It's official. US cable channel FX have ordered 13 episodes of Joe Weisberg's 1980s Cold War drama The Americans, starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as parents of an American family living in Washington D.C who are secretly KGB spies.
The official description of the show is as follows: "The arranged marriage of Phillip [Rhys] and Elizabeth Jennings [Russell], who have two children who know nothing about their parents true identity, grows more passionate and genuine by the day, but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control. Complicating their relationship further is Phillip's growing sense of affinity for America's values and way of life. Tensions also heighten upon the arrival of a new neighbor, Stan [Noah Emmerich], an FBI agent working in counter intelligence."
John Landgraf, President & General Manager of FX Networks commented that the channel is "... proud to welcome The Americans, a taught series that crackles with incredible performances rooted in character perspectives never explored on a U.S. television series, to FX's line up of quality dramas."
Showrunner Weisberg also stated that "... for the last two years, I've worked with the incredible people at FX, FTVS, DreamWorks, and my personal television guru Graham Yost on this project. More recently, Gavin O'Connor joined our team, and turned the script we'd been working on for so long into a beautiful pilot. Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, and Max Hernandez were sensational in it, and a joy to be around. To have all of this come to fruition has been indescribably exciting. Really, I'm a writer, and I can't describe it. It's a great privilege and opportunity to get to make this television show. I can't wait to get to work on it."
This show has been high on my radar since it was announced as going to pilot, purely because of the tantalising concept—which ticks many of the boxes I love in a good drama. There's an '80s period setting, the Cold War as a backdrop, a family of spies with secrets. I mean, what's not to like about a show that sounds like Homeland meets Arlington Road?
The Americans begins production this October, aiming for an early-2013 release.