FX winter 2018 TCA recap: ‘Mayans MC’ picked up to series, next season of ‘Atlanta,’ the state of Peak TV, director diversity


On the heels of FOX’s day at the winter 2018 Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour in Pasadena, California, FX Networks and FX Productions took center stage on Friday, Jan. 5. During the day, FX announced that it had picked up “Mayans MC” for its first season and shared premiere dates for some of its returning and new series. In addition to remarks from FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf, a handful of FX’s shows hosted panels.

Here’s a quick recap of FX’s day at the winter 2018 TCA press tour:

Premiere dates

FX announced premiere dates for these new and returning series:

  • Atlanta Robbin’ Season” season premiere: Thursday, March 1, 2018, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX
  • Trust” series premiere: Sunday, March 25, 2018, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX
  • The Americans” season premiere: Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX

These premiere dates are in addition to FX’s previously announced premiere dates for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX) and Season 3 of “Baskets” (Tuesday, January 23, 2018, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX).

‘Mayans MC’ picked up to series

During its TCA press tour day, FX also announced that it had picked up “Mayans MC” to series, ordering a 10-episode first season of the follow-up to the hit series “Sons of Anarchy.” The announcement was made by Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Presidents of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions.

“Kurt Sutter is a master storyteller and ‘Mayans MC’ has the raw energy and intensity that are hallmarks of his signature style,” said Nick. “Thanks to Kurt, co-creator Elgin James and this amazing cast, ‘Mayans MC’ builds on the legacy of ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ taking it in a thrilling new direction that we can’t wait for the world to see.”

“Mayans MC” will debut in the late summer or early fall of 2018, close to the 10th anniversary of the “Sons of Anarchy” series premiere.

What’s next for ‘Fargo’

When asked about award-winning series “Fargo” during the Executive Session, FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf confirmed that the show isn’t gone. He said executive producer and writer Noah Hawley “has an idea, which excites me enormously, for a fourth cycle of ‘Fargo,” and the plan is to have that ready for 2019.”

The current state of ‘Peak TV’

John also gave an update on the state of “Peak TV,” a term he coined a few years ago. In 2017, there were 487 scripted TV series premiering original episodes in the U.S., a 7 percent increase from 455 in 2016.

“Streaming TV services increased their output by 30 percent, to 117 shows,” John said. “Broadcast television increased its output by 5 percent, to 153 shows, which is the largest number broadcast has ever supported, while pay TV brands increased their total by 11 percent, to 42 shows, also the most we’ve seen thus far. Basic cable television’s 175 scripted series represent a 4 percent decline, to a number that is flat with the 2014 output. But basic cable still remains the largest single source of scripted series.”

Another strong year and a bright year ahead for FX

Looking back on 2017, John highlighted successful drama launches for “FEUD: Bette and Joan,” “Taboo,” “Legion” and “Snowfall.” He added that out of the 48 cable drama premieres in adult viewers, “Legion” ranked No. 2, “Taboo” was No. 3, “Snowfall” was No. 5 and “FEUD: Bette and Joan” was No. 6. Those four drama premieres outperformed the average of the other 44 cable drama premieres both in persons 18-49 and total viewers.

“With the final season of ‘The Americans,’ one that I’m really confident you will all adore, as well as the return of ‘Atlanta’ and ‘American Crime Story,’ not to mention new seasons of ‘FEUD,’ ‘Better Things,’ ‘Legion,’ ‘Baskets,’ [‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’], ‘Archer,’ ‘Snowfall,’ plus the addition of ‘Trust,’ ‘Mayans MC’ and ‘Pose,’ we feel optimistic that the coming year will be a great one for FX,” John said.

Diversity update

For the fourth year in a row, John gave members of the press in attendance a director diversity report for FX. Only 23 percent of FX’s directors were nonwhite males in 2015, but that figure rose to 49 percent in 2016. In 2017, the number increased to 53 percent.

“This initiative remains a firm and ongoing commitment and also extends beyond directors to those who create and/or act in and/or write our shows, as evidenced by ‘Atlanta,’ ‘Better Things,’ ‘Snowfall,’ and this year’s additions of ‘Mayans MC’ and ‘Pose.’ We remain firmly committed to creating more opportunities for diverse and female talent, and we’re working diligently to increase these percentages in everything we do,” John said.

Show panels

Atlanta,” “Legion,” “Pose,” “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” “The Americans” and “Trust” hosted panel discussions at FX’s winter 2018 TCA press tour day.

Take a look at TCA-related tweets from @FXNetworks.