There used to be a time, not long ago, when basic cable network FX would green light whatever series came its way. Comedies, dramas, sub-par shows about fatties, testicles (no joke), even 100-episode sitcoms starring a noticeably benumbed Charlie Sheen.
But now that the station can go toe-to-toe with “premium” rivals HBO and Showtime in terms of high-quality writing, directing and acting, FX has reached the point where it feels comfortable turning down prestige projects from Oscar nominees.
Yes, that’s nominees, plural, as Hoke, whose pilot FX ordered, was created by Scott Frank, the acclaimed writer of “Out of Sight, and was supposed to star Paul Giamatti, the master character actor that snatched his first (and hopefully, not only) Academy Award nom back in 2006, for “Cinderella Man”.
Giamatti was on board as a Hoke EP too, whereas Frank penned, co-produced and directed the now useless pilot. Also attached as an executive producer, Curtis Hanson, the Academy Award-winning brains behind “L.A. Confidential”.
I know, it sounded like a no-brainer series pickup to me as well, but I guess when it’s not meant to be, even the best of the best can fail. Either that, or FX is getting cocky on the heels of so many recent home-runs: The Americans, The Bridge, Fargo.
And remember, they have Gideon Raff’s Tyrant, Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain and Billy Crystal’s The Comedians in the pipeline too, so maybe it was simply a case of schedule overcrowding and prioritizing. Either way, I sure hope Paul Giamatti lands on his feet after this unexpected fiasco.
Via [Screen Crush]