News Briefs: FX Might Split Itself in Two

TWICE AS GOOD OR HALF AS GOOD NEWS

... Does two times the FX mean twice as much edgy, artistic television, or does it mean sucky suckyville? Fox is reportedly considering transforming its Fox Soccer channel into a second FX, with the idea that one will be a home to comedy and the other will house dramas. Will that mean diluted programming or double the good stuff? Or will FX break our hearts and just be all reality television in two years like everyone else? [Broadcasting & Cable]


PICKUPS AND PUSHBACKS

... TNT has ordered a pilot for Leverage creator Dean Devlin's new series starring Geena Davis. The nameless series would star Davis as a bounty hunter who is successful because she's just a tad crazy. The idea is based on real-life bounty hunter Mackenzie Green. [Deadline Hollywood]

... TNT has also ordered the reality series Marshal Law: Texas from producer Jerry BOOM Bruckheimer. Look for six episodes' worth of cameras following Texan badasses capturing the bad guys later this year. [Deadline Hollywood]

... ABC has bumped the premiere of Body of Proof, and yes, this time it IS Obama's fault, Jethro. Because Mr. President is giving his State of the Union on February 12, which would be Week 2 of the Dana Delaney drama, ABC is pushing the season premiere back to February 19 so as not to have it interrupted by the most powerful man in the galaxy so soon. [Deadline Hollywood]


CASTING NEWS

... Breaking Bad's Betsy Brandt (Marie) has landed a sweet gig as the wife of Michael J. Fox's character in his new NBC sitcom. The untitled show has already received a 22-episode order and is loosely based on Fox's real life. Brandt is a totally kickass actress, guys. [Deadline Hollywood]

... "Heather Locklear has joined the cast of Franklin & Bash" is the least surprising sentence I will write all year. [EW]

... Rosemarie DeWitt won't be starring on HBO's The Newsroom due to messed-up schedules. Sure, DeWitt, blame schedules. We all know you just wanted out of that farce. [Deadline Hollywood]

... The wonderful and super and talented (all truths) Toni Collette will star in the CBS pilot Hostages. She'll play a D.C.-based surgeon who is ordered to operate on the president but then has her family taken hostage and oh man this sounds like a crummy situation for her! [EW]



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Nope, bad idea. There just isn't enough new programming on FX to justify splitting it into two separate entities. The two genres they currently show work well together anyway.

And if they use the newly created vacancies in FX's (FX1?) schedule, I fear they'll either churn out more stain-on-its-otherwise-stellar-reputation shows like the unwatchable Anger Management or ... reality programming (shudder), the last refuge of the programming scoundrel.
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Great. Now there will be two awesome channels with great shows I can't watch on Bell TV up here in Canada.
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Not sure if the idea of MJ Fox having a permanent wife/love interest on his new show works. Sure it's realistic but i've never seen an example of it working before. Spin City tried and immediately got rid of Carla Gugino's character and Family Ties never had anyone stick around for too long as Alex P. Keaton's girlfriend. Maybe he just always seems like he needs to be single on his sitcoms? A wife and kids will definetely create a new dynamic for Michael J. Fox.
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If they move all comedies to this new channel, I think that's a horrible idea. It's not as if everyone already has Fox Soccer. Way to strand Archer and It's Always Sunny on an unseen channel, News Corp.! Also keep in mind: It's not as if the "very funny" rebranding of TBS has been that successful. What notable original show do they have other than Conan? Tyler Perry? ugh
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Yeah, Hostages for me!
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FX dividing itself sounds like a terrible idea, obviously trying to be like TBS/TNT. However, the difference between those networks is that the comedies and dramas blend too well together to separate themselves from each other. The comedies are generally bizarre, somewhat dark and mature, something TBS comedies aren't, and the dramas are just too gritty and dark to have an entire channel dedicated to them, while TNT has "Franklin and Bash" and other lighter dramas to lighten the mood. As it is now, there is "yin and yang" in the station, not being too encompased by either dark dramas or bizarre comedies, and there is also a good variety of old movies and television shows to appease a wide variety of fans. And, besides, having an "FX2" would pretty much mean no one would watch it, the same way no one watching MTV2, and would probably eventually be encompassed with lame reruns and FX throwaway series.
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Yes!!! I will definately watch Hostages.
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I don't think you even need an FX channel at all.

