FX is the name of a number of related pay television channels owned by News Corporation's Fox Entertainment Group.
The channel's most popular original shows are The Shield, Nip/Tuck, Damages, Rescue Me, Sons of Anarchy and Justified, as well as the comedies It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Louie and Archer. Aside from new episodes of its ongoing series, the channel mainly airs re-runs originally broadcast on Fox in the 1990s and 2000s.
In 2010, Sons of Anarchy attracted an average of 4.9 million viewers per week, making it FX's highest rated series ever, surpassing other hits The Shield, Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me and Damages.
In 2008, the channel launched a new branding campaign built around the theme There Is No Box, which was influenced by the phrase "outside the box" and refers to how the channel's programming goes beyond the box concept, as well as a pun on the channel competing against premium channels such as HBO, with its original programming. The channel's logo changed on December 18, 2007 and uses only the FX letters for branding by removing the klieg light logo box to the left. The new branding included an advertising campaign, featuring a post-game ad for the channel during Fox's coverage of Super Bowl XLII. The song that is used in the promo commercial is "You Give Me Something" by James Morrison.
Over 2008, competition with other cable channels increased, evident in the second season ratings for less successful series, Dirt and The Riches, which had ratings decrease significantly since their first seasons. Some weeks viewers were barely over 1 million. Both shows were cancelled by FX in 2008, and Dharma and Greg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Married... with Children and Fear Factor were also removed from the schedule.
In 2008, the channel picked up Sons of Anarchy, about a notorious outlaw motorcycle club bent on protecting their sheltered California town from corporate developers and drug dealers. It was created by The Shield executive producer, Kurt Sutter, and premiered in September, coinciding with The Shield's final season. The show was critically and commercially successful, and was renewed for a second season. Other new shows included the Kenny Hotz comedy Testees, which ran from October to December 2008, but was not renewed. Nip/Tuck and Damages began new seasons on the channel.
In August 2008, FX launched a new website, making full shows available to view online. As of January 2010, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 30 Days, Sons of Anarchy, and The League are available for viewing through the official FX site.
In 2009, Spin City was removed from the schedule (though it would be restored early the following year), while a sixth season order of 18 episodes was placed for Rescue Me, even though the fifth season had not premiered at the time.
Also in 2009, the channel placed a 13-show order for a new show created by Graham Yost. The Yost project is based on Elmore Leonard's short story "Fire in the Hole." Set in Harlan County, Kentucky, it stars Timothy Olyphant as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens—a tough, soft-spoken lawman with a rough side—and chronicles his cases and personal life, including unfinished business with an ex-wife and his aging father. Initially titled Fire in the Hole, the show was later announced to be titled Lawman before being renamed Justified. It started airing in March 2010. FX also picked up Terriers for its fall 2010 lineup and will begin airing Lights Out, based on another Elmore Leonard story, in 2011.
In July 2009, FX ordered three new comedy pilots. Archer is an animated series centering around a spy agency and comes from the co-creator of Frisky Dingo on Adult Swim. It was picked up for 10 episodes, premiering January 14, 2010. The League centers around a fantasy football league and comes from a Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm veteran. Louie stars popular stand-up comedian and writer Louis C.K. and "blend stand-up material with what Landgraf described as 'extended vignettes' depicting moments from offstage experiences." All three shows have been renewed for a second season. FX also purchased a pilot staring Elijah Wood based on the Australian comedy series Wilfred.
On October 1, 2010, FX pulled their channels from the Dish Network line-up due to a carriage dispute. FX was returned to Dish Network's channel line up on October 29, 2010 after Dish Network and FOX, FX's parent company, signed a long term contract. As of November 1, 2010, Fox programming had resumed on New York based cable provider, cablevision.
On April 27, 2011, FX started showing UEFA Champions League games as part of a deal with Fox Sports. Starting in fall 2011, FX will broadcast college football games on Saturdays. FX will broadcast 13 games in 2011 as parts of Fox Sports contracts with the Big 12, Pac-12, and Conference USA conferences.