FX Strategy: Originals Damages, Archer, It’s Always Sunny + Theatrical Premieres

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Folks interested in cable network strategies in general, or in FX in particular should check out a piece in Multichannel News today, on FX’s evolving strategy of producing more original television and using movie premieres to promote its line up. Here’s just a snippet:

For years, the most popular cable networks built their lineups on the backs of highly-rated off-network broadcast shows, slowly infusing the schedule original programming of their own.

One network has pitched that strategy — which, until recently, has nourished ratings — in the trash.

News Corp.’s FX is betting that a lineup of pure original programming, coupled with top-tier theatrical films, will catapult the network to upper echelon of cable networks reaching advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds.

FX’s unprecedented lineup of 11 originally-produced, scripted series, launching over the next 12 months, involves a variety of character-based storylines, including an old-fashioned lawman who doles out his own brand of justice in the Midwest (Justified); a struggling comedian who deals with his divorce through a mix of standup routines and sketches (Louis); a former boxing champ who struggles with life outside the ring (Lights Out); and an animated, cocky super-spy who employs curious methods to nab villains (Archer).

And over the next two years, the network will showcase an incredible lineup of more than 100 commercial-television premieres, including the rights to Avatar, now the top movie of all time in worldwide box-office grosses.

via Multichannel News.

As FX notes in the piece, with about an 85% failure rate on original programming, they’re hoping for about 3 keeper hours out of 11 hours introduced. Guess which category Archer seems headed for?

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