FX ordered second seasons of its original dramas Dirt and The Riches for 2008 and set July 24 at 10 p.m. ET for the premiere of its new Glenn Close summer series Damages.
The Dirt/Riches pickups puts FX at six original dramas for 2007-8, which it says is more than any other cable network has had at once. Bringing back some of the newer originals keeps FX in a safe place as it anticipates the exit of such longer-running fare as The Shield, which finishes its sixth season June 5 and will run its seventh and final season in 2008.
Including comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, scheduled to be back for a third season in September; the Morgan Spurlock documentary series 30 Days, back for a third season in late fall; and the fifth season of Nip/Tuck, the network has eight originals slated for the year, a hefty slate for a basic-cable network in terms of cost.
The network will schedule Damages on Tuesday for the summer, moving Rescue Me from that night to 10 p.m. Wednesdays starting with its June 13 season debut.
Dirt stars Courteney Cox as the editor of a celebrity glossy; Riches stars Minnie Driver and Eddie Izzard as grifters posing as wealthy suburbanites. Weekly cumulative total episodes of the shows (five to six plays each) have averaged 3.7 million and 3.9 million viewers 18-49, respectively, according to Nielsen Media Research. Those are solid numbers for cable originals and on par with The Shield.