(Updated as of August 20, 2009)
CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:
Serialized drama/thriller follows a powerful litigator (Glenn Close) and her protege.
Status: Second season ended on April 1. Two more seasons have been ordered. Produced by Sony Pictures Television / No Hands Productions.
IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA (SITCOM)
This dark comedy follows four friends who struggle between their desire to help each other and their compulsion towards looking out for their own best interests.
Status: Season 5 premiere September 17. Produced by 3 Arts Entertainment / FX Networks, LLC
Hotshot plastic surgeons confront career, family and romance problems.
Status: Season 5 ended in March. Renewed for 2010. Produced by Warner Bros. Television, Shephard Robin, O Entertainment
RESCUE ME (DRAMA)
Denis Leary stars in and produces this original drama series about a firefighter struggling to hold his two worlds together: his brothers at the station and his troubled family life.
Status: Season 5 premiered March 10. 22 x 60. Finale is September 1. Season 6 already ordered. Produced by Sony Pictures Television / Dreamworks SKG / Apostle Pictures
SONS OF ANARCHY (DRAMA)
A multi-generational family drama centers on a young man involved in a motorcycle club trying to face his newfound responsibilities of becoming a father.
Status: Season 2 slated to premiere September 8. Produced by Fox 21, FX Networks LLC, Linson Films
JULY 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULETOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:
Movies represent nearly 100% of the primetime fare, Originals tend to run mid-week, when they are running - Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, and always at 10PM for content reasons., Bigger movie titles are usually scheduled as lead-ins.
FX was never a network to run multiple encores of its series, a la BRAVO, and it has stopped running encores on Sunday nights, so each program now gets just one primetime run. However, movie titles tend to run multiple times throughout the month.
SONS OF ANARCHY: September 8
IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA: September 17
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:
July 2009 vs. July 2008 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
July was a strong ratings month for FX, as households and core men 18-49 hit levels not reached since the beginning of the year. Men 18-49 total primetime ratings climbed 17% vs. last month and 7% vs. last year. Women 18-49 grew 6% vs. last month and held steady vs. last year.
The story on FX continues to be the domination of movies. RESCUE ME hangs as the lone original program on tthe air, running Tuesdays at 10PM amidst a slew of blockbuster theatricals.
In a July 2009 interview published in Broadcasting & Cable, FX President John Landgraf spoke of the net's shift away from drama series and toward big theatrical movies. "Building a war chest of theatrical movies is at minimum a decade-long process. Viewers are now developing "muscle memory" for the fact that FX is a place to go for movies,"
Maybe. But timing is everything, and movie sequels have become slam-dunks for both the movie studios and the cable networks that air the earlier releases. Just as Night at the Museum I buoyed FX'(Tm) ratings in May when the sequel was released in theatres, this month Ice Age 1 and 2 rose the tide of FX'(Tm) ratings when Ice Age 3 was playing in theatres. Night at the Museum 1 had a couple of strong runs this month as well. These movies helped move FX'(Tm) ratings needle from sub-par to superb.
The Italian Job, The Departed, Wild Hogs and 13 Going on 30 were also strong titles for the month.
Back to RESCUE ME, which is in the second half of its 22 episode straight run, a rarity for a cable original. The cable networks usually split seasons of their original dramas, but RESCUE ME had such a long hiatus, FX decided to run the 5th season straight through from March to September. The program's ratings have been slipping, and they continue their decline this month. Compared to June, household ratings are off by 9%, men 18-49 are off by 4% and women 18-49 are off by 9%. Perhaps Michael J. Fox'(Tm) Emmy nomination and the season finale will bring viewers back for the end of the season.
While RESCUE ME was overshadowed by movies this month (the 18-movie average of FX MOVIE PRIME topped RESCUE ME ratings), the program remains a strong draw for younger male audiences, and has been the only constant in a sea of movie titles.
August will be the same story, but in September new programs will begin to roll out, including SONS OF ANARCHY, IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA and three companion comedies. And after months of a long silence, John Landgraf has promised the network will once again "bring the noise."
TWO AND A HALF MEN, will start airing on FX in fall 2010.
But acquisitions are all about movie packages on FX. They are a key player in the movie after-market, primarily going after male-skewing, edgy titles. This summer they are snapping up the big box-office hits right after they hit theatres.
The Proposal was picked up in a four-year deal with Disney the Monday after it opened in June. Adventureland from Miramax was included in the deal as well. Movies should be on FX in early 2012.
Immediately after the Memorial Day opening, FX announced it had picked up the cable rights to Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian from 20th Century Fox, becoming available in November 2011.
FX picked up the rights to X-Men Origins: Wolverine plus seven other films: The Wrestler, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Bride Wars, Taken, Marley and Me and two action films 12 Rounds and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.
FX outbid Turner and USA for cable rights to Paramount's Star Trek, immediately following the theatrical's weekend release. The movie will probably hit FX's air for the 2011 holiday season for a four-year window.
Right after the release of Monsters vs. Aliens, FX struck a deal with DreamWorks Animation for that title, plus upcoming theatricals through 2012, including Shrek the Fourth, Kung Fu Panda sequel, the original Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, among other titles. (The network has been running the Ice Age and Home Alone titles with some success lately).
In early 2009, FX made a deal with Paramount Pictures on a multiple movie title package covering Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Most of the movies were 2008 releases and will be available to FX by the beginning of 2010. Transformers will be available at the end of 2011. Other package titles consist of Cloverfield, Tropic Thunder, Eagle Eye and Beowulf plus a few other smaller films.
Back in 2008 the net got more aggressive about purchasing big packages, many of them done as pre-buys. For the most part, the movies are adult, edgy titles or comic-book fare (Spiderman, Hulk, Fantastic Four).
The following lists past theatrical acquisitions that include movie titles that have not yet started airing:
I Want to Believe
You Don't Mess With the Zohan
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
The Pineapple Express
We Own the Night
The Simpsons Movie
Live Free or Die Hard
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
RESCUE ME (Drama) Original series
An 18-episode sixth season was pre-emptively ordered in February '09. .
SONS OF ANARCHY (Drama) Original series
Renewed for a full 13-episode second season.
DAMAGES (Drama) Original series
Picked up for one more 13-episode season
IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA (Comedy) Original series
39 additional episodes ordered, to air through 2011.
NIP/TUCK (Drama) Original series
A total of 100 episodes have been ordered. Its last season will air in 2011.
No recent announcements
ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING: