Can Edgy FX Thrive at Family-Friendly Disney?

How John Landgraf's daring network is expected to fare at its future owner

John Landgraf joined FX as its president of entertainment in 2004. Scott Witter for Adweek

As much as FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf welcomes the return of American Crime Story and Atlanta to FX this winter, he still wishes the network could have had them back on the air last year, where their absence on year-end top 10 lists hurt the network’s position relative to its two biggest competitors for quality TV, HBO and Netflix. But that’s what happens when you work with visionaries like Ryan Murphy and Donald Glover—Landgraf calls them “unicorns”—who make the edgy, distinctive shows that have turned FX into one of TV’s most acclaimed, and most daring, networks. With other creative demands on their time (Murphy is shepherding six other shows; Glover wanted to play Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo prequel movie), Landgraf decided in both cases that he’d rather wait until he could have “all of their attention” and produce second seasons that would be worthy successors to the first ones.

This story first appeared in the Feb. 26, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.
@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.