It has been a banner year for FX. The cable network took home a basic cable record of 18 Emmy Awards recently thanks to big wins by Louie Anderson of Baskets and the limited series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which took home 10 awards, including best actor and actress wins for Courtney B. Vance and Sarah Paulson. And while Anderson and the O.J. show was the toast of the awards ceremony, they weren’t the only ones walking around the after parties with trophies in their hands. FX also netted awards for American Horror Story, Fargo, Archer and The Americans, making it the network’s best showing yet, while also giving Emmy juggernaut HBO a run for its money.
But while so many of the network’s series were enjoying the fruits of their labors this past Sunday, FX had reason to celebrate beforehand thanks to the successful launch of two new comedies, Atlanta and Better Things. Both shows opened up to tremendous critical praise and Atlanta, with its September 6 series premiere, delivered basic cable’s most-watched scripted primetime comedy since 2013. The series created, written by, and starring Donald Glover also became FX’s most-watched original comedy series premiere since 2011, which makes the announcement of it and Better Things receiving early season 2 renewals very welcome but not entirely unexpected news.
Earlier today, FX delivered a press release stating that both series had received second season orders of 10 episodes each, along with some praise for both Donald Glover and Better Things star and writer Pamela Adlon from the network’s presidents of original programming.
“FX has renewed the acclaimed new comedy series Atlanta and Better Things, it was announced today by Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Presidents of Original Programming, FX Networks and FX Productions. The network has ordered 10 episodes for the second season of each series.
Grad and Schrier stated, “It’s really gratifying to launch two new comedies that have received overwhelming critical acclaim right out of the gate and that are emblematic of FX’s award-winning brand. It is clear to us that Atlanta and Better Things have struck a nerve with viewers, which is a credit to Donald Glover’s vision for Atlanta and Pamela Adlon’s vision for Better Things. They, along with their spectacular casts, writers and directors, have created exceptional shows that we are incredibly proud to produce.”
While the network has had its fair share of success over the years with high-rated dramas like The Shield, Sons of Anarchy, and American Horror Story, the recent spate of critically acclaimed comedies (that also includes You’re the Worst and Man Seeking Woman on its Simpsons-oriented sister network FXX) has kept it at the forefront of the conversation around the recent rise of the half-hour comedy as the genre du jour amongst critics and audiences alike. That’s good news as recent cancelations have left FX without the Middle Eastern drama Tyrant as well as the Denis Leary-led comedy Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, suggesting the network is willing to give shows time to find an audience, but it won’t hesitate when it’s time to make the tough decision regarding cancelation.
Both Atlanta and Better Things have performed well with in their initial outings and their best episodes are yet to come. This is great news for everyone involved, and may just signal a new era of comedy for FX as the quality of its two newest shows is such that it sets an incredibly high bar for anything the network has in the pipeline.
Atlanta airs Tuesdays @10pm and Better Things airs Thursdays @10pm on FX.