Programming

TCA17: FX's Landgraf Says Television Heading to ‘Unmanageable Number of Shows’

Network in talks with the major MVPDs to offer commercial-free FX+ 8/09/2017 5:33 PM Eastern
FX's John Landgraf

Beverly Hills, Calif. — John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions, addressed what he called “the elephant in the room” — the massive transformation, as he put it, of the television business during its peak TV era.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour here, Landgraf said television is “heading from an optimal number of shows to an unmanageable number of shows,” and explained how FX seeks to stand out in this landscape.

Read More: Complete coverage of the TCA 2017 Summer Press Tour

Landgraf spoke of the importance of regulation in preventing monopolies, whether it’s airlines or financial services or ride-hailing companies, and how that lets a broader pool of players survive.

He said a good amount of TV today is produced at a loss, as networks clamor for viewers’ attention.

Related: FX Big Winner at TCA Awards

FX, he said, has “aggressively transformed our model,” with building up non-linear viewing key to the strategy.

Earlier in the week, FX announced FX+, a commercial-free, subscription video-on-demand platform that debuts for Comcast X1 subscribers Sept. 5. He said Comcast approached FX about the initiative, and FX is now in talks with the other major subscription TV providers.

The service, which offers more than 1,000 episodes of FX shows past and present such as Rescue Me, The Shield, Damages, Sons of Anarchy and Legion, goes for $5.99 a month. Landgraf acknowledged the increasing number of streaming packages available to consumers. “I don’t think the average home is going to have 20 subscription services,” he said.

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Landgraf is a respected voice on the state of the industry, often delivering his unique take on television at the biannual TCA get-together. At the January TCA event, FX shared its findings on the total number of scripted TV series that are out. That number is above 500 today, Landgraf said.

The FX chief wasn’t sure what is next for Louie. It’s possible the show has come to an end, he said, and also possible that more seasons will hit over the years. Landgraf stressed that Louis CK has several shows on FX, including Better Things and Baskets.

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