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FX is moving forward with a Fargo adaptation.
Network president John Landgraf announced during his first upfront presentation Thursday that it will launch a 10-episode adaptation of the 1996 best picture Oscar nominee as a limited series during spring 2014.
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The move comes as the network looks to push into limited series and mini-series fare, a bid to compete with premiere channel HBO and to fill a void left by the increasingly tentpole-focused film industry. To hear Landgraf tell it, there is a “huge opportunity” for content that falls between between those feature films and FX’s long-running series, or “90-hour movies” as he often dubs them.
Fargo hails from from My Generation‘s Noah Hawley, who will pen the script as well as executive produce. Additionally, Joel and Ethan Coen, the writers, directors and producers behind the film starring Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi, are on board to exec produce alongside former network chief-turned-producer Warren Littefield. Production on the effort from MGM Television and FX Productions is set to begin this fall. (MGM Television will be the lead studio and will handle worldwide distribution of the series outside of the U.S. and Canada.)
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“For years, people have tried to adapt this Academy Award-winning gem into a TV series with no success,” Langraf said. “I have always loved Fargo and I was skeptical about this as a series, but Noah Hawley’s script made me a believer. This script is so good and so true to the tone of the original movie.”
Fargo, which earned McDormand an Oscar for her leading performance as a pregnant sheriff in the North Dakota town, starred Macy as a simple car salesman who hires two idiots (Buscemi, Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife in an extortion plot that goes horribly wrong. The Coens won a screenplay Oscar for the feature, which also earned nominations for Macy’s supporting turn and direction, among others. The FX entry will follow a new case and new characters, all entrenched in the trademark humor, murder and “Minnesota nice” that has made the film an enduring classic.
The news comes amid a slew of announcements, including a new younger-skewing network, FXX, as well as renewals for Justified, The League, Legit, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and the expansion of Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell to a five-night-a-week strip.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose
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