FX CEO Shades 'True Detective' When Talking About 'Fargo,' But No One Should Compare the Shows Anyway
Should we expect a war of the networks any time soon? In an appearance at the Television Critics Association, FX CEO John Landgraf fired some shots at HBO's star series True Detective , specifically stating that the series — which enlisted stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey for its first season and scored some coveted Emmy nominations this past month — will "have to prove it's not just a vehicle for movie stars" if it's looking to repeat the success of season 1. Ouch.
"True Detective is going to have to prove it's not just a vehicle for movie stars," Landgraf said. "[Nic Pizzolatto] is going to have to write something truly great every single year. I think [Fargo writer] Noah [Hawley] has already proven he can write something really great."
But, that's the thing: as Indiewire points out, those are "odd statements" to make about True Detective when FX's own (great) series Fargo "which owes any interest it had going in to the Coen Brothers directed film (with the pair also putting their name on the thing as executive producers)."
Also, Fargo the series did feature movie stars, like Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, and Bob Odenkirk. Big names flocked to both shows, so why the hate?
Of course, Landgraf later backtracked on his statements with a quickly-released press release:
It seems unreasonable that I should have to issue a clarification for something that was stated clearly in the first place, but nevertheless I repeat, for the record, that I watched True Detective and loved it. I think Nic Pizzolatto wrote something truly great (and Mathew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson and Cary Fukunaga also did absolutely stellar work). Nic has created a very high bar for himself, and as a fan of the show and based on his work in season one, I have no doubt he will clear it by a mile with his second incarnation of True Detective. Also, for the record, I am an avid viewer and fan of many of HBO's outstanding original series, and I have a profound respect for Richard Plepler, Mike Lombardo and their entire gifted team. Anyone who claims to love television but doesn't pay attention to the consistently excellent work that HBO is fostering, would be suspect in my book.
So, maybe there's no feud between FX or HBO — or, maybe this press release is fueled by PR reps currently ripping their hair out at the prospect of a major network CEO dissing another major network's biggest series. But, why are comparisons being made in the first place? Both shows are different, and both shows did an excellent job with storytelling during their first seasons. Can't we just all get along?