FX (TV network)

Infobox_TV_channel
name= FX
logofile=FX 2008 Logo.pnglogoalt=
logosize=150px
slogan= "There Is No Box"
launch=June 1, 1994
owner= News Corporation
headquarters=
former names=fX, FX: Fox Gone Cable
sister names=
web= [http://www.fxnetworks.com/ fxnetworks.com]
terr avail=Not Available
sat serv 1=DirecTV
sat chan 1=Channel 248
sat serv 2=Dish Network
sat chan 2= Channel 136, 878
cable serv 1 = Verizon FIOS
cable chan 1 = Channel 53
cable serv 2 = Available on many other cable systems
cable chan 2 = Check local listings for channels
dummy parameter=
|

FX (for Fox eXtended) is the name of a number of related subscription TV channels owned by News Corporation's Fox Entertainment Group. The network's most popular original shows are "The Shield", "Nip/Tuck", "Rescue Me" and "Damages", as well as the comedy "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia". The networks mainly broadcast original programming aired on FOX in the 1990s and 2000s.

Programming

History

1994–1997

The first fX channel was launched in the United States on June 1, 1994. Broadcasting from a large "apartment" in Manhattan's Flatiron District, fX ushered in a new era of interactive television, but did not exist long enough to see the eventual success of such interactivity. The network centered around original programming, broadcast live every day from the "fX Apartment", and rebroadcasts of kitschy shows from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

fX had two taglines: "TV Made Fresh Daily" and "The World's First Living Television Network". [ [http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.09/streetcred.html?pg=14 3.09: Street Cred ] ] The "f" was lower-case to portray a type of relaxed friendliness. The stylized "X" represented the network's roots: the crossing spotlights of the 20th Century Fox logo.

The live shows were mostly focused one topic. Shows included "Personal fX" (collectibles), "The Pet Department" (pets), "Under Scrutiny with Jane Wallace" (news), and "Sound fX" (music). The network's flagship show, "Breakfast Time"(hosted by Laurie Hibberd and Tom Bergeron), was formatted like an informal magazine show, and was an Americanized version of Great Britain's "The Big Breakfast". "Breakfast Time" and "Personal fX" would regularly feature the network's "roving reporters" visiting unique places around America. Suzanne Whang (now of HGTV), John Burke (now of E!) and Phil Keoghan (now of CBS's "The Amazing Race") were some of the roving reporters.

The network prided itself on its interactivity with viewers. fX, in 1994, was the first television network to openly embrace e-mail and the World Wide Web as methods of feedback. Most of the shows would feature instant responses to e-mailed questions, and one show, "Backchat" (hosted by "Survivor" host Jeff Probst), was exclusively devoted to responding to viewer mail, whether e-mailed or mailed traditionally. Select viewers were allowed to spend a day at the "apartment" and take part in all of the network's shows.

fX's viewer base was very loyal, but the budget was simply too high for the clearance the network was receiving. Ironically, the first incarnation of fX was not even available on the local cable system in New York City, where programming originated. During the time the network launched in the mid-1990s, cable systems around the United States were upgrading their infrastructures to increase channel capacity and were not regularly adding channels until these upgrades were complete. The same problem plagued Fox News Channel around its early 1996 launch.

The live shows were cancelled one-by-one until only Personal fX remained. "Breakfast Time" was moved to the FOX network and renamed "FOX After Breakfast" in mid-1996. It never found a substantial audience and was cancelled less than a year later. Eventually, all live programming with the exception of "Personal fX" was dropped and the network focused entirely on its classic television shows until its relaunch in mid-1997. "Personal fX" remained on the refocused FX until May 1, 1998.

FX vacated the "apartment" in the summer of 1998 and the network's operations were streamlined with the other Fox-owned cable networks.

1997–2001

fX was relaunched as 'FX: Fox Gone Cable'Schneider, Michael; Martin, Denise. [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117920089.html?categoryid=1296&cs=1 The two faces of Fox] . "Variety": March 28, 2005] in early 1997, targeting men aged 18 to 49. The network is known for original drama series and NASCAR programming.

During the first few years after its relaunch, FX was known for little else than airing reruns of such Fox shows as "The X-Files" and "Married... with Children", as well as 20th Century Fox shows such as "M*A*S*H" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Soon after its relaunch, the tagline "Fox Gone Cable" was dropped. When the cable reruns of "Ally McBeal" and "The Practice" fumbled in primetime, FX predominantly ran movies in their more high-profile time periods.

After obtaining the spring broadcast rights to NASCAR, Fox Sports announced that for their inaugural 2001 season, FX would serve as their cable partner. This meant that FX would cover several races in the series then known as the Busch Series and Winston Cup (including the All-Star Race), as well as select qualifying and final practice sessions. The move was meant to promote the network and cause NASCAR fans to contact their cable providers to add the channel to their line-up. In 2002, network president Peter Liguori praised NASCAR from moving the number of available homes from 58.5 million to 76.6 million. [8]

fX aired numerous Major League Baseball on Saturday Nights in 2001, including Cal Ripken, Jr.'s final game at Camden Yards.

