Critically-Acclaimed Drama Starring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich
Earns 13-Episode Order for Season Two
Nine All-New Episodes Remain This Season, Airing Wednesdays at 10:00 PM ET/PT
With the Season One Finale Scheduled for May 1
FX Schedules The Americans Marathon Featuring the First Five Episodes
Friday, March 1 at 10:00 PM ET/PT
LOS ANGELES, FEBRUARY 21, 2013 – FX has picked up its critically-acclaimed drama The Americans for a 13-episode second season, it was announced today by John Landgraf, President and General Manager, FX Networks. The most recent drama to join the network’s coveted roster of hit original series, the renewal comes just four episodes into The Americans’ freshman season. There are nine all-new episodes remaining in the current season airing Wednesdays at 10:00 PM E/P with the season finale schedule to air on May 1.
Created by Joe Weisberg and starring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich, the series premiere episode of The Americans was the most-watched debut of any FX series ever with 5.11 million Total Viewers (Live+7, 1/30/13). Through three weeks, time-shifted viewing of The Americans is the highest of any first-year series on FX with weekly gains of +44%, +58% and +63% respectively. On Live +3 basis through three weeks, the series is averaging 3.63 million Total Viewers and 1.87 million Adults 18-49. After declines in each of the previous two weeks, last night’s fourth episode of The Americans rebounded to week two levels posting gains of +46% in Adults 18-34, +22% in Adults 18-49, +64% in Women 18-34, +30% in Women 18-49, and +33% in Men 18-34.
“The Americans has quickly established itself as a key part FX’s acclaimed drama line-up,” said Landgraf. “Executive Producers Joe Weisberg, Joel Fields and Graham Yost and their collaborators are telling riveting and deeply emotional stories and the performances of Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich and the entire cast are simply outstanding. The show is truly worthy of its widespread critical acclaim and we are confident that its quality will continue to yield a robust and passionate audience.”
“We’re very grateful to John Landgraf, Nick Grad, Eric Schrier and everyone at FX for their unwavering support of our show,” said Weisberg. “We’re thrilled to be able to continue writing stories for such an incredibly talented cast led by Keri, Matthew and Noah. This has been an amazing experience for me and it couldn’t have happened without the tireless efforts of our cast and crew. We appreciate the support of the audience and we believe they have a lot to look forward to the rest of this season.”
Fields added, “Working with Joe Weisberg, Graham Yost, Josh Brand, Adam Arkin, our writing staff, and the brilliant cast and crew has been a blast and I’m delighted we get to keep doing it. We couldn’t have made it happen without the constant support of Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank at Amblin TV, David Madden at Fox Television Studios and Eric Schrier at FX Productions and their wonderful teams as well.”
In next week’s fifth episode, “Comint” - (Airs February 27, 10:00 PM E/P), a crucial agent crumbles under emotional distress and threatens to topple a valuable network of KGB informants. Professionally, Philip and Elizabeth are tasked with infiltrating the FBI's new communications encryption system while personally they are forced to grapple with one of the darker aspects of life as a spy. (Written by Melissa James Gibson; Directed by Holly Dale)
Set in 1981 just after Ronald Reagan is elected president, The Americans, starring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich, is a drama series about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. Created and Executive Produced by Joe Weisberg (Falling Skies), a former CIA agent who went on to become an accomplished author, Joel Fields and Graham Yost are also executive producers, along with Amblin Television heads Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. The Americans is produced by Fox Television Studios and FX Productions.
In celebration of the series renewal, FX will air a marathon of The Americans, showing the first five episodes back-to-back on Friday, March 1 beginning at 10:00 PM E/P
Another very good episode in a very strong debut season. A nice look into Philips past, I suspect we'll see his lost love again. Elizabeth sorting things out at home. Least surprising sex ever for the FBI bloke.
Great episode this week with the advantage swinging back and forth between the US and Russians with bugs being planted and found, triple agent Nina and a possible new high level source for the Russians. Great scene at the wedding. No idea out who will be caught/killed next week. Finale next week for the strongest debut season since Homeland/Game of Thrones.
Season finale - Loved the Granny tazer scene, Liz listening to the tape and the car chase. But there wasn't much final about it but it set up Season 2 nicely with them getting back together, Nina sticking with the Russians, Granny maybe going back home (depending on whether Margo Martindale's pilot gets picked up) and the kid getting suspicious.
The Americans is a period drama about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. The arranged marriage of Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), who have two children – 13-year-old Paige (Holly Taylor) and 10-year-old Henry (Keidrich Sellati), 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 Philip’s growing sense of affinity for America’s values and way of life. Tensions also heighten upon the arrival of a new neighbor, Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), an FBI agent. Stan and his partner, Agent Chris Amador (Maximiliano Hernández), are members of a new division of Counterintelligence tasked with fighting against foreign agents on U.S. soil, including KGB Directorate S illegals, Russian spies posing as Americans.
After being arrested for not paying his child support, Sanford Prince (Tim Hopper) is in FBI custody. Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich) tells his boss, Agent Frank Gaad (Richard Thomas), that they should leave Sanford locked up until he wants to talk.
Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) meets Claudia (Margo Martindale) where she reaffirms her suspicions about the upcoming meeting with the Colonel, especially that Sanford has been moved to federal custody. She also tells Claudia about a meeting between Caspar Weinberger and James Baker — information she learned from the bug planted in Weinberger's office (which the FBI are now aware of). Claudia tells her she won't be their handler for very long after Elizabeth and Philip (Matthew Rhys) requested her to be transferred.
