FX’s John Landgraf Talks Bidding War for HBO’s ‘True Detective’ (Update)

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TCA 2014: Network chief says “American Horror Story” helped inspire the show

FX chief John Landgraf says his network and Showtime were “bidding very aggressively” for “True Detective,” the Matthew McConaughey-Woody Harrelson series that went on to score big ratings for HBO.

Landgraf said that while he was courting “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto, Pizzolatto told him the anthology format of “True Detective” was inspired by FX’s hit “American Horror Story.”

Also read: ‘True Detective’ Is HBO’s Highest Rated Series Premiere Since 2010

The Ryan Murphy horror series changes its location and storyline each season, and Pizzolatto plans for “True Detective” to do the same.

The bidding war with HBO and Showtime shows how intently FX is fighting to establish itself as a rival to premium cable networks as a hub for top-tier original content. “American Horror Story” and “Louie” are among the FX series earning major respect from critics and award shows.

Also read: Zach Galifianakis, Louis C.K. Teaming Up on FX Pilot

Landgraf talked Tuesday about FX’s plans at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour where he also discussed the challenges of losing ad revenue because of shows being watched on DVR.

The FX panels announced a slew of additional network news, including:

-The casting of John Hawkes and Michael Cera in Charlie Kaufman’s FX series, “How & Why.”

-The announcement of a new Zach Galifianakis pilot co-written by Louis C.K.

-News that “Archer” is releasing an album, “Cherlene,” featuring Kenny Loggins and Cheryl/Carol, a character played by Judy Greer — though she doesn’t sing the songs.

“I can’t sing,” Greer said. “It’s not me.”

See photos: 2014 TV Preview: 26 Upcoming Shows to Watch This Winter & Spring 

(For the record: A previous version of this story said “Archer” was ending. It is not. “Justified” is ending after it’s sixth season.)