News Corp.’s FX is prepping to become cable’s original programming king.
Executives trashed the tradition of airing cheaper broadcast shows to boost ratings, according to Multichannel News.
Instead, the home of Damages, Nip/Tuck, Sons of Anarchy, is relying on blockbuster films and its own scripted programming to attract the 18-to-49-year-old audience.
Over the next year, the cable channel will run an “unprecedented lineup of 11 originally-produced, scripted series” and over the next two years will air more than 100 television-premieres of films, including Avatar.
The network’s approach seems to be working so far. FX ended 2009 with double-digit growth in primetime viewers, and among its core audience it ranks only behind USA, TNT, TBS, and ESPN, according to MCN. Its ad revenues have skyrocketed as well, jumping to $373 million in 2009 from $284 million in 2005.
Hit shows Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me, Damages, Sons of Anarchy, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and The League are all returning to the line-up, along with five new comedies and dramas.
“I look at FX more in the vein of HBO or Showtime and it’s very hard to imagine HBO or Showtime as only a drama or only a comedy network,” president John Landgraf said to Multichannel News. “I think this is where our audiences expect us to be in the long run.”
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