TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Signals End Of ‘Nuclear Arms Race Of Darkness’, Talks ‘The Strain’ Game Plan, FX Brand Expansion

With The Shield, FX was one of the first networks to introduce the proverbial anti-hero that has taken over cable drama in the past decade. Asked today how much darker cable dramas can go, FX CEO John Landgraf, giving a nod to David Chase for starting the trend with The Sopranos, said, “I can’t imagine a protagonist darker than (Breaking Bad‘s) Walter White. That’s the end of the road for out-darking each other — this nuclear arms race of darkness has ended.”

Related: TCA: Billy Bob Thornton Cast In FX’s ‘Fargo’

Landgraf confirmed what Guillermo del Toro said when FX greenlighted a pilot for The Strain — that the project will have a limited run spanning three to five seasons. The Strain series, based on del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire novel trilogy, will produce “39-65 episodes, no less, no more,” Landgraf said, adding “What if a television show could be just the length that is optimal for that story?” The Strain‘s order is technically for a pilot but has a writing staff that has completed five scripts already, and a series pickup is considered a formality. Also pretty certain — a second season renewal for freshman drama The Bridge, with Landgraf touting ist story trajectory.

Landgraf also further discussed the plans for the FX brand expansion with the upcoming launch of FXX and rebranding of FXM. (more…)

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