CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you're looking for "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "The League" when they return for new seasons on Sept. 4, then you'll have to look a lot further up the dial than usual. That's because instead of returning to FX, they'll return to its new sister channel, FXX, which takes over what used to be the Fox Soccer Channel beginning at 7 a.m. Monday.
According to FX Networks, the parent company of the two channels, the spinoff is all about demographics, with FXX gearing towards a slightly younger one (ages 18-34 as opposed to 18-49). Programming-wise, the division is roughly comedies to FXX and dramas to FX, although some comedies --"Louie,""Archer,""Wilfred" and "Anger Management" -- will remain on FX (for now, anyway).
So what will be on FXX?
In terms of original programming, the starters are "It's Always Sunny" and "The League" at 10 and 10:30 p.m. Wednesdays and "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday (new episodes Monday through Thursday and a best