FOX, of course, has its own network that I think could air shows like Justified. Saying that it and others are too "edgy" for FX is b.s. While other networks have late night talk shows, the FOX network could probably run shows like Louis or Always Sunny... at night to compete with Leno and Letterman and offer alternative programming to a wider audience. Maybe they could take a chance on putting original programs on Saturday nights.

During program development, I would hope the execs have a mind to weed out the garbage and make a stronger channel with the addition of the type of stuff they are putting on FX.

All they would be doing is watering down creativity, spreading out the audience and lessening the ratings, diluting the money and making lower budget shows. They would be adding more program repetition to fill remaining air time we don't need either.

If FX stayed as is, they could fill it with FOX studios programming during the day and/or late night, somewhat as adamonfire noted below, but leave prime time for originals. There is absolutely no need to make two stupid channels for this! However, that will not happen, as it seems studios like selling their shows to other network probably to make more money doing so than they may get from commercial revenue. It's too bad because it could be a sort of TV Land for FOX's catalog of shows. They could even get the rights to classic shows that were successful or popular on FOX in the past.

I believe FOX also has a movie channel. I for one, do not get it on our cable system though and not sure if true for others or why. So anyway, they already have a channel for movies.

Less is more. I think TV right now is a train wreck across all networks. Parent companies already owning major networks shooting themselves in the ratings and creativity foot by adding ever more cable stations just to air one or two original programs, a bunch of reality garbage, and fill the rest of air time with redundant marathons of repeats should needs to stop Networks should be consolidating, not splitting or otherwise.
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so not true with FX you get Sh*t A**Hole and Bulsh*t partial nudity, their is no way in hell network tv is ready for that, and of you think that Rescue Me the Shield, Nip Tuck and SOA are not edgy better think again FX is needed!!!!
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LA Times is reporting that the channel will launch in the fall under the name "FX2", while the above source is reporting "FXX". Both terrible, but only one is a recent Ferrari, and only one was an early '90s action thriller sequel starring Brian Dennehy and Bryan Brown.
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I for one welcome the possibility of more FX exposure. FOX is already rebranding Speed to Fox Sports 1, so they could shove their soccer programming on that network. FX is just picking-up steam with its original programming and I hope this furthers it.

All of you people keep saying they don't have enough, well this is EXACTLY what happened within Turner Broadcasting/Time Warner - they turned TBS into the comedy station, and TNT into the drama station. Guess what? They're both doing incredible and TBS has even fewer original shows than FX and TNT keeps adding more. Fox has a huge library of movies it can draw from, and a number of comedies that would fit in well on FX in reruns - Arrested Development, Greg the Bunny, Animation Domination, Better off Ted, etc. whereas the drama channel can load-up on Prison Break, Burn Notice, 24, etc.

And yes, this would force cable companies to pick-up the additional channel.
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The Newsroom is awesome.
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I think FX is shooting themselves in the foot with this. Right now they have a solid mix of programming across a wide variety of nights, I don't think any other basic cabler is doing as well, so to cleave it in twain, and put their more vulnerable shows on a station not as many households have (or have in HD) is going to weaken both. At the very least, I wouldn't try to start the station with new run programming, I'd boot it up with reruns and syndication and movies and build legs.

Geena Davis as a crazed bounty hunter with Dean Devlin as producer on TNT? Hells yeah I'm there, that's a recipe for entertainment right there.

Heather Locklear on Franklin & Bash? Not excited about this, put her in a suit and she ends up playing the same strongarm character she played on Melrose Place every time.
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Slit it! I'm all for it sorry lol
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I don't think splitting FX is a good idea. In fact I don't think that a new cable channel is a good idea. There are way too many.
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I think it's a shame that you have both Toni Collette AND Rosemarie DeWitt in casting news & "United States of Tara" doesn't even rate a mention. I loved that show.
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It's a horrible idea. FX doesn't have enough programming to split in two. I figure it's little more than just an excuse to charge advertisers more for commercial time.
Whatever. Let 'em. I don't need an FX channel to watch FX shows.
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That will shatter the 12 people who watch the soccer channel.
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What happens to Fox Soccer? I love seeing the beautiful game growing in America, it would be a real shame if this station goes.
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It's a game that parrots and toy robots can be taught to play, makes it not a sport in my American book.
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Since when is " the beautiful game" growing in America. Stop making stuff up. Soccer isn't important here and you know it.
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Really? Does FX have too many shows for its network? I can think of... 7 shows? Bleh. Just seems like a money grab (for those who have to subscribe to another channel).
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My hope is that instead of a money grab it's a power play where they pick up the cancelled shows from other networks ( like Last Resort) and in one move of pure badassery becomes "King of the Networks." Or then again they don't and they go to reality shows to fill in the programming gaps becoming a crap fest like the rest.
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Picking up cancelled shows isn't as easy as it sounds. The original network/studio/whoever has to be willing to do it... some will hold onto the IP just in case they ever want to do something with it... or just out of spite.

