Fargo TV Adaptation Could Be Headed To FX

In some unexpected but interesting news, it's looking like Fargo could be adapted to a TV series. But before anyone asks "The heck do ya mean?" or panics over the thought of someone mangling the film that earned Joel and Ethan Coen an Oscar for Best Writing, word is, the Coen Brothers are involved. What's more, the deal being worked out for the small screen project is with FX, which just might be the best possible cable network for a potential show like this (aside from the premium channels).

The Coen Brothers' 1996 was a crime drama blended with some dark comedy and starred William H. Macy as a North Dakota car salesman who pays two guys to kidnap his wife in an effort to scam ransom money from her disapproving father. Frances McDormand earned herself a very deserved Oscar for playing pregnant police detective Marge Gunderson. I wouldn't exactly consider it ripe for a TV adaptation, but reading Deadline's report, which says that Joel and Ethan Coen are close to a deal to develop an hourlong drama "loosely based" on Fargo, I'll admit, I'm intrigued. The Unusuals' Noah Hawley would write and executive produce, with the Coen Brothers on board to executive produce.

Part of the focus of the film was split between Macy's Jerry Lundegaard and the two criminals he hired, the hot-tempered Carl (Steve Buscemi) and the scary but silent Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare). The rest of the movie follows McDormand's investigation. And it's the latter part that I would think would be adaptable for a TV drama. Should the intended series follow Margie's investigations and home life, would there be a mystery-of-the-week format? Or would the show focus on one larger murder mystery? Maybe both? Either way, there's certainly potential there, especially if Marge Gunderson is the lead character they have in mind. All we can do is speculate for now, but it'll be interesting to see what becomes of this project moving forward. And the Coen Brothers' involvement instills some confidence that the adaptation will be handled with care. And assuming the tone of humor and drama (and wood-chipper gore) is carried over from the film, FX seems like it would be just the right network for a project like this.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.