FX president John Landgraf made multiple programming and casting announcements about some of the network’s critically acclaimed series at the Tuesday’s Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, including some news about the dark medical drama Nip/Tuck.
The network announced that the series that follows the lives of two plastic surgeons, Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Christian Troy (Julian McMahon), will bow out after 100 episodes. On the other hand, fans will have enough time to come to terms with that since the final episode isn’t slated to air until early 2011.
“It’s really hard to be [commercially] successful and creatively excellent, especially when you have serialized shows. I believe they have a diminishing return. If you had 150 episodes of The Sopranos or The Shield, you diminish the caliber of those shows,” explained Landgraf, who felt it that Nip/Tuck would lose a lot of its creative steam if it continues past the 100-episode mark. “We have unique challenges as an ad-supported network. Our creative competitors are Showtime, HBO and now AMC. Commercially, it’s networks like USA and TNT. The bar is high.”
Nip/Tuck, which won a Golden Globe for best drama series in 2005 and earned show creator Ryan Murphy an Emmy nomination for directing the pilot episode in 2004, has been a controversy magnet and has consistently drawn strong ratings for FX, ranking among the top series on ad-supported cable among adults 18-49 throughout its run.
According to Landgraf, Nip/Tuck recently finished production on the final eight episodes of its fifth season, which were originally schedule for air this spring. But because of the writers’ strike, the new episodes have been pushed back and are now slated to debut in January 2009.
Additionally, the network has also ordered 19 more episodes of Nip/Tuck, besides the 22 in production, which will bring the show’s total to an even 100 episodes. The final season is expected to be divided into two batches, which will air in 2010 and 2011.
Meanwhile, creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy, who had been previously attached to the FX pilot Pretty Handsome, will remain with Nip/Tuck until the run ends.
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of FX)