12:07pm PT by Lesley Goldberg, Michael O'Connell
FX Orders Guillermo del Toro's 'The Strain' to Series
The Strain is moving forward at FX. The cable network announced Tuesday that it has ordered a 13-episode freshman season of the vampire drama, which comes from Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan and Carlton Cuse. The series, based on del Toro and Hogan's book trilogy of the same name, is set to premiere in July 2014 -- with Cuse serving as showrunner.
“The Strain books are near and dear to my heart and now, Chuck and I have the blessing of a partnership with Carlton and FX that holds great promise,” del Toro said. “Working with FX has yielded an amazing experience with total creative freedom and support.”
FX Networks president and GM John Landgraf told reporters in March that The Strain, which was then prepping to film its pilot, already had assembled a writing staff and picked up additional scripts -- a strong sign the pilot would earn a series order.
“We could not be more excited to be moving forward with Guillermo, Carlton and Chuck on The Strain," said FX Networks and FX Productions presidents of original programming Eric Schrier and Nick Grad. "This is an epic story with stunning visuals and remarkable acting. The Strain totally reimagines and reinvents the genre.”
For FX, The Strain comes as the network has found success with genre fare including anthology series American Horror Story. Its latest installment, Coven, is now pacing as the network's second-highest-rated original to date. The Strain joins a roster of original dramas that also includes The Americans, The Bridge, Justified and Sons of Anarchy. On the pilot side, the cabler has yet to make a decision on the fate of dramas Tyrant and Hoke.
For Cuse, The Strain gives the former Lost co-showrunner two series on the air. It joins the second season of A&E's Bates Motel -- which he runs with Kerry Ehrin. He's also developing another vampire drama -- a remake of French series The Returned -- for A&E.
The Strain arrives as vampires continue to be a ratings draw on the small screen, with The CW spinning off The Vampire Diaries to fall hit The Originals and HBO prepping for the seventh and final season of True Blood in 2014.