2002–2007

In recent years, however, the network has emerged as a major force in original cable programming, gaining both acclaim and notoriety for edgy dramas. This began in 2002 with the release of its breakout hit, police drama "The Shield". This trend continued the following year with "Nip/Tuck", which chronicles the world of plastic surgery, and the Denis Leary-helmed "Rescue Me", about FDNY firemen and their lives and in 2007 with "Dirt", a show starring Courteney Cox about a ruthless tabloid editor who seeks out the truth. Unlike many broadcast networks, FX is willing to take risks with their programming and push the envelope of what can be shown on television, having high, TV-MA ratings. Opinions on these shows are mixed. Some organizations, like the Parents Television Council and American Family Association, have asked advertisers to boycott these shows due to their graphic content. [ [http://www.onemillionmoms.com/IssueDetail.asp?id=289 One Million Moms.com - Issue details ] ] [Albiniak, Paige. [http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA210736.html?q=PTC+aims+at+FX%27s+%22The+Shield%22 PTC aims at FX's The Shield] . "Broadcasting & Cable": April 9, 2002] However, the shows are also critically acclaimed for their strong storylines and characters.

Capitalizing on the success of the hit documentary "Super Size Me", creator Morgan Spurlock launched a new series, "30 Days", on FX in June 2005. The series puts its subjects in situations uncomfortable to them for 30 days, such as making millionaires work for minimum wage, and having Christians live in a Muslim community.

In the summer of 2005, FX debuted two new comedy series, "Starved", about the daily lives of four friends with eating disorders who live in New York, and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", about four people who own a bar in the titular city and somehow always wind up having comic misadventures, usually very un-PC. Both of these shows feature frank sexual dialogue and strong language, pitched as "The Dark Side of Comedy". While "Starved" gained low ratings and was derided by groups that sought to publicize eating disorders, being canceled after its first season, "Sunny" quickly became a critics' darling, consistently achieved high ratings and was picked up for a second season within days of its first season finale. An edited version of "Sunny" was aired by Fox for a three-episode run in the summer of 2006, in an effort to promote it on FX.

In 2006, FX debuted two new series, the reality television show "Black. White." and the drama "Thief" but neither were picked up for a second season. After 2006, FX also no longer broadcast NASCAR, as sister network Speed Channel became the new cable partner for NASCAR on Fox.

Throughout 2007, FX inroduced three new dramas, "Dirt" starring Courteney Cox, "The Riches" starring Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver, and "Damages" starring Glenn Close and Ted Danson. All three did well in the ratings and were renewed for second seasons.

On October 15, 2007 a high definition feed was launched on DirecTV and recently on few select Comcast markets.

As of 2008, the channel was available in 90.6 million U.S. homes.

2008-present

In 2008, the network launched a new branding campaign built around the theme "There Is No Box", which was influenced by the phrase "outside the box" and refers to how the network's programming goes beyond the box concept, as well as a pun on the network competing against premium channels such as HBO, with its original programming. The network's logo changed on December 18, 2007 and uses only the FX letters for branding by removing the klieg light logo box to the left. As of August 21, 2008, on-screen graphics are being updated to match the new logo. The new branding includes an advertising campaign, featuring a post-game ad for the network during Fox's coverage of Super Bowl XLII [ [http://tvdecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/11/box-we-dont-need-no-box/ Box? We Don’t Need No Box] ] . The song that is used in the promo commercial is "You Give Me Something" by James Morrison. [Becker, Anne. [http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6511479.html FX Brands Itself with Slogan 'There Is No Box'] . "Broadcasting & Cable": December 11, 2007]

Over the last year, competition between other cable networks has increased, evident in the second season ratings for less successful series, "Dirt" and "The Riches", which have had ratings decrease significantly since their first seasons last year. Some weeks viewers were barely over 1 million.

John Landgraff told "Entertainment Weekly" that things are slow at the network because "It's a combination of the strike having us scrambling, and trying to figure out what shows are compatible where." He also said that "Damages" will debut its second season in January the earliest and the next season of "Rescue Me" will premiere in the spring with minisodes airing during summer 2008 to hold fans over.

In 2008, the network picked up "Sons of Anarchy", about a notorious outlaw motorcycle club bent on protecting their sheltered California town from corporate developers and drug dealers. It is from "The Shield" executive producer, Kurt Sutter and premiered in September, coinciding with "The Shield"'s final season "Sons of Anarchy" airs Wednesdays. "Sons of Anarchy" stars Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal and Ron Perlman.

On May 19, 2008, FX president John Landgraff signed a contract to be head of the network for at least three more years. He intends to expand the lineup to include more comedies in addition to their award-winning dramas as well as the launch of a new website. He also announced that FX would start airing "Two and a Half Men" starting next year and that they have enough episodes of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" to start syndicating it.