Paying off the appropriate parties would probably be more expensive than buying a new series off-the-bat. Because either way you will still need to create sets and the like (they are typically destroyed within days/weeks of cancellation).

Then you have the fact that, the show was usually cancelled for a reason. Sure, some cancellations are completely unwarranted: but most had low ratings. It's risky to try to put on a show that had low ratings the first time around.
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This is only assuming the network owns the rights to the show, which is not always the case.
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Agreed (I count 8). It's not like their schedule is so packed that they're having trouble fitting everything in. Always Sunny, American Horror Story, Anger Management, Archer, Louie, Sons of Anarchy, Wilfred, and that new show with Jefferies... that's JUST ABOUT everything (I may be missing something).

So 8... let's round up to 10 in case I missed any other big shows. That's enough for 2 shows per week-night... and considering some of those shows are only 30 minutes... we're not talking a lot of hours.

Maybe if they had like 20-30 big shows I could see it. But they barely have enough to fill most of a week's primetime schedule.
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I know you factored in missing some shows but I thought I'd add The Americans to that list anyway (the new show with Keri Russell).
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...but what about the vocal minority of Americans who cares about soccer?
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Internet? Turn to hockey to have their hearts broken again? They go the way of the dodo bird? Fox Soccer came in 94th out of 96 in cable station ratings for 2012 with an average of 31,000 people watched per night in prime time, and jumped to 90th out of 96 for daytime viewing thanks to live matches. "Vocal minority"? They're 0.01% of American viewers, it would take convincing 10 of their friends to regularly watch to be even a whisper of a minority.
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I call BS.

...no way there are only 96 cable channels.
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And if every single cable subscribing Soccer fan in America had the exact same channel package, your final tally might seem more like a realistic percentage rather than a simple rump-pull to try & convince us that you don't really love soccer when it's clear you do, as per the old schoolyard law: "The one who smelt it, dealt it" :P
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Also, I don't know what a "rump pull" is, but I'm surprisingly insulted at the insinuation that I might like soccer.
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Absolutely loathe it. Wastes public space at local parks and exceptionally boring to watch.
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heh! you're just gonna have to roll with the punch then. Things people truly hate, they simply ignore. Things people take the time to slam, they truly like underneath the facade. I doubt you're really insulted, but I'll help you maintain the masquerade if you like ;)
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Those are not my numbers, 31,000 average and 94th out of 96th for 2012 is the Nielsen ratings report I found via search, I don't think we're allowed direct links so just search the web for the article written last week on Soccer America titled "Fox Soccer trails in cable viewerships". Don't blame me for soccer not being popular in the US, blame the game simple enough to be played by parakeets.
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oh, just wanted to add...If the timeclock in soccer were not continuous and allowed for multiple commercial breaks, the sport would have gotten much more media coverage here for decades, & Americans would have grown up without the unjustifiable bias against it as a sport on the whole.
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Well, maybe it will help if I put it in a Star Trek context: Imagine all the US soccer fans in the country as ST fans on the whole...Then, simply imagine FSC viewers as the minority of geeks that prefer to dress in Starfleet uniforms and attend the conventions.
ie, the numbers are grossly disproportionate at a glance, as a HUGE number of soccer fans don't even have FSC in their cable package, therefore, the numbers you've shown are pure tripe in the context you presented them in.
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None at all? C'mon, there has to be SOME correlation.
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oh no, you misunderstand. I'm just saying that FSC ratings have no realistic relationship to the number of soccer fans in the US. which you seem to be attempting to connect together.
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One thing will be unavoidable - more crap. Good TV is pretty rare. But two channels might mean more space for good TV as well. Sure, in absolute numbers the amount of crap will increase more, but we are adept at sorting through crap and finding TV gems anyway. So there is a chance, more good TV will come to.
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I can't believe you didn't use "Creepy David."
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It's probably because Louis CK is awesome enough on his own.
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But having Creepy David read over Louie's shoulder while he is on the toilet would make the picture a little bit more awesome.
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And the photo is quite creepy as well :)
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