The MIPCOM 2012 World Premiere TV Screening is The Americans, a new 13-part drama series for FX from Fox Television Studios (FTVS). The star-studded event takes place on Monday October 8, at 18.30 — after which stars of the show will walk the red carpet to the MIPCOM Opening Party at the Martinez.

The Americans centres around arranged marriage between two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington DC shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. Phillip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Kerri Russell) have two children who know nothing about their parents’ true identity, and while the marriage is merely a cover, the relationship grows more real by the day.

“The pilot script was one of those scripts that everyone was talking about, because it has a lot of good elements in it, but it could go in many different ways,” Keri Russell (photo) told MIPCOM News editor Julian Newby. “The thing that interests me the most — other than of course the slick spy element, which is always enjoyable to watch — is the relationship between these two people who were pre-arranged to live with each other. Well that means, you know sometimes, you are having sex with other people, and generally living a lie. These two don’t even know who each other is, they’re not even allowed to speak Russian together. They’ve been living together all these years and having children together and, well in my character’s case, she’s starting to fall in love with her husband.”

“Everything falls apart when real feelings come into this false marriage,” Matthew Rhys said. “It becomes an incredibly complex thing, a multilayered relationship that makes for great drama.”

Rhys said that the period element to the drama — a period in recent memory for many but a time before the internet and mobile phones — adds another layer of intrigue. “Back then you relied more on human ingenuity, which is far more interesting than watching a computer or satellite that can do everything for you. If it’s all down to wits, then it makes it far more interesting to watch.”

Noah Emmerich and Max Hernandez star alongside the couple in the series created by executive producer and showrunner Joe Weisberg. “Keri, Matthew, Noah and Max were sensational in it, and a joy to be around,” Weisberg said of the “beautiful pilot”. He added: “To have all of this come to fruition has been indescribably exciting. Really, I’m a writer, and I can’t describe it. It’s a great privilege and opportunity to get to make this television show. I can’t wait to get to work on it.”

Production on the series starts straight after MIPCOM; delegates in Cannes will be treated to the first ever international screening of the pilot.


The full version of this interview will appear in the MIPCOM News, the show’s official daily magazine. They will be online here as of October 8: meanwhile be sure to check out the MIPCOM & MIPJunior Preview magazines (already online).


About Author

Julian Newby is editor in chief of MIP Publications, namely the MIPTV/MIPCOM Previews, daily News magazines and supplements. He is also co-founder of Boutique Editions, a UK-based publishing and design house providing products and services for the international film, TV and creative communities.

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