Members of the Television Critics Association gathered at the Beverly Hilton Friday for presentations from FX Networks, featuring their upcoming slate of original programming. The network announced premiere dates for their fall lineup, including American Horror Story: Hotel, Fargo, and The Bastard Executioner, as well as new series pickups, a third season renewal for The Strain, and an unexpected hiatus for Louis C.K.’s critically acclaimed comedy series Louie.
Don’t expect any Louie in 2016. Series creator Louis C.K. is taking another “extended hiatus” from his critically acclaimed comedy to pursue other projects. FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf told the press, “After writing, directing, starring in, and mostly editing 61 episodes of television, he’s anxious to take a break from the show and work on other things.” One such project is his in-development movie I Am a Cop, which he will write, direct and star in.
C.K. previously took a break from Louie back in 2012, when he pushed the season four premiere date back a year in order to recharge and focus on touring. Landgraf doesn’t know how long the hiatus will span this time around saying, “”Gosh, I hope 20 years is the outside date but I think Curb Your Enthusiasm is the right analogy,” referring to Larry David’s on-and-off-again HBO comedy series, which has produced eight seasons in fifteen years. “It’s really going to be his choice,” said Landgraf. “It could be six months or two years.” But don’t fret, C.K. will still have an active presence at the network thanks to his overall deal, including the Zach Galifianakis comedy Baskets and the Pamela Adlon’s freshly announced series Better Things, which C.K. co-created, and a third “equally compelling” project Landgraf promised the network will announce soon.
The acclaimed thriller The Strain, from Guillermo Del Toro and Carlton Cuse will return next summer for a 10-episode third season. Eric Schrier and Nick Grad, Presidents of Original Programming announced the news prior to the FX TCA presentation.
“Guillermo and Carlton have delivered two thrilling seasons of The Strain that are captivating and visually arresting, doing justice to the original novel trilogy and meeting fans’ high expectations in the process,” said Schrier. “We’re excited to see them carry this powerful story into a third season on FX.”
While addressing the press, Cuse confirmed a five-season plan for the series. He also clarified the planned timeline to adapt Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s trilogy, with the first season covering the first book, the second and third seasons drawing from the second book, and the final two seasons wrapping up the story of the third novel. The second season of The Strain is currently running Sundays on FX.
FX has set premiere dates for their slate of fall programming. First up is Kurt Sutter’s highly-anticipated Sons of Anarchy follow up, The Bastard Executioner. The 10-episode first season of the “blood-soaked medieval epic” debuts on FX September 15 with a two-hour premiere.
The next installment of Ryan Murphy’s Emmy and Golden Globe-winning limited series, American Horror Story: Hotel, will premiere on October 7. The 13-episode fifth installment of the hit series is led by an all-star cast including Lady Gaga and Matt Bomer alongside AHS regulars Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Evan Peters, and Sarah Paulson.
Finally, the Peabody award-winning anthology series Fargo will return to FX on October 12. The 10-episode second season travels back to 1979 South Dakota for yet another “true crime” case. Fronted by an A-List cast including Patrick Wilson, Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson, and Jean Smart, the latest Fargo installment chronicles the Sioux Falls “madness” mentioned by Lou Solverson in the first season.
FXX announced its pick-up of Cassius and Clay, an animated action-buddy comedy from Archer creator Adam Reed and Modern Family producer Megan Ganz. It will star Kaitlin Olson as Cassius and Lake Bell as Clay — bandits surviving and thriving in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic America. The voice cast also includes Susan Sarandon, Jeffrey Tambor, and Robert Patrick. Cassius and Clay’s 10-episode debut season is expected to debut on FXX in 2016.
Additionally, the hit comedy series Archer will move to FXX after six seasons on FX. The seventh season will be paired with Cassius and Clay in 2016, adding to FXX’s top-tier comedy slate that already includes It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, You’re the Worst, Man Seeking Woman, and Animation Domination.