Feud is an American drama anthology television series that explores the bouts and blows of epic conflicts throughout history. The series, developed by Ryan Murphy, was ordered by FX with a straight 8-episode-order on May 5, 2016. Murphy serves as executive producer alongside Alexis Martin Woodall and Plan B Entertainment's Dede Gardner. Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon are also credited as producers, and the show is co-run by American Horror Story executive producer, Tim Minear. It officially premiered on March 5, 2017 on FX.
The Ryan Murphy series was picked up by FX on May 5, 2016, announcing Lange and Sarandon to star as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in the first season, Bette and Joan. Murphy was inspired to create the series by looking at the lack of women in Hollywood, after several reports pointed to the startling few number of women and minorities positioned behind the camera, despite the proliferation of TV shows in the peak TV era. Since then, Murphy made a real commitment to diversity in his company, hiring 50 percent women and minorities, and from that, he saw an opportunity to do something meaningful.
"What came out of that for me was a lot of very moving sentiments from women, and from that I decided to jump off into Feud," Murphy told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on January 12, 2017. "I wasn't interested in doing anything that was quote unquote campy. I was interested in something deeper and more emotional. What happened to them was painful," he said, referring to the way women were often unwillingly pitted against one another by a male-run system that had no regard for women once they'd aged. "I think there's something much more delicate and moving, and for me, what I love about the show is the issues in the show are modern and women are still going through this sort of stuff today. Nothing has really changed. We really wanted to lean into that aspect of the show."
Executive producer Dede Gardner agreed with Murphy's sentiment about Feud's relevancy in 2017: "I think the show is deeply modern. I think it's delicious in its celebration of a town that was less crowded, but I don't think it romanticizes it. I think it's called it out for its truisms, but it was brutal. These women were treated brutally and made to treat one another brutally," she said. "I think we could stand to improve a great bit." Fittingly, Murphy told reporters after the panel that both Lange and Sarandon would remain producers on future installments of Feud, even if they do not return onscreen. When discussing potential future seasons of the drama, Murphy said that they would not be set in Hollywood and would not center on women. One possibility is a story set in the 16th century, but he is also reaching out to friends in the industry, like Mark Ruffalo, about what other famous feuds might be worth bringing to the small screen. Murphy also told The Hollywood Reporter, "I’m interested in this show being a two hander that’s really about the human dilemma of pain and misunderstanding. And I think you need a long period of time, maybe 20 to 40 years, to have a big back story."
1. Bette and Joan (2017)
Bette and Joan centers around the legendary rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis during their collaboration on the 1962 Oscar-nominated thriller What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, and well after the cameras stopped rolling. The season explores how the two women endured ageism, sexism, and misogyny while struggling to hang on to success and fame in the twilight of their careers, and how they must band together for a film, despite their personal differences, in hopes that it will change both of their career trajectories.
2. Charles and Diana (2018)
Charles and Diana revolves around two of Britain's most famous royal exes. The season will focus on the public divorce between Princess Diana and Prince Charles of Wales in 1996, just a year before Diana’s tragic death in a car crash in Paris, and the alleged affairs on both sides that caused the infamous split.
- The series was in development for seven years before finally being given the green light.
- The pilot for Feud was based in part on the script Best Actress by Jaffe Cohen and Michael Zam, which Ryan Murphy purchased.
- Murphy originally intended to make Feud a film about Bette and Joan, but later decided to turn it into a more detailed series.
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