Fox and FX Networks are getting into the long-form event programming business, teaming for a new production unit that will supply the sibling networks with high-profile limited and miniseries. The unit will operate as a division of FX Prods. and will be run by HBO executive Gina Balian, who has been named SVP of limited series for FX Networks and FX Prods. In the newly created position, she will oversee development and production of limited and miniseries for FX and FX Movie Channel. Additionally, Fox will use FX Prods. as a producing partner for summer limited event series with Balian overseeing those projects. She will start November 1, reporting jointly to FX’s EVP Original Programming Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, EVP of FX Prods. and Head of Series Development for FX. “We are committed to increasing FX’s long-form offerings, and with FXM’s growth the timing is perfect to add long-form original programming to its lineup,” FX president John Landgraf said.
I hear both Fox and FX brass had been interested in adding event programming to their lineups, leading to the collaboration. “We have been signaling our appetite for large-scale, high-impact event series for Fox for many months and we’ve begun buying towards that goal,” Fox chairman Kevin Reilly said. “We’re going to create quality 10-to 12-part events that can stand alone or be evolved into franchises — events that will be big in scope and have top-tier talent attached.” Fox plans to order its first event series into production in summer 2013 to air in 2014. It marks a return to the long-form event programming, once a staple of broadcast TV, but with projects more in line of HBO’s mega-minis Band Of Brothers and John Adams than the traditional four-hour miniseries of the networks’ past.
Balian spent the last decade as HBO, most recently as SVP Drama. During her early tenure there, she worked on both comedy and drama series, developing the low-budget, experimental Flight Of The Conchords and buying the series idea for How To Make It In America. She was the lead executive for HBO on Rome, Tell Me You Love Me and In Treatment. She also oversaw all creative on the network’s recent hit series Game Of Thrones, as well as Luck.