FX Launches Longform Division, Taps HBO's Gina Balian to Run It

"American Horror Story"
"American Horror Story"
 Prashant Gupta / FX

In its bid to be a player in the longform event series game, FX has tapped Gina Balian to run its new division that will supply FX, the Fox Movie Channel and broadcast cousin Fox.

The former HBO exec was hired by FX, in association with Fox Broadcasting Co., as senior vp limited series for FX Networks and FX Productions. In the newly created position, Balian will be responsible for the development and production of limited series and miniseries. Though Fox will continue to do its own network buying, it will use FX Productions as a producing partner for its summer limited event series. The cable network plans to order its first event series into production next summer to air in 2014.

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“We are committed to increasing FX’s longform offerings, and with FXM’s growth the timing is perfect to add longform original programming to its lineup,” said FX Networks GM John Landgraf, who made a splash with nominations in the longform Emmys category with American Horror Story. “We’re honored Kevin [Reilly, Fox Entertainment chairman] reached out to us to partner with him through FX Productions on FBC projects, and the relationship with FXP should be seamless because of Kevin’s history with FX and his prior working relationship with Nick and Eric.”  

Added Reilly in a statement: “We have been signaling our appetite for large-scale, high-impact event series for Fox for many months, and we’ve begun buying toward that goal. We’re going to create quality 10- to 12-part events that can stand alone or be evolved into franchises – events that will be big in scope and have top-tier talent attached.”

Balian, who served as senior vp in drama series for HBO, working on such series as Flight of the Conchords, Rome, In Treatment and Game of Thrones, will report to Nick Grad, FX's executive vp original programming, and Eric Schrier, executive vp of FX Productions and head of series development for FX. She begins Nov. 1.

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