On June 8, 2008, Courteney Cox announced herself that FX has chosen not to renew "Dirt" for a third season and that it had been canceled.

In July 2008, several announcements were made regarding FX's series. "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" has been picked up for an additional 39 episodes, giving it 3 more seasons. "Nip/Tuck" will end after it's sixth season. The 8 episodes will act as the remainder of season five and will air in 2009 while 19 more episodes will be split in half for season six. It will possibly go into syndication after ending with a total of 100 episodes. Also announced was a new comedy called "Testees" about two friends who act as test subjects.

In July 2008, they removed "Dharma and Greg", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Married... with Children" from the schedule.

"The Riches" experiences a major hit in ratings this year. The second season wrapped up on April 29, 2008 and while fans expected an answer on season three quickly, FX couldn't make a decision. Landgraff said "We're really struggling with the decision. On the one hand, I love the show. I'm tremendously proud of it. It's a very challenging tone to take on. We felt it wobbled in the beginning, but I think we really stuck the landing finally and it developed into something terrific..It's always a little bit of a question, do you hold onto the past or strive for the future." FX tried to shop "The Riches" to DirecTV. Unfortunately, it seemed that DirecTV did not pick it up because it costs too much to produce and even with a budget cut, it wouldn't work out because of low ratings. [ [http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6581926.html B&C article on "The Riches"] According to Todd Stashwick, the show was canceled on September 25, 2008, almost five months after season two ended and without an appropriate conclusion. On October 7, 2008, FX officially confirmed the show's demise. [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117993573.html?categoryid=14&cs=1]

In late August 2008, FX launched a new website. They mention that full episodes of FX shows will soon be made available for viewing on the website. As of October 2008, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", "30 Days", and "Sons of Anarchy" are available for viewing through the official FX site.

The new FX comedy, "Testees" is set to premiere October 9, 2008.

"Sons of Anarchy" was renewed for a second season on October 6, 2008. [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117993543.html?categoryid=14&cs=1&query=sons+of+anarchy]

International

Australia

In 1995, fX launched in Australia, featuring classic TV series (often branded as "Golden Years of Television")

fXM was a nightly block of classic 20th Century Fox films, hosted by Bill Collins (often branded as "Bill Collins' Golden Years of Hollywood"). In late 1998 fX became FX, a channel aimed at women, featuring shows such as "The View" and "Donny and Marie". In late 2000, FX was again rebranded, officially becoming "Australia's first TV channel for women". In 2003, it was renamed W. as a way to make this focus more apparent.

Hong Kong

FX is available on Now TV's Channel 524 in Hong Kong

Italy

FX launched the Italian version in Spring of 2006 on Sky Italia Channel 113..

Latin America

The FX Network for Latin America, is intended almost entirely for the male audience, as a counterpart of Fox Life, created for the female viewers.

ingapore

FX was launched on StarHub Cable Vision's Channel 87, on February 1, 2007 at 6:00 A.M. (Singapore Time).

Philippines

FX is scheduled to be launched on Global Destiny Cable in 2008. This channel, along with other STAR TV channels, including Fox Crime, are to be simultaneously launched.

Vietnam

FX was launched on Vietbao CATV's on October 29, 2007 at 12:00 A.M. (Vietnam Time) Channel 33.

Poland

FX will be launched in 2009.

Portugal

FX launched on the TV Cabo satellite and cable platform in 26th of September 2007, along with FOX Crime.

Romania

FX will be launched in 2008.

Turkey

FX was launched on April 14, 2008 [ [http://www.fxtv.com.tr/haberler.php FX Turkiye Web Site: FX / Erkeksen - News Section] ] on D-Smart digital platform.

pain

FX currently airs as a youth block on FOX España on Saturdays from 23.30 CET.

UK & Republic of Ireland

In autumn 2005, Fox International Channels (UK) Ltd applied for a broadcasting slot in the Swedish digital terrestrial television network for a service called "FX" [http://www.rtvv.se/se/Press/Nyheter/051004/] . This could hint a launch of the channel in Sweden or Scandinavia. When the recommendations were revealed in November 21, FX was not one of the ten recommended channels. As of November 2005, no further information has been revealed. An HD version of the channel will be launched in the UK and Ireland on the 28th of April 2008 and will run from 7am-2am and be commercial free.

See also

*List of programs broadcast by FX
*Fox Movie Channel
*Fox Reality

References

8. [http://www.nascar.com/2002/races/ontv/headlines/04/11/fx_mville/ NASCAR.com: FX credits NASCAR for growth. April 11, 2002.]

External links

* [http://www.fxnetworks.com/ FX Networks (US)]
* [http://www.fxtvasia.com/ FX (Asia)]
* [http://www.fxuk.tv/ FX (UK)]
* [http://www.fxtv.it/ FX (Italy)]
* [http://www.canalfx.tv/ FX (Latin America)]
* [http://www.fxbrasil.com.br/ FX (Brazil)]
* [http://www.fxtv.com.tr/ FX (Turkey)]


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