It can seem baffling when one network passes on a show that ends up being a massive success at another network. For instance, FX had a chance to grab the hugely popular Breaking Bad before it landed at AMC, but passed on it. Of course, now that the show bolsters AMC’s increasingly great lineup, this might seem like an obvious mistake, but FX president John Landgraf’s logic for why the network let Breaking Bad slip is pretty reasonable:
We had three dramas with male antiheroes and we looked at that script and said, ‘Okay, so here’s a fourth male antihero.’ The question was: ‘Are we defining FX as the male antihero network and is that a big enough tent?’…Look, it was a wonderful script. If I had known Vince Gilligan was going to be one of the best showrunners in television, and Breaking Bad was going to be literally one of the very best shows in television, I would have picked it up despite the concept. But the truth of the matter is anybody who does what I do for a living, who’s honest, will tell you that you’re making decisions based on too little information all the time, and you make good ones and you make bad ones.
So basically, Rescue Me is to blame for why FX didn’t pick up what’s probably one of the best television shows of all time? That had to have the suits at FX shooting Denis Leary all kinds of stink eye. Don’t feel too sorry for them though, they have Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management, a show that isn’t about a male antihero at all.