"Always Sunny," "The League" will move to new network and anchor it
FX is launching a new network, FXX, that will play up comedy and focus on younger viewers.
The new network will launch Sept. 2 in roughly 74 million homes, the network said Thursday. It will be anchored by the FX comedies "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "The League," which will move to FXX, along with the new comedy "Legit." FX also announced a 10th season for "Sunny," fifth and sixth seasons for "The League," and a second season for "Legit."
The new network will also air a fourth original comedy in its first year, and six in its second, FX President John Landgraf said. But it will also air other types of shows, as well as repeats of series including "Mike & Molly" and "Parks and Recreation."
Landgraf stressed that both FX and FXX will air both dramas and comedies. The difference between them will be the age groups they target.
Signalling its continued interest in comedy, FX announced pilot orders of "How and Why," from Charlie Kaufman, and "Chozen" from Grant Dekernion, Danny McBride and the team behind "Eastbound & Down." "How and Why" follows a genius lacking in social graces, and "Chozen" is about a white rapper recently released from prison.
FX also announced a fifth season of "Justified" to air next January, and that it has ordered a 10-part series based on the Coen brothers' film "Fargo," to be executive produced by the Coens. It also said the late-night "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" will expand to five nights.
Landgraf said FXX would complete a suite of three channels targeting three different demos: FX will aim for viewers 18-49, FXX will seek viewers 18-34, and FXM — the movie network — will go for viewers 25-54. He will oversee all three channels.
Landgraf said the prospective viewers for the three channels would be like three siblings with similar but evolving tastes. "One is 25, on is 35, and one is 45," he said.
FX also announced a one-word branding campaign: "Fearless."
Reports that FX was considering a new network first surfaced in January.
The new network comes as FX has dramatically increased its content in recent seasons, adding "The Americans" and the upcoming "The Bridge" to a drama lineup that also includes the hits "Sons of Anarchy" and "American Horror Story." The network has also received acclaim for the comedy "Louie." It is also building a late-night lineup with Bell and "BrandX With Russell Brand."
The multiple-network approach follows the successful model of other conglomerates. NBC Universal has USA, Bravo and E!, among other cable stations, while Turner airs its dramas on TNT and comedies on TBS. AMC Networks is taking a similar approach, airing dramas on AMC and developing new ones for Sundance as IFC focuses on comedy.
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