class of 09

FX has ordered a mysterious new limited sci-fi series that is set to star Brian Tyree Henry and Kate Mara and hails from writer Tom Rob Smith and the team behind the network’s ‘American Crime Story franchise. Titled Class of ’09, the FX limited series comes with very few details, apart from it being a legal thriller that features the use of artificial intelligence. But there’s still good reason to be excited about any high-concept sci-fi series given the green light by FX.

FX announced that it has given a series order to Class of ’09, an eight-episode limited series from executive producer and writer Tom Rob Smith (the writer of Assassination of Gianni Versace) and executive producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, the team behind the American Crime Story franchise.

Class of ’09 is set to star Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) and Kate Mara (A Teacher), and is described as a suspense thriller “following a class of FBI agents set in a near future where the U.S. criminal justice system has been transformed by artificial intelligence.”

The series, which is produced by FX Productions, will be available exclusively on FX on Hulu.

Now you might be thinking, “Brian Tyree Henry and Kate Mara as FBI agents in a thriller? Two actors who generally get overshadowed by their flashier colleagues despite delivering really solid and subtle performances every time? Sure! But why should I be anything more than vaguely interested?” Well, you just have to look at FX’s recent choices when it comes to high-concept sci-fi series.

devs review

Bold Strokes for Bold Folks

Yes, we’re using Devs as an example of when FX’s big sci-fi swings go right. Though the Alex Garland show went relatively under the radar, it was hailed as one of the best things that came out of FX (and FX on Hulu), and an example of why the network’s programming, when it comes to weird, high-concept sci-fi stories, has always been on point.

When Devs premiered in February 2020, /Film’s Chris Evangelista gave it a rave review, writing, “Devs‘ deliberate pacing, melancholy tone (I don’t think there’s a single moment of levity in any of the eight total episodes), and unapologetically cryptic storytelling is bound to throw casual viewers off, and heaven help anyone trying to live-tweet through this beast. You need to study Devs – every frame might be giving you an answer. Or it might not. Part of the fun of this show is getting wrapped-up in its mind-blowing originality.”

Admittedly, Devs had a great genre name behind it — Alex Garland, who had a very specific vision for what the show would be. Previous genre hits from the show also hailed from creators with a singular brand, like Noah Hawley and Legion or Fargo. Tom Rob Smith is relatively untested compared to a sci-fi visionary like Garland, but FX is pretty good at spotting a great sci-fi concept, and we can hope that Class of ’09 follows that route.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: