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FX looks to follow Pixar model under Disney deal

Contributed by
Jan 5, 2018

What the Disney-Fox deal means to those creatives working under the 21st Century Fox banner will take some adjustment, but according to FX CEO John Landgraf, they already have a model for how they’d like to move forward: Pixar.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association’s biannual press event, Landgraf noted that “under [CEO Bob] Iger, Disney has been a good steward of properties they have bought.”

“Pixar and Marvel seem to have thrived,” Landgraf noted, before explaining that he and Iger shared a conversation about the future of FX, highlighting the channel’s “distinct and unique” vibe.

Disney’s goal in acquiring much of Fox’s back catalog is to better “compete against global streaming,” something that requires a huge library of content — and content that people watch. That’s where FX can come in, adding popular and critical legitimacy to the merger’s content haul.

“We are vastly more efficient with the percentage of shows that make best lists,” Landgraf said, following that up with the fact that Disney’s purchase would help FX continue to make prestige TV. “It’s a challenge to stay in upper echelon without resources and support. FX is losing money but gaining market share so it’s immense pressure.”

This pressure falls upon a “small organization with a distinctive culture” whose culture will have to be maintained in order to preserve the quality and tone of the shows it produces. It certainly sounds like a lot of compromise to tackle, but Landgraf remains “optimistic” after seeing Marvel and Star Wars continuing as they have after their purchase by Disney.