Former Jersey Television executive John Landgraf was tapped as chief programmer for FX. He fills the President of Entertainment slot vacated by Kevin Reilly, now at NBC.
At FX, Landgraf will be hunting for more original shows to expand the network’s success with The Shield and Nip/Tuck. Before joining Jersey Television, Landgraf spent five years at NBC as VP of prime time series.
This is his first tour in cable, but Landgraf is already a cheerleader for the industry. "Cable networks and certainly FX are trying to develop shows unlike any show on network," he said. And even though cable budgets are smaller, he says, "Given choice between resources and creative freedom, vast majority of producers and creators would say freedom."
At FX, he’ll head up all original programming, including scripted series, reality and original movies.
Landgraf has worked on one recent cable show, Comedy Central’s reality-improv hybrid Reno 911!. At Jersey Television, he also produced Karen Sisco and Emma Brody, although Karen Sisco went into hiatus and Emma Brody didn’t survive.
FX President Peter Liguori says Landgraf’s experiences have prepared him well for FX. "His understanding of alternative production methods and concepts have a place in cable and made me believe he would really ferret out the new and different," Liguori said.
It took some careful dealings to get Landgraf to FX. Jersey Television has a deal with Sony Pictures Television and, insiders said, Sony wanted assurances on that deal before cutting Landgraf loose.
With Landgraf’s exit, remaining Jersey TV partners, Danny DeVito, Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg, are now stepping up to become more active on development and production in shared Sony projects.