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TCA Winter 2013 : Landgraf on Violence Debate: Blame High-Capacity Guns, Not TV Content

FX President also Discusses Future of 'Sunny'; Network's Drama Brand 1/09/2013 9:47 AM Eastern

 

Pasadena, Calif. - Not to be left out, FX Networks president and general manager John Landgraf on Wednesday gave his thoughts on the violence-on-TV debate that has been the focus of much of this winter's Television Critics Association press tour.
 
"I think as an industry we should study it more and if we can find the actual correlations, we should act upon those correlations," Landgraf said during his executive session.

Landgraf cited statistics that show gun violence homicide rates in the United States to be 90 times that of the U.K., despite the fact that both countries consume much of the same media on film, television and video games.

"While I think that anything and everything that bears any realm of responsibility for these travesties up to and including what we do in the media should be looked at," he said "If you want to look at the major difference between England the United States, it's access to and availability of guns, and, in particular, the kind of gun."

Landgraf also weighed in on working with strong-willed creators, the future of the network's longest-running comedy and what The Americans will bring to FX.

On the Network-Showrunner Relationship:

With AMC's The Walking Dead seeing two showrunners exit in three seasons, Landgraf was asked how he keeps the peace with FX's series creators. "I don't think I've ever had any relationship with any showrunner over time where I didn't have conflict," he said

But despite disagreements, FX has never fired a showrunner (Wilfred creator David Zuckerman left voluntarily and remains an executive producer). "I think that's because these shows are very personal," Landgraf said. "The dramas are like 90-hour movies and the author of the thematic journey needs to complete the journey."

On the Future of Sunny:

Landgraf counts veteran comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia as one of the four cornerstones of FX alongside The Shield, Nip/Tuck and Rescue Me, and is fairly confident it will be renewed for another season.

"I think there's a high likelihood that there will at least be a tenth season," he said. "Ten years is an awfully good run for any scripted series. Whether it goes on beyond that will be a function of whether the people who created it want to continue to make it after that, whether they still they feel have stories to tell that are innovative and make people laugh and whether people still want to watch it."

On its Future Drama Brand:

While FX has traditionally been known for its male-skewing dramas like Sons of Anarchy and The Shield, in a change its upcoming new series The Americans and pilot The Bridge feature females -- Keri Russell and Diane Krueger -- as equal leads to the male characters.

"As much as I think Breaking Bad is the best show on television, I'm getting a little tired of male anti-heroes to tell you the truth," Landgraf said. He also noted that The Americans is far less violent than FX's other dramas -- it focuses on a marriage -- which may help it attract a different audience.

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