Elizabeth meets Philip at their office, where she continues to question the authenticity of the Colonel. She tells Philip that if the meeting is a set-up, he needs to leave with the kids, knowing that she'll be identified by Stan immediately. Philip volunteers to take the mission with the Colonel, but Elizabeth declines and tells him he needs to go and collect the tape that recorded Weinberger's meeting with Baker. Meanwhile, Arkady (Lev Gorn) tells Nina (Annet Mahendru) that Moscow has decided to let her live, despite reservations that she can betray the Americans. Gaad tells his men that they will arrest the KGB agent that arrives to collect the Weinberger tape.
Philip and Elizabeth discuss their upcoming missions: Philip must be ready with the kids to leave at a moment's notice — if Elizabeth's meeting with the Colonel isn't a set-up, she'll meet them, and if it is a set-up, Philip should take the kids to Canada. Philip once again tries to convince Elizabeth to switch missions, but she declines. Stan tries to reconcile with his wife Sandra (Susan Misner) by offering a vacation to Jamaica, but she hasn't forgiven him for having an affair. Elizabeth, down in the basement, listens to an old tape of her mother speaking fondly about pictures she's seen of Paige (Holly Taylor) and Henry (Keidrich Sellati).
Claudia, posing as a friend of a tenant, knocks on Richard Patterson's (Paul Fitzgerald) door and convinces him to allow her to use his phone. She uses a stun gun to disarm him and injects him with something that paralyzes his entire body and slowly cuts his jugular vein and holds up a picture of General Zhukov, telling him how they were friends as Patterson dies. Paige, awake from a nightmare, catches Elizabeth coming out of their laundry room. Elizabeth tells her she was folding clothes, but Paige is suspicious.
Claudia tries to convince Arkady to call off the meeting with the Colonel, telling him that she's responsible for the Jennings' safety, but he declines, stating that it's a risk worth taking. Stan tells Nina that at the end of the day, her exfiltration will be approved. Elizabeth received a note from Philip, telling her that he's taking the meeting with the Colonel. Nina tells Arkady that the FBI are planning something and he assumes the meeting with the Colonel is a trap. To alert the agents, Arkady dispatches several cars with an "abort" signal (an oblong lambda) spray-painted on the side.
Philip meets the Colonel, with Claudia watching. The Colonel tells him that the schematics are 50 years away from being possible. Claudia spots a car with the abort signal and interrupts Philip's meeting with the Colonel. When no FBI agents intervene, they realize it's Elizabeth's mission that's compromised. Elizabeth makes her way towards the bugged car to collect the tape, but before she can, Philip arrives and collects her. Stan realizes that it's the couple that kidnapped Patterson and agents intervene, shooting at Philip and Elizabeth. Philip reverses the car and loses the FBI in their pursuit, stealing another car. However, Elizabeth has been shot by Stan. Stan returns to Nina, where he tells her that his mission failed and she won't be exfiltrated yet. Later, while Elizabeth is getting surgery for her wound, Philip asks Stan to take care of the kids.
In a montage played to Peter Gabriel's "Games Without Frontiers", Martha (Alison Wright) happily puts her wedding ring on after coming home from work; Sanford is still in FBI custody, now talking to Gaad about the Colonel; Nina hands Arkady a file on Stan; Paige and Henry are at the Beeman's while their parents are gone.
Elizabeth wakes up, where she tells Philip to "Come home" in Russian. Paige, now curious about her mother's behavior, is seen looking around the laundry room as the episode ends.
It's taken a major creative leap — the kind that can elevate a show from a strong example of its era to one that transcends eras — and as I barreled through the five episodes FX sent out to critics, I felt my pulse quickening in that way I want to feel so often in my job but so rarely do: when something good becomes something great.
Really liked “The Americans” in S1, but starting to feel evangelical based on early S2 episode. SO good.
Season 2 is just as brainy and twisty and kinky [as season 1], and it ratchets up the suspense by making the threats to our "heroes" even more personal.
The new season—suspenseful as ever, more brutal in its violence, perhaps, and more expansive in its reach into history—easily upholds the standard of the first. As before, its echoes of a past era sidle in eloquently, none more effectively than in the look and manner of the Jennings's children. As before, the uniformly distinguished cast performs its wonders, and it is, as before, impossible not to feel dread at the approach of an episode's ending.
It's not just the writing or Rhys' stronger work. The direction is more confident, the tone is darker, the show feels more tactile. There are fight scenes, especially a great one in episode 2.4, that feel dirty, gritty, and almost unrehearsed. The program is physical, visceral, and consistently intense. Even the dialogue sounds smarter.
It's an incredibly deft balancing act that's accomplished through strong character development all around.
Five episodes into the second season of "The Americans" on FX suggest this is one great series that isn't in immediate danger of that second-season slump. All of the elements that made it must-see last year are working at full throttle in season two, which kicks off Wednesday night: intrigue, deception, sex, duplicity, spy vs. spy stuff and, most of all, irony.
The first five episodes of Season 2 press point toward this season being a particularly strong one, with some electrifying narrative arcs jumpstarted within the first episode. It took the first season a few episodes to find itself, but Season 2 of The Americans quickly coalesces into a taut and unpredictable sequence of episodes. There’s a sense of danger and intrigue embedded within these upcoming installments that remind the viewer that, while these events may be rooted in the semi-distant past, the show’s nuanced explorations of the concerns of the family and of the self remain provocatively contemporary.