EXCLUSIVE: ITV Drops FX’s Cold War Spy Drama ‘The Americans’

The Americans S3The Americans are getting deported.

ITV will not be acquiring any further seasons of the FX Cold War spy drama starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, TVWise has learned exclusively.

The commercial broadcaster originally acquired The Americans in a two-season firm deal with international distributor Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution in January 2013, making its the first US scripted drama they had acquired for the main ITV channel’s prime-time schedule since Pushing Daisies in 2008.

The decision not to acquire the third season from Fox comes after ITV sources told TVWise in July 2014 that there was “a difficult decision to be made” about the future of The Americans. Insiders admitted that, while the show was a favourite of acquisitions boss Angela Jain, the ratings performance was such that they couldn’t justify the cost of licensing any further seasons.

Despite high hopes for the critically acclaimed series, The Americans was not able to pull in a sizeable audience on ITV. The series launched in June 2013 in the Saturday night 10pm slot to an OK 2.1 million viewers, but by the time the first season had wrapped the ratings had sunk to around 1 million viewers, well below the slot-average.

The show’s second season, which was moved to a slightly earlier time-slot on Saturday nights in March 2014, was unable to recover from the lows of season one. After debuting to 1.3 million viewers, the ratings continued to slip until the overnight audience for the show was below one million.

  • Roy

    A pox on you, ITV. This is your best import

  • Popeye13

    I am truly amazed ITV have the gall to say it wasn’t doing so well in the viewing figures-department when you consider it was never shown at a consistent time and was shown on a Saturday night up against more popular & long-running shows!
    Week night at 9pm is where this show belonged and would have done brilliantly!
    Maybe Channel 5, UKTV, Channel 4, Sky or even the BBC could give this a home it deserves!
    Or why ITV didn’t move it to ITV2 where it would have been a better fit…… Madness!!!!

    • Philip

      I’ve started an ITV Bring Back The Americans page on Facebook. Lend your support?

  • Am Erican

    ITV completely screwed up any chance of this (brilliant) series finding an audience, thanks to utterly cack-handed scheduling decisions.

    • Philip

      I’ve started a page/petition on facebook. Lend your support?

  • Jason Shephard


  • The Kingslayer

    British people wouldn’t know a good tv show if it hit them in the face. Just look at the weekly ratings, they’ve got horrendous taste. No wonder Breaking Bad ended up on Netflix.

    • HipposRBest

      Prat. And that was a waste of 4 letters and punctuation. Most US TV is shit, luckily the UK can cherry pick though we still get some absolute dross.

      • The Kingslayer

        I love you too buddy.

    • Matthew Hewitt

      U.S television is no different; the vast majority watch utter dross like NCIS, not The Wire and Breaking Bad. Besides, Britain doesn’t have the population to support major production on subscription-only channels and imports are expensive. In the case of ‘The Americans’ it was the case of wrong channel, wrong timeslot.

  • bb

    Really disappointed to see one of my favourite shows getting dropped. I hope it gets picked by another channel.

    • Philip

      Hi, it probably won’t do much, but I’ve started a Bring Back The Americans page on facebook. Like it?

  • Owen Hamilton

    Looking at the US viewing figures, it’s not doing much better over there so I can’t understand why ITV dropped it, if they’d put it in a decent timeslot, more people would have watched it, it’s like Dallas on Channel 5, the viewing figures were low so what did they do, put it on even later and surprise surprise the viewing figures dropped even more, I really hope another channel (not Channel 5) picks it up.

  • Tracey

    hope a sky channel takes it love this

  • disqus_Gf76m0Cqd9

    Too bad, it is an excellent drama.

  • jbootinky

    I really enjoyed seasons 1 & 2, I suppose I’ll have to fork out to buy season 3 on DVD & I’m skint at the moment; somewhat galling considering the rubbish ITV bombard us with – John Logie Baird would be spinning in his grave!