Cable network FX has assembled a motley collection of celebrated (if somewhat under-appreciated) TV programs - American Horror Story, Justified, The Americans, Sons of Anarchy, and so forth - and will aim to keep its win streak alive with its upcoming influx of shows.
One such series is The Strain (which made Screen Rant's most anticipated debut programs in 2014): Guillermo del Toro's small screen adaptation of the vampire novel series that he co-wrote with Chuck Hogan, which has Carlton Cuse (Bates Motel) involved as a writer/executive producer and a pilot episode written/helmed by del Toro. Occupying a very different genre niche is Fargo, a crime drama series inspired by the off-beat Oscar-winning film of the same name written and directed by the Coen Brothers (who are executive producers on the limited series).
Corey Stoll (House of Cards) leads the ensemble cast for The Strain as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, a scientist employed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) who heads an investigation into a mysterious virus outbreak in New York City - one that bears an uncanny resemblance to a mythical strain of vampirism (hint, hint). Meanwhile, Fargo is headlined by Martin Freeman (Sherlock) as Lester Nygaard, a hapless small-town Minnesotan insurance salesman who foolishly accepts a stranger's (Billy Bob Thornton) offer that could turn his life around.
Check out the first images from FX's The Strain and Fargo TV series in the gallery below (via Yahoo!):
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In Fargo, Freeman plays a character loosely inspired by Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) in the Coens' original film, while relative newcomer Allison Tolman as Deputy Molly Solverson will essentially be the show's Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand). Both Macy and McDormand received Oscar nominations for the Fargo roles - with McDormand winning the gold - but with 10 episodes to flesh out their characters, there's plenty of screen time for Freeman and Tolman to deliver standout performances and step out of their predecessors' shadows.
As for The Strain: given the popular subject matter and beloved talent working behind the scenes as well as onscreen (see a supporting cast that includes Sean Astin, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, and Regina King), it seems this show could be FX's answer to AMC's The Walking Dead - a refreshingly grounded and grisly variation on a relatively saturated supernatural/horror genre, which draws in big ratings.
Let us know if you're excited for both, either or neither of these FX series in the comments section.
Fargo premieres on FX in Spring 2014.
The Strain begins airing in July 2014.