FX Boss Talks ‘Fargo’ Season 2 and ‘The Bridge’ Cancellation

TCA 2015: John Landgraf reveals that Ronald Reagan will be a character in the network’s acclaimed anthology series

FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf offered details about the upcoming second season of FX’s anthology series “Fargo” at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday, saying that Round 2 of the series will be “big” and “sprawling.”

Landgraf also expressed his regrets over the cancellation of the border drama “The Bridge” after two seasons, noting that, while he was personally an ardent fan of the series, he couldn’t justify a renewal given its continued rating slide.

Landgraf went on to acknowledge the shift in focus that the show made between its first and second seasons, when it morphed from a serial killer drama into a deeper story delving into political corruption revolving around the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I really endorse all the risks that [showrunner] Elwood Reid and his team took in Season 2,” Landgraf said. However, he noted, the show suffered from a “relentlessly downward trajectory” in the ratings.

“I had a lot of regrets about not renewing that show, because I really care about it,” Landgraf said, but “at the end of the day I think you have to also pay some attention to ratings … You have to say, ‘Maybe as much as I love it, it just doesn’t have a place on our schedule.'”

“Fargo,” one of the more acclaimed series last year, will move the action to the 1970s for its second season, focusing on Lou Solverson (who was played by Keith Carradine in the first season, and who Patrick Wilson will play in the second run). The upcoming sophomore season will portray Solverson as a veteran who, four years back from Vietnam, is now a Minnesota state patrolman and devoted husband.

Oh, and Ronald Reagan will be on it.

“It covers something that was referenced in the first installment by Lou Solverson,” Landgraf offered. “It’s a big, sprawling, in some ways more comedic, although at times a very serious show. It’s set in the late ’70s, against the backdrop of Ronald Reagan’s first campaign for president of the United States. Reagan’s a character in it, and some of the movies that he’s reputed to have made [will factor in]. A lot of it’s about the cultural transformation that was going through at that time, so there’s a sense that the war has come home.”