While the letters "FX" themselves don't stand for anything, when the channel initially launched by the former 20th Century Fox in 1994, it was stated that the name was short for "Fox Extended", representing an extension of the Fox brand, as well as their aptitude for experimentation.
FX took pride in its early adoption of the internet to interact with viewers (broadcasting hours of live programming from an apartment/studio in New York- including Tom Bergeron as the co-host of Breakfast Time, a Transatlantic Equivalent to The Big Breakfast, and a nightly show devoted to viewer questions and comments called Backchat, hosted by a pre-Survivor Jeff Probst), but otherwise spent the 1990s running old movies and television shows (their combo of old shows and live programming could be considered a proto-TV Land, mixed with Toronto's Citytv). Its first foray into original scripted programming was The Shield in 2002, which turned out to be a critical and commercial hit, winning a number of Emmys, Golden Globes, and other awards.
FX is notable for being led by executives who are actual television lovers, who give notes that can actually make the show better. It is also famous for mostly producing comedies and dramas that revolve around anti-heroes. This became such a prominent theme that then-network president Kevin Reilly once turned down a new show because it featured yet another anti-hero. That show? Breaking Bad.
Furthering the network's comparisons to premium pay TV networks, FX is known for their uncanny ability to acquire broadcast rights to the most-recent, theatrically-released, blockbuster films. Aside from syndicated sitcoms, these film telecasts form the majority of the network's daily and primetime programming.note
In Fall 2013, FX would expand into a three-network suite, with the launch of the younger-skewing, comedy-oriented FXX note ; and the all-movie FXM becoming a full-time network once again, after the branding was previously relegated to a primetime block for recently released films on what was then known as the Fox Movie Channel.
On March 20th, 2019, The Walt Disney Company would acquire FX Networks as part of a broader deal to purchase the majority of 21st Century Fox's media assets (excluding the Fox network, their Sports and News divisions, and a few other assets). The news was met with divided reactions from the network's fans. Some fear that Disney might slowly let FX rot itself to irrelevance as they focus their attention to their streaming platforms (between establishing Disney+ and integrating Hulu, the latter of which Disney would eventually gain a majority stake and operational control of.note ). Others, including network head John Landgraf, believe the Disney purchase will give FX more resources and allow its programming to compete with Netflix on a level playing field.
Sure enough, then-CEO Bob Iger announced in November 2019 that Hulu would become the new streaming home for all FX programming, with a selection of new original series being produced under the FX on Hulu banner, and on-demand encores of current FX programming* becoming available on Hulu immediately after broadcast. Under Disney management, FX Networks has also begun investing in more original content for FXX, of which the network has been lacking in since the end of The League and You're the Worst, and the cancellation of Man Seeking Woman.
The Disney acquisition re-united FX with the former Fox Family Channel, with which they share growing syndication rights to 20th Century's primetime animated comedies.
See their logo here.
List of shows on FX
- American Crime Story
- The People v. O. J. Simpson (2016)
- The Assassination of Gianni Versace (2018)
- Impeachment (2021)
- American Horror Story
- American Horror Story: Murder House (2011)
- American Horror Story: Asylum (2012-13)
- American Horror Story: Coven (2013-14)
- American Horror Story: Freak Show (2014-15)
- American Horror Story: Hotel (2015-16)
- American Horror Story: Roanoke (2016)
- American Horror Story: Cult (2017)
- American Horror Story: Apocalypse (2018)
- American Horror Story: 1984 (2019)
- American Horror Story: Double Feature (2021)
- American Horror Story: NYC (2022)
- The Americans (2013-18)
- Anger Management (2012-14)
- Atlanta (2016, 2018, 2022)
- Baskets (2016-19)
- The Bastard Executioner (2015)
- Better Things (2016-17, 2019-20, 2022)
- Black Narcissus (2020)
- Brand X With Russell Brand (2012-13)
- Breeders (2020-present)
- The Bridge (2013-14)
- Cake (2019-21; Premiered on FXX)
- The Comedians (2015)
- Damages (2007, 2009-10; moved to Audience Network after season 3)
- Dave (2020-present; premiered on FXX)
- Dirt (2007) (2007-08)
- Fargo (2014-15, 2017, 2020-present)
- Feud (2017)
- Fosse/Verdon (2019)
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-13, 2015-19, 2021-present; Premiered on FX; moved to FXX from season 9 onward)
- Justified (2010-15)
- The League (2009-15; Premiered on FX; moved to FXX for seasons 5-7)
- Legion (2017-19)
