TCA Press Tour: FX has a new ‘Fargo’ with Billy Bob Thornton
FX is bringing back “Fargo.” Not the movie, but a new miniseries.
A revamped version of the Coen Brothers’ 1996 black comedy starring Oscar winner Frances McDormand as a pregnant police chief investigating a murder case will premiere in spring on the cable network which will star another Oscar winner, Billy Bob Thornton.
John Landgraf, chief executive officer of FX Networks, announced the project as a highlight of the network’s upcoming slate, which will include a ramping up of original scripted comedies that will air on FX and its satellite networks, FXX and FXM.
The new “Fargo” will be a 10-part miniseries. The limited series will be adapted for TV by novelist and writer Noah Hawley.
The new “Fargo” will not have any of the characters from the original movie, but will feature “the trademark humor, murder and ‘Minnesota nice’ that made the film an endearing classic,” according to a network press release.
Thrornton will play Lorne Malvo, a rootless, manipulative man who meets a small-town insurance salesman and sets him on a path of destruction.
Joel and Ethan Coen will be executive producers on the project.
“Fargo” continues FX’s trend of programming high-profile miniseries. The network has already seen success with the form with its “American Horror Story” franchise, and is developing “The Strain,” a miniseries based on the trilogy of vampire horror novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.
FX is also attempting to lighten up a bit after being a leader in producing hit dramas revolving around vicious antiheroes such as “The Shield’ and “Sons of Anarchy.” Landgraf joked that the poliferation of such characters may have reached its nadir with AMC’s “Breaking Bad.”
“I can’t imagine a protagonist darker than Walter White,” said Landgraf, referencing the main character in the AMC drama who has evolved from a mild-mannered chemistry teacher with a terminal disease to a murderous drug kingpin.
Calling “Breaking Bad” an amazing show, Landgraf suggested, “I think it’s the end of the road for out-darking each other.”
Several of FX’s signature comedies, including ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philidelphia” and “The League,” will jump to the new FXX network when it rolls out Sept. 2. W. Kamau Bell and the weekly “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” will jump to FXX as a late-night entry five times a week.
Landgraf said he hopes to have a dozen scripted comedies around the three networks within the next few years.
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