We’re going to call it right now: FX will cease to exist in two years’ time or end up rebranded as the Hulu cable channel.
Our reasoning? FX, and FX Networks, are the last vestiges of the Fox brand at Disney after it bought most of the 21st Century Fox media assets last year. Projects produced by the 20th Century Fox studio intended for release this year have been quietly re-dubbed as “20th Century Studios” productions while the companies indie film distributor changed its name from “Fox Searchlight Pictures” to “Searchlight Pictures.” The Fox assets not owned by Disney — notably the Fox broadcast network and Fox News cable channel — continue to use the Fox branding.
Then there was the “FX on Hulu” campaign earlier this year.
But further cementing our supposition is news that the channel’s long-in-development adaptation of Y: The Last Man will be part of the FX on Hulu hub. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Disney-owned streaming service broke the news at its NewFronts presentation for ad buyers on Monday.
Based on the Vertigo comic book by Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra, Y tells the story of Yorick Brown (Ben Schnetzer) and his pet monkey Ampersand; the last two genetic males on the planet after all other mammals with the Y chromosome suddenly die. The pair travel with a former government agent and a geneticist across the partially collapsed United States — and then the world — to find out why they survived and if they can salvage the human race before almost certain extinction. Diane Lane plays Senator Brown, Yorick’s mother, in a cast which includes Imogen Poots, Lashana Lynch, Juliana Canfield, Marin Ireland, and Amber Tamblyn.
The series has experienced nearly as much drama as what may eventually appear on screen. First, showrunners Micheal Green and Aida Croal departed the program last year, citing creative difference with the network. At the time, FX said the series would not continue “in its current form,” but it hired a new showrunner, The Killing‘s Eliza Clark, by that June. The cast was always meant to remain the same, but then previous star Barry Keoghan departed the series in early February of this year, necessitating a search for a new Yorick. And though the previous version of the pilot featured a real monkey as Ampersand, previous reports suggest it may be replaced with a CGI character when it finally arrives on Hulu.
Besides Y, the American Horror Story spinoff, American Horror Stories, will also move to FX on Hulu. According to THR, all the series in the FX on Huly initiative are supervised by FX CEO John Landgraf and will be credited to FX for awards consideration. Nonetheless, we can’t help but think all of this moves FX in an incremental direction toward becoming Hulu, both as a cable channel and the primary production entity charged with making original content for the streaming service. Hulu has its own original productions pipeline, responsible for shows like The Handmaid’s Tale and Ramy, but it is also easy to see the efforts merged in two years time.
Meanwhile, it appears Y: The Last Man will finally make its way to screens — just in a slightly different way than we all thought it would a year go.