Gabler’s and Carter’s pieces in total at the links we provide above.

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