FX honcho John Landgraf’s ascent continues.
Some three months before before he oversees his cable group’s most ambitious expansion yet, Landgraf has been elevated to FX Networks and FX Productions CEO. In his new role, the famously talent-friendly exec will have oversight over all aspects of entertainment and business operations for FX Networks, which is comprised of FX, FXM (formerly Fox Movie Channel), the forthcoming younger-skewing network FXX, in-house studio FX Productions and the digital video-on-demand platform, FXNOW.
“John’s integrity, creativity and leadership have made FX a home for fearless writers, actors and directors,” said Fox Networks Group CEO Peter Rice, to whom Landgraf will continue to report. “He has also formed a close-knit team of exceptional executives who are together enjoying an amazing run of creative and business success. Everyone at Fox is excited to see our valued colleague receive this richly deserved promotion.”
In early September, Landgraf is set to roll out FXX, a primarily comedy-focused network targeting a slightly younger 18-34 demo, as well as oversee the expansion of both FX and FXM. In an upfront presentation to ad buyers in March, he said that he intends to deliver more than 25 original scripted series across the suite of channels over the next three years. Each of the nets will look to air its programming exclusively in an effort to build distinctive identities, as opposed to try to be all things to all people, with the current crop of originals being divided between FX and FXX.
“All of us at FX Networks are grateful for the tremendous vote of confidence Peter Rice and News Corporation have shown us through their steadfast support and investment in our ambitious programing expansion. The FX executive team and the gifted artists who create our fearless brand of programming are brilliant, and it is a great privilege to continue on this journey with all of them,” added Landgraf.
Landgraf joined FX as president of entertainment in January 2004 and was elevated to the position of president and general manager of FX Networks a year and a half later. Over the past nine years, the whip-smart executive has led FX to all-time highs in both ratings and revenue. He has also increased his original programming output fivefold in that time, with FX becoming the first cable network to boast 11 original scripted series on its schedule. Among them: Louie, Sons of Anarchy, Justified and newer entry The Americans. What’s more, Landgraf has created a destination, with a differentiated and almost instantly identifiable voice, particularly important in an increasingly crowded television landscape.
Prior to FX, Landgraf was closer to the product as president of Jersey Television, a company he co-founded in 1999 along with former Jersey Films partners Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher. From 1994 to 1999, he served as VP of primetime series at NBC, where he helped develop or oversee shows including The West Wing, Suddenly Susan, ER and Friends. He began his television career at Sarabande Productions as director of development in 1988.