Developing a Knack for Business at FX - Broadcasting & Cable

Developing a Knack for Business at FX

Eric Schrier, head of series development, FX, and executive VP, FX Productions
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JOBS IN TELEVISION aren’t always known for their longevity, but
for Eric Schrier, opportunity for growth and working with great
managers such as John Landgraf have kept him at FX for 12 years—
nearly all his professional life.

And like Landgraf, who started in development and now heads FX
Networks, Schrier’s dual role as head of series development and FX
Productions executive VP makes him uniquely positioned to manage
the business decisions that affect the creative life cycle of the network’s
growing stable of shows.

“As an executive I’m really fortunate, because most executives are
either development executives or studio/business executives, and I get to play in both worlds,” he says.

In his network role, Schrier is responsible for the development of all new original series for FX, including
the new Charlie Sheen series Anger Management, and FX’s first forays into late night with Russell Brand
and W. Kamau Bell. But it is his role in building the studio that has given FX an important revenue stream,
helping sustain its out-of-the-box series in a way that maximizes profit for FXP and the talent involved.

“On the comedy side, we’ve figured out a business model where we can produce the shows really inexpensively,”
Schrier says. “And the studio is able to maximize revenue on those, which enables us to do
shows without a lot of financial pressure, which has freed up the creative.”

Schrier, who joined the network as Kevin Reilly’s assistant in 1999, has also developed FX’s ancillary businesses, first convincing Landgraf to let him build up a licensing business for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
and later Sons of Anarchy. Now he manages FX’s interest in foreign sales, home entertainment, syndication,
new media opportunities and merchandising under the FX Productions banner.

Since his work ethic has paid off so far, Schrier says he tries to keep his head down, work hard and be
content with what he has—at least when it comes to his own career.

“I try not to look ahead too much, because you can kind of get your head in the clouds that way,” he says.
“I think there’s a lot of opportunity to grow the business here and grow my career here.”

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