FX has placed a 13-episode order for its next drama series The Americans, announced John Landgraf, President and General Manager, FX Networks. The series begins production in October and is scheduled to premiere in early 2013.
The Americans, created by Joseph Weisberg and starring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich, is a period drama about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington DC shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. The arranged marriage of Phillip (Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Russell), who have two children who know nothing about their parents true identity, grows more passionate and genuine by the day, but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control. Complicating their relationship further is Phillip's growing sense of affinity for America's values and way of life. Tensions also heighten upon the arrival of a new neighbor, Stan (Emmerich), an FBI agent working in counter intelligence.
"We're proud to welcome The Americans, a taught series that crackles with incredible performances rooted in character perspectives never explored on a U.S. television series, to FX's line up of quality dramas," said Landgraf. "We're equally excited to welcome Graham Yost's talented young Padawan Joseph Weisberg as Creator/Showrunner. He joins a long line of gifted writer/producers who have taken their first shot at greatness on FX."
Weisberg is Executive Producer/Showrunner, alongside Executive Producer Graham Yost. Gavin O'Connor directed the Pilot episode of The Americans. Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey of DreamWorks Television are Executive Producers of The Americans. Falvey and Frank initially approached Weisberg about writing a piece set in the final years of the Cold War, spurred by the FBI's arrests of multiple KBG sleeper agents living in the northeastern U.S. in the summer of 2010. The Americans is co-produced by Fox Television Studios and FX Productions.
"For the last two years, I've worked with the incredible people at FX, FTVS, DreamWorks, and my personal television guru Graham Yost on this project," said Weisberg. "More recently, Gavin O'Connor joined our team, and turned the script we'd been working on for so long into a beautiful pilot. Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, and Max Hernández were sensational in it, and a joy to be around. To have all of this come to fruition has been indescribably exciting. Really, I'm a writer, and I can't describe it. It's a great privilege and opportunity to get to make this television show. I can't wait to get to work on it."
The Americans marks Keri Russell's first leading role in series television since her successful run in Felicity, for which she won a Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series - Drama. She has gained wide acclaim for her performances in the feature films Waitress and The Upside of Anger. Matthew Rhys most recently starred as Kevin Walker in the ABC drama series Brothers & Sisters. Emmerich has a long list of successful film and television credits, and he co-starred in Miracle and Warrior, both directed by O'Connor.
Weisberg previously worked for the CIA and went on to become an accomplished author. He then moved into television, becoming a writer on TNT's hit series Falling Skies.
Yost is recognized as one of the finest writer/producers in television. In addition to serving as Executive Producer/Showrunner on FX's Emmy, Peabody, AFI Award winning drama series Justified, Yost created NBC's critically acclaimed drama series Boomtown. He was also a Co-Executive Producer of HBO's award-winning miniseries The Pacific, and a writer on HBO's award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers.
The Americans will be the third drama series on the FX schedule. The award-winning drama Sons of Anarchy, the highest-rated series in FX history, returns for its fifth season on Tuesday, September 11 and will air Tuesdays at 10 PM ET/PT for 13 weeks. The Emmy, Peabody and AFI award-winning drama Justified begins production of its fourth season in October and returns in January. FX will begin production on it next drama Pilot, The Bridge, which is adapted from the Scandinavian series Bron. The Bridge centers on two detectives from the United States and Mexico who must work together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the border after a dead body is found on the bridge connecting El Paso and Juarez.