Sunday, December 21, 2014

Didja hear the news about 'Fargo'?

FX is taking us back to "Fargo." And to 1979.

Didja hear the news about 'Fargo'?

FX is taking us back to "Fargo." And to 1979.

The Emmy-nominated miniseries is now officially an example of TV's newest genre -- what some are calling the "renewable serial" -- with a second, 10-episode season in the works featuring a new cast and a story set in a new time period, the network announced Monday during its portion of the Television Critics Association's summer meetings.

"Fargo" executive producer Noah Hawley, who adapted the TV version from the Coen brothers' movie, will also return. And it will still be set in and around Minnesota. And though it will be filmed again in and around Calgary, Hawley's hoping for better weather, or at least not another blizzard episode.

"Believe me, we would do 'Fargo' in Honolulu if we could," joked Hawley  to reporters Monday afternoon, a few hours after the FX announcement. "But we can't."

Hawley will not write all the episodes himself this time, relying  a bit more on the writers who helped him develop the story of this past season. It wouldn't be fair not to let them write, he said.

And if you had ventured a guess about where the show was going next, you were probably right.

In Season 1, "we made a lot of references to Sioux Falls [South Dakota]," and an incident that took place there in 1979 involving Keith Carradine's character as a  much younger man, Hawley said. His father-in-law is the sheriff of Rock County, Minn., and apparently based in Luverne, Minn. (Still not a "true" story, no matter what the show will pretend.) Sadly, Molly Solverson (played by Emmy-nominated Allison Tolman this season) will only have been 4 years old at the time, according to Hawley, who'll introduce us instead to Molly's mother.

No casting has been announced for Season 2, but Hawley said he wouldn't take the Ryan Murphy tack in "American Horror Story" and recast this season's actors in new roles.

Tolman "should be in everything everyone ever makes," said Hawley, while appearing to reject a reporter's suggestion that Tolman could play Molly's mother. It might seem "gimmicky," he said.

The first installment of "Fargo" is nominated for 18 Emmys, including outstanding movie or miniseries and writing. It received  lead actor nods for stars Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman and supporting actor and actress nominations for Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman.

For those tracking the Emmy oddity that made HBO's "True Detective" a drama series and "Fargo" a miniseries, note Hawley's mention that "we literally had half the amount of time to shoot it as 'True Detective' did."

Ahem.

"The scripts are already in progress and the earliest the new 'Fargo' will launch" will be fall 2015, said FX Networks CEO John Landgraf.

In other FX news:

-- "Louie," which stars and is written and directed by comedian Louis C.K., will return for a fifth, shorter season -- "seven or eight episodes," according to Landgraf -- to premiere next spring.

-- "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" returns in January to FXX for a 10th season, and its stars and producer, Philly's Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day, are writing a script for the Tracy Morgan project that's been delayed in the wake of Morgan's injuries from a June crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. It was originally meant to be paired with "Sunny."

-- No word on a second season on "Tyrant," whose production has been shifted from Israel to Turkey, though Landgraf described its trajectory as "positive."

-- "American Horror Story: Freak Show" has begun production in New Orleans and will premiere in October.

Read more Ellen Gray on Television

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
About this blog
As the TV critic for the Philadelphia Daily News, I've always believed my job is less about thumbs -- up or down -- and more about the conversation. Because the more choices we have, the fewer people in our lives know what we're talking about when we say, "Did you see that?" And that's when television really starts to get interesting. Reach Ellen at graye@phillynews.com.

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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