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TV Column
Posted at 05:21 PM ET, 08/09/2012

FX orders Reagan-era Washington-set KGB drama

FX has greenlit a series about KGB agents posing as travel agents who live in Washington during the Reagan administration.

“The Americans” stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as the agents whose arranged marriage has produced two children who know nothing about the true identity of their parents, who they think run a travel agency in Falls Church, VA.
Actress Keri Russell (Stephen Lovekin - GETTY IMAGES)

Mom and Dad are known stateside as Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings.

Noah Emmerich plays their new neighbor, Stan, who, in one of those unfortunate coincidences, is an FBI agent.

When we last met on this subject, back in December, we reported that “The Americans” was created by Joe Weisberg; Weisberg worked at the CIA for about three and a half years, after which he wrote the novel “An Ordinary Spy.”

Weisberg’s TV credits include TNT’s “Falling Skies” – the DreamWorks sci-fi drama about the aftermath of a global invasion by a mess o’ aliens, including lizard-like beings known as Skitters, some grey-toned humanoid beings who seem to be running the show, and mechanical attack drones who are making life a perfect hell for hero cum Boston University history professor Noah Wyle.

Weisberg also worked on FX’s “Damages.”

Graham Yost is also an exec producer on the show; he exec produces FX’s “Justified.”

In making Thursday’s announcement, FX president John Landgraf claimed these character perspectives have “never [been] explored on a U.S. television series” before, adding, “We’re equally excited to welcome Graham Yost’s talented young Padawan Joe Weisberg as Creator/Showrunner.”

A Padawan is a Jedi apprentice, BTW.

Now that FX has greenlit “The Americans” to series, this Jedi apprentice will take the inevitable “notes” -- not just from the network and DreamWorks, Fox TV Studios – which is also getting in on the act – but also from the CIA, which had vetted the pilot script.

“Anything I write about intelligence has to be vetted,” Weisberg explained to the TV Column back in December, when FX ordered a pilot to be shot. The vetting is done, he said, by the agency’s Publications Review Board, which also vetted his novel – a thriller about two CIA Case Officers.

It’s the second CIA-esque FX pilot Weisberg has written. The first, about a CIA station in Bulgaria, did not move forward.

By  |  05:21 PM ET, 08/09/2012

Tags:  fx, kgb, reagan

 
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