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Did FX become too dependent on Ryan Murphy and limited/anthology series?

  • FX was once home to acclaimed dramas like The Americans, The Shield, Justified and Sons of Anarchy. But nowadays, the only dramas worth watching are Pose and Mayans MC, says Kaitlin Thomas. "One of the possible explanations for the decline of FX's overall drama slate is a shift in the way the network's development system has operated in the last few years," says Thomas. "Following the success of Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story, FX started to rely more heavily on Murphy ... until it felt like he was the backbone of its programming. The prolific writer-producer-director also had a hand in producing American Crime Story, Feud, and Pose, some of which are still active at the network (AHS and Pose have been renewed for additional seasons, though future installments of ACS and Feud have stalled), so even though Murphy has since departed for Netflix, his influence can still be felt. I bring this up because Murphy's success at FX, which includes an abundance of critical praise as well as awards recognition, has in turn led to a noticeable uptick in the number of limited and anthology projects at the network (and television as a whole, even if the word limited has lost all meaning in Hollywood)....While limited and anthology series have their value — the competition at the Emmys is somewhat less competitive in the limited categories and it is no doubt easier to sign big name stars to one-season shows rather than, say, six-year contracts — it sometimes feels like the network has abandoned its efforts to bring viewers compelling ongoing dramas that have the potential to engage audiences over a number of years in favor of limited series that might produce short-term buzz or awards. And it's disappointing to think FX prioritizes accolades over everything else, but the numbers also speak for themselves."

    TOPICS: FX, Ryan Murphy, American Crime Story Franchise, American Horror Story Franchise