FX entered this summer with more programming inventory than it's ever had in a compressed period: “The Strain” on Sundays (the first time FX has had to put one of its dramas there), “Partners” on Mondays, “Tyrant” on Tuesdays, “The Bridge” on Wednesdays and “Married” and “You're the Worst” on Thursdays. Though “The Strain” has been a success and got renewed weeks ago, it's been a rough go for almost everything else.
“Partners” failed to get the necessary ratings to trigger an automatic pick up of additional episodes, and FX boss John Landgraf has suggested that he's getting out of the 10/90 business that led to shows like that, “Anger Management” and “Saint George” airing on his network. “The Bridge” has been much improved in season 2, but the ratings are so low that I'm bracing myself for the series to end in two weeks. “You're the Worst” has turned out to be one of the year's best comedies, but it and “Married” are both struggling mightily on Thursdays, and enter tonight's season finales unsure of their fates.
And “Tyrant” – which endured many real-life difficulties, including the departure of its creator and a shut-down of production during the recent troubles in Israel – got some of the most scathing reviews of any FX original drama, and its ratings have been modest, albeit fairly consistent; those who came to the show early stuck with it. And perhaps because of that stability – plus a desire to stay in business with producer Howard Gordon, plus a need for more drama inventory a year from now (when both “Sons of Anarchy” and “Justified” will be gone) – FX has not only renewed “Tyrant” for a second season, but expanded its episode order, from 10 this summer to 13 a year from now.
I don't know that this affects the future of the comedies one way or the other, but it's sure not great news for “The Bridge.” I suppose there's a longshot scenario where FX decides to again load up on as much product as possible to fill the long stretch between when “Justified” and “The Americans” wrap up their latest runs in mid-spring and when (presumably) “American Horror Story” season 5 is ready to go around the following Halloween. But given how this summer went, I think it's more likely they try to tighten things up a year from now.
I didn't much enjoy “Tyrant” and dropped out after the third or fourth episode. I'm assuming those of you who stuck it out for the full season did so because you liked it, and/or because it got better over time, but feel free to weigh in on what you liked and didn't about the first season, and what you hope for in this expanded season 2.