- Legit (2013-14; Premiered on FX; moved to FXX for season 2)
- Lights Out (2011)
- Louie (2010-15)
- Lucky (2003)
- Man Seeking Woman (2015-17; Premiered on FXX)
- Married (2014-15)
- Mr Inbetween (2018-19, 2021)
- Nip/Tuck (2003-10)
- The Old Man (2022-present)
- Pose (2018-19, 2021)
- Rescue Me (2004-11)
- The Riches (2007-08)
- Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll (2015-16)
- The Shield (2002-08)
- Snowfall (2017-19, 2021-23)
- Son of the Beach (2000-02)
- Sons of Anarchy (2008-14)
- Mayans M.C. (2018-19, 2021-23)
- Terriers (2010)
- Testees (2008-2009)
- The Strain (2014-17)
- Thief (2006)
- Trust (2018)
- Tyrant (2014-16)
- Welcome to Wrexham (2022-present)
- What We Do in the Shadows (2019-present)
- Wilfred (2011-14; Premiered on FX; moved to FXX for its final season)
- You're the Worst (2014-17, 2019; Premiered on FX; moved to FXX from season 2 onward)
- Archer (2009-present; Premiered on FX; moved to FXX from season 8 onward)
- Axe Cop (2015; Originally aired on FOX; moved to FXX for season 2)
- Chozen (2014)
- Major Lazer (2015; Premiered on FXX)
- Little Demon (2022; Premiered on FXX)
- Stone Quackers (2014-15; Premiered on FXX)
- Unsupervised (2012)
- American Horror Stories (2021-22)
- The Bear (2022-present)
- Devs (2020)
- Fleishman Is In Trouble (2022)
- Mrs. America (2020)
- The Patient (2022)
- Reservation Dogs (2021-present)
- A Teacher (2020)
- Under the Banner of Heaven (2022)
- Y: The Last Man (2021)
- The Cool Kids (2018-19; Fox)
- Miracle Workers (2019-present; TBS)
- One Mississippi (2015-17; Prime Video)
- Perpetual Grace LTD (2019; Epix)
- Wayward Pines (2015-16; Fox)
Tropes associated with this network:
- Artifact Title: The channel's initials are derived from the Fox network, which it split from after Disney took over. Even as Disney stripped the "Fox" branding from its other newly acquired properties in 2020 (namely 20th Century Fox), it doubled down on the FX name with the "FX on Hulu" crossover initiative. Justified, since FX has successfully developed its own identity separate from the broader Fox name.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: The channel now is unrecognizable from the "interactive" and "Fox Gone Cable" eras; no more live shows (minus the occasional sports telecast), old Fox-sourced reruns (from both the TCF library and non-TCF programs aired on Fox), etc. Even as the network evolved, there were still odd things here and there- like sharing baseball coverage that had moved from Fox Sports with what was then Fox Family (after they were bought by Disney, that coverage moved to ESPN, with occasional ABC Family telecasts).
- Network to the Rescue: After the show disappeared from American television for nearly two years, due to Comedy Central pulling its reruns from their schedule in November 2019, FXX started airing King of the Hill on September 20, 2021. Even better, while Comedy Central tended to only air the series late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, FXX has been giving King of the Hill consistent timeslots in the afternoon.
- Production Posse: FX often collaborates with creators Shawn Ryan and Kurt Sutter, and has actually given notes in order to put Walton Goggins and Margo Martindale on new shows. Ryan Murphy made his name with shows on the channel, such as Nip/Tuck, American Horror Story, and Pose, and FX has continued on with his creations even after he was wooed away with a mega-deal from Netflix.
- The Rival: With AMC, ever since the latter shifted from offering classic films to original programming in the late 2000s. Both are basic cable networks whose products are considered to rival those of premium networks.
- Stillborn Franchise: Not even two years after launch, FXX would enter an Audience-Alienating Era in which they had only a smattering of original programming. Save for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Wilfred (which was already ending), and Archer, almost every other comedy that moved to the network from FX has since been cancelled. Its planned expansion into adult animation, outside of reruns of The Simpsons, never manifested as none of the shows from its Thursday night Animation Domination block were renewed and both Cassius and Clay and a planned Deadpool series were scrapped. FXX even briefly drifted into Network Decay when they aired a 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup game due to program conflicts with FS1 and the low distribution of FS2, (marking the first sports program to air on FXX since the network replaced Fox Soccer). At the very least, You're the Worst was a critical success and managed to complete its five-season run. Under Disney, the network has slowly been making a recovery with the introduction of new original shows Cake and Dave, as well as sharing reruns of Fox's animated comedies with Freeform.
- Typecasting: Rare channel example, but FX is well known for their dramas featuring complicated Anti-Heroes. They even turned down Breaking Bad in an attempt to avert this.