FX Orders 13 Episodes of Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Strain’ Series

By November 19, 2013
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The Strain - John Hurt

After commissioning a pilot to adapt the vampire novel The Strain from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the FX network has made a 13-episode order for the vampire drama series from “Lost” writer and producer Carlton Cuse.

FX made the announcement today revealing that production on the full-fledged series will begin later this month in Toronto with an eye towards premiering in July of 2014. It might seem like overkill to have yet another vampire project hitting the screen, but coming from the minds of Guillermo del Toro, with a book trilogy serving as the source material, this is much more promising than any of the other supernatural shows about the bloodsuckers have been.

Hogan and del Toro co-wrote the pilot, and are also co-creators and executive producers of the series. And to sweeten the deal, del Toro directed the pilot himself. From here on out, Carlton Cuse (who also made waves in horror recently with “Bates Motel”) will executive produce, write, and act as showrunner. Here’s some publicity fluff from del Toro:

“‘The Strain’ books are near and dear to my heart and now, Chuck and I have the blessing of a partnership with Carlton and FX that holds great promise. Working with FX has yielded an amazing experience with total creative freedom and support.”

For those who aren’t familiar with the books, the story follows Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City as they are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain (just like the title!) spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers wage war for the fate of humanity itself.

There’s a hell of a cast here including Corey Stoll, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Natalie Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Robert Maillet, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland, and Miguel Gomez. However, the role of Professor Abraham Setrakian played by John Hurt (seen at the top), will be recast for some reason.

[UPDATE: David Bradley has been cast in the role of “Professor Abraham Setrakian.” You may recognize Bradley as Walder Frey in “Game of Thrones.”]

With the quality of “True Blood” waning, and broadcast networks unable to match the edginess that FX can offer, “The Strain” has the potential to become the best vampire-driven drama series on television, and it’s about time someone mixed up the saturated pool of fanged fodder out there.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.