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.