TV's Best Bet


"I read every draft of every episode of every series produced at FX." - John Landgraf

Over the years there's been a lot of competition for which network would be at the top of the heap when it comes to quality. In the late 1990s HBO held the belt, then AMC seemed to snatch it for a while in the 2000s with shows like "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" dominating the awards landscape.

But, quietly, John Landgraf was building something over at FX. He had a vision for what their network could be, and that meant attaching FX to some great content creators, like Noah Hawley and Ryan Murphy.

FX may not dominate the awards, but it's certainly been a place to go for quality. And they've seeming perfected the anthology series in many different forms. "American Horror Story" has been going strong for six seasons. "Fargo" will be back for its third season in April. "American Crime Story" is working on its next two installments, while the latest in the series, "Feud," debuted to fabulous reviews on Sunday and has already been picked up for a second season.

Add to that some of the risky and fascinating series they've brought to the air. "Taboo" was unlike anything else on TV. "Legion," which bowed on February 8, is unlike any other superhero narrative, and any other show on TV, for that matter.

And Tuesday night FX premiers the fifth season of its best series, "The Americans." It's a crime the show hasn't won more Emmys, but it's a testament to the forward thinking of Landgraf that the series has found a home on FX, despite not being a ratings powerhouse.

The network did manage some awards this year for its turn in comedy, with "Atlanta" shocking many in the fall. It was just more proof that FX has cultivated a space for different kinds of shows and different kinds of artists to thrive.

That's what makes FX the most reliable bet on TV right now, and it doesn't look like that's going to change any time soon.

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