Rogers Media to Launch FXX Canada in 2014 Via FX Networks Pact
TORONTO -- As FX Networks moves stateside, so too will Rogers Media and its FX Canada channel.
That’s the plan as the Canadian broadcaster, which pacted with FX Networks in 2010 to bring Sons of Anarchy and Louie North, on Wednesday unveiled plans for FX Canada to move lockstep with its American counterpart as it ramps up development and adds new networks.
The result is that Rogers Media has picked up 11 new series from FX Networks, and has plans to launch FXX Canada aimed at younger viewers in January 2014.
The Canadian broadcaster is as yet undecided on whether to launch a local FXM channel for older viewers.
The FX slate headed to Canada includes the Diane Kruger and Demian Bichir-starring drama The Bridge from Homeland writer-producer Meredith Stiehm.
FX Canada also picked up the 10-episode Fargo series from the Coen Brothers and writer Noah Hawley, to be produced by MGM Television and FX.
The limited Fargo series will be shot in Canada, likely in Alberta or Manitoba, as will the FX drama pilot The Strain from Guillermo del Toro.
FX Networks president and general manager John Landgraf, who was in Toronto to help unveil the new FX Canada lineup, said his network had ramped up its U.S. lineup of original series, and that FX Canada subscribers would benefit.
“We’re confident that FX in Canada will match and be very much like what we have in the U.S.,” Landgraf said, as the collaboration between the cross-border partners continues to evolve.
The upside for Rogers Media is it gets a steady supply of edgy programming from FX Networks.
The downside is the local broadcaster can’t pick and choose series, as Rogers Media and other Canadian broadcasters do when they cherry pick from the primetime schedules of the American networks.
“We have so much confidence in what FX has done, that we know what shows they bring us will be well received by audiences,” Malcolm Dunlop, executive vice president of television programming and operations at Rogers Media, said.
The agreement between the two partners sees new FX programming from FX Productions or Twentieth Century Fox Television air on FX Canada.
Also joining the FX Canada schedule is the comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, starting with a catch up on season 8 from July 4, before season 9 starts in the fall.
FX Canada has also ordered a couple FX drama pilots, including Tyrant, from Homeland’s Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff and Six Feet Under’s Craig Wright; and Fox Television Studios’ single camera comedy pilot The Comedians from writer and star Billy Crystal and director Larry Charles.
Eric Schrier, executive vice president of FX Productions and head of series development for the U.S. channel, said The Strain will be cast out of Toronto, where del Toro will be shooting the pilot as he simultaneously lenses his latest feature.
Schrier added he’s confident The Strain, a modern take on the vampire myth, will be picked up as a full series, also to be shot in Toronto.
FX Canada is also picking up the animated comedy pilot Chozen, from Grant Dekernion, about a white rapper recently released from prison who uses his new survival skills in his quest for redemption.
Danny McBride and Rough House Pictures, the team behind Eastbound & Down, will executive produce along with Floyd County Productions, with FX Productions producing.
FX Canada also ordered the pilot How and Why from Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman and producer FX Productions, about a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life.
Limited series in development at FX, and headed to Canada, include writer Richard McBrien’s Grand Hotel, set in a luxurious Paris hotel that becomes the target of a terrorist attack; the Puritan settlers drama Mayflower, executive produced by Gil Netter, Dan Carey and Paul Giamatti; and Sutton, based on J.R. Moehringher's novel and executive produced by Alexander Payne.
FX Canada is also bringing back popular FX series like Wilfred, American Horror Story, Coven, season 4 of the biker drama Sons of Anarchy, season 5 of The League and the sophomore season of The Americans.