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Thanks, Streaming – The Hollywood Reporter


FX CEO John Landgraf opened his (virtual) time with press at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour with a reminder that March marks 20 years since his basic cable network entered the scripted originals space in a meaningful way with The Shield. And then the respected exec spent the next 40 minutes touting a rapidly growing slate that currently boasts 19 new titles and 11 returning shows — with the vast majority of them launching not on the linear network but on Hulu.

“Both FX and FXX are doing really well right now within the linear ecosystem but the linear ecosystem is declining, there’s no hiding that, there’s no surprise there,” Landgraf acknowledged. “If our shows were not able to go next day on Hulu they would all be declining at a rapid rate. But because they go the next day on Hulu, they’re all growing.”

Landgraf specifically touted the late John Singleton drama Snowfall, which he noted was up 80 percent year-over-year thanks in part to its availability on Hulu, where nearly all the FX branded shows are available to stream.

That said, the majority of the FX original series will bypass a linear debut in favor of streaming on Hulu with a few notable exceptions including Jeff Bridges CIA drama The Old Man (due in the summer), animated comedy Little Demon and docuseries Welcome to Wrexham (later this year).

“We’re still fueling those channels and putting new shows on them and can thankfully put them next day on Hulu,” the so-called “Mayor of Television” noted in his remarks.

Shows like Sons of Anarchy offshoot Mayans M.C. and others that historically debuted on linear first will continue to do so as execs continue to “sustain” the cable channels. Landgraf said that content that feels as if it belongs on linear will debut there but the main priority is to feed the streaming ecosystem.

“Where there’s hunger for new FX material is on Hulu,” he said. “That’s great because that’s a new hungry mouth to feed and Hulu is doing extremely well, Disney is doing well and Disney+ is doing well globally and domestically and we want to contribute as much as we can to that success story.”

The executive made multiple mentions of the benefits of being part of the Disney portfolio after the cable network and its sibling studio formally joined the Mouse House a few years ago as part of the $73 billion Fox deal. As an effort to continue to be competitive amid the streaming wars as rivals like Netflix and recent upstarts like HBO Max and Paramount+ alike spend billions of dollars annually on content, Landgraf, too, is getting additional resources as a key member of the Disney family.

“What’s allowed us to radically expand the FX brand and the amount of money we can spend is the fact that we’re part of major and very successful streaming initiative from the Walt Disney Co.,” he said. “And the reason we’re able to ride that line between sustaining channels and growing…


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