February 21, 2013

THE SKED: “The Americans” Get New Visas


THE AMERICANS rebounded a bit in the ratings last night, rising to a 0.8 after 2 weeks of declines, but even if it had just held steady, FX would probably have awarded it a Season 2 renewal any time now.  As it is, the announcement was made today, since at 0.8 it was a no-brainer, tying Justified–also executive produced by Graham Yost–on the FX slate.  Americans is an unquestionably high-quality show–last night’s episode, revolving around the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley and the initial Cold War terrors it caused, was another knockout hour–and if it maintains its current quality, the series, its creator Joseph Weisberg, and the cast are all going to be a serious part of the Emmy conversation this summer.  That’s not just good for the FX brand, and for the level of talent that will continue to want their projects at the network, but it leaves Americans poised for the kind of Season 2 bump that has previously helped out acclaimed shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy.  (Americans is also another cable success that no broadcast network would have even dreamed of putting on its air.)

So prepare for more marital and espionage intrigue, more scary definiitely-not-Felicity-anymore Elizabeth, more ambivalence from poor Philip, and more mind games from FBI neighbor Stan Beeman.  Just one note to FX and all concerned:  while you’re taking care of things sooner rather than later, why not make Margo Martindale (the couple’s steely new KGB handler Claudia) a series regular right now?  Because she’s not going to get any less excellent or chilling as time goes by.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."