Will The Americans TV series be one of the lucky few, cancelled by its creative team, meaning fans will get closure? At the TCA winter press tour, EP Joel Fields said he and creator Joe Weisberg think the story could wrap in another season or two.
Season four of The Americans debuts on FX, March 16, and stars Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Holly Taylor, Keidrich Sellati, and Noah Emmerich. Per TVLine Russell’s pregnancy will not be written into the the fourth season.
Executive producer Joel Fields, on hand at the Television Critics Association winter press tour to promote the series, suggested that he and creator Joe Weisberg are about two-thirds of the way through the story they want to tell.
Fields acknowledged on stage that he isn’t sure how long the series will run. “What we do know is that if you were to think of it as a three act story structure, it feels like we’re coming toward the end of the second act. Whether it takes a fifth season or a sixth or fifth season to tell the rest of that story, we’ll discover as we start to dig into next season’s work,” he said, adding later in the panel: “I really don’t have an answer about how many seasons except that we’ll do what’s right for the storytelling and we always seem to surprise ourselves.”
FX, of course, also has a say in how long The Americans will run. Ratings always play a part in a network’s decision to cancel or renew a show.
The Americans season three ratings averaged 0.31 in the 18-49 demographic, a drop of 30.26%. An average total audience of 1.08 million viewers watched the third season, a decrease of 19.59%.
We are currently monitoring FX ratings for thirteen scripted TV shows. Based on season three ratings, The Americans is positioned seventh — squarely in the middle of the FX pack, when sorted by average total audience.
When sorted by the 18-49 demo though, The Americans ranks ninth of 13 FX shows. Those positions can change once the fourth season debuts.
FX cancelled its fourth-ranked show, The Bastard Executioner, after its first season. The Bastard Executioner‘s ratings averaged a 0.44 in the demo, with an average total audience of 1.22 million viewers — higher than season three of The Americans.
The Bastard Executioner was shot on location in Wales, making it an expensive show to produce. It is natural for the ratings to drop over the life of a show. With the pricey show starting so low, renewing it was not in FX’s best interest.
The Wrap reports Fields discussed whether or not The Americans has grown more violent with each season.
“We’re certainly not looking to top ourselves in any overt way,” he said. “But we are very aware…this is a show about soldiers. They may be behind enemy lines, they may be undercover, but they see themselves as soldiers. Forcing them to face the consequences of their actions…it’s provocative for the character and something we can’t run away from.”
Here is the description of The Americans‘ season four premiere episode, “Glanders,” from an FX press release:
The premiere episode, “Glanders,” picks up on the heels of last season’s finale. Philip and Elizabeth are dealing with the fallout of all they’ve wrought. What will happen when the FBI finds out about Gene’s suicide? How will Pastor Tim deal with the revelation that they are Russian spies? And will they be able to handle a dangerous new bioweapons assignment? The episode was written by Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg, and directed by Thomas Schlamme.
Are you a fan of The Americans TV show on FX? Do you agree that the story could end well, after the fifth or sixth season? How long do you think it should run? Tell us.