FX Expansion Plans Include Suite of Three Channels, Ambitious Lineup of Original Programs

Mar 29, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Expansion plans under way for FX Networks include not only the new cable channel FXX, which we reported Thursday, but also an ambitious slate of 25 original series, B&C reports.

The launch of FXX, set for Sept. 2, will create a suite of three cable channels with FX and FXM. FX Networks President John Landgraf, speaking at the company’s upfront presentation to advertisers Thursday, said programming on the three channels will be distinctively FX. "You know an FX original when you see it," Landgraf said.

The report adds: “As expected, FXX will aim at younger views in the 18 to 34 year-old demographic. Some of FX’s current comedies, including ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,’ ‘The League’ and ‘Legit,’ and its late-night block will move to the new channel, but the plan is to develop original scripted drama for the network as well. The network will launch in more than 74 million homes, with many of those coming from the former Fox Soccer Channel.”

The focus for FXM will be on adults 25-54, while FX will aim at the 18-49 audience. Original miniseries and limited series are in the works, with much of that programming headed for FXM.

Lou LaTorre, president of ad sales for the Fox Cable Entertainment Group, said FX currently has the most reach of any cable entertainment channel. "We feel quite confident FX will continue to grow as FXX launches as a brand," he said. "We’ll be in a very strong position heading into this upfront with these complementary brands."

B&C adds: “All of the networks will sit on a foundation of a large amount of acquired series and theatrical movies that FX has been acquiring in preparation for its expansion. Many of those movies will be available to create substantial VOD offerings for cable operators and will not be available to streaming VOD distributors such as Netflix or Amazon, bolstering the value of the current pay TV environment and discouraging cord cutting.”

A new brand campaign is in the works with the theme “Fearless,” which continues the emphasis on edgy adult fare that has identified FX for the past decade, since its success with “The Shield.”

FX has picked up new seasons of “Justified,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “The League” and “Legit,” the story reports. Expanding to five nights will be the late-night show “Totally Biased.”

The company also has projects in the pipeline from Ang Lee, the Coen brothers, Guillermo del Toro, Alexander Payne, Sam Mendes and Paul Giamatti, the report notes.

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