9 hot new shows: 'The Americans'
FX's newest show follows in the footsteps of recent hits and has all the makings of a fan favorite
Debuts: Jan 30, 10 PM, FX
You can’t make a spy show these days without drawing comparisons to the big one. ”I love Homeland,” says The Americans creator Joe Weisberg, a former CIA agent himself. ”But we really want this show to be about marriage.” And true, when the drama doesn’t revolve around car chases, secret kidnappings, and flashbacks to brutal training missions, it is a show about marriage — albeit an arranged one between two undercover KGB spies (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) living as a suburban American couple. One wrinkle: Their neighbor (Noah Emmerich) is a nosy FBI agent. Weisberg immersed himself in memoirs written by former KGB agents, but nothing prepared him for shooting a series that takes place at the start of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. ”Doing a show set in the ’80s goes back and forth between pure joy and total nightmare,” Weisberg says. ”The wardrobe stuff is so fun to do. But the locations are really difficult unless you have a movie budget. I remember at one point saying, ‘It wasn’t that long ago. Things pretty much look the same.’ Turns out that’s not true.”