In a move that has TV execs circa ’97 trembling with envy, the cable channel FX has displayed interest in adapting the Coen Brothers‘ classic “Fargo” for the small screen.
While no deal has been set in stone yet for a series, Variety delivers the news that conversations over at MGM have indeed turned toward the 1996 film as source material. No names have been tossed about in terms of cast or writers, but it’s doubtful the Coens or Frances McDormand (in the performance that won her an Oscar) will be involved if the series goes to air. For the uninitiated or forgetful, the film “Fargo” follows McDormand as a pregnant homicide detective investigating criminal activity in her North Dakota hometown, supported by fantastic turns by William H. Macy as a shady car dealer, and Steve Buscemi as a slippery crook. Considered by many to be the Coens’ best work, the film also netted the brothers a Best Original Screenplay win as well.
For the bankruptcy-stricken MGM Studios, who seemingly are grasping for viable titles within their vast archive for name recognition and viewer appeal, this news comes as no surprise. The last TV project to undergo this treatment was “Teen Wolf,” MTV‘s attempt to turn Michael J. Fox‘s genre comedy vehicle into a “Twilight“-esque tornado of angst, and the less said about the show, the better.
Details remain scarce at this point, but the news begs the discussion of whether “Fargo” could work as a episodic narrative. Would the Coens’ trademark wit and style transfer intact, or would the series collapse under a reverential attempt at that singular quality? FX has a high reputation at this point, with “Archer,” “Terriers,” and “The Shield” under its belt among others, so it remains to be seen if they can have this match the high bar they’ve set forth.