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‘The Americans’ Creator on Russian Hacking: ‘Things Have Spiraled Out of Control’

TCA 2017: “It’s sort of in a twisted way very fun seeing this stuff in the headlines,” Joe Weisberg says

“The Americans” creator and executive producer Joseph Weisberg isn’t quite sure how he feels about the fact his show about Russian spies in the 1980’s suddenly feels very contemporary.

“It’s sort of in a twisted way very fun seeing this stuff in the headlines that we’re trafficking in all the time,” Weisberg told the Television Critics Association on Thursday. “But on the other hand, when we sat here many years ago the initial idea of the show was to say, ‘Hey look, these people who we think of as enemies are really just like us.'”

“To see that things have spiraled out of control frankly doesn’t feel so good,” he concluded.

The Keri Russell-Matthew Rhys espionage thriller follows the two as Russian KGB agents who pose as married suburban couple Elizabeth and Philip Jennings in Washington, D.C.

Rhys is directing episode seven of this season, after he also directed an episode during the previous season. “This one I very arrogantly or ignorantly said ‘It’s more pedestrian so it will be fine,'” he said. “There’s not an easy moment in ‘The Americans.’ Everything is so layered. The smallest moments have such significance. Nothing is wasted anymore.”

A 13-episode fifth season will air in 2017, followed by a 10-episode sixth and final season in 2018. The series was nominated for five Emmys last year, winning one for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series thanks to Margo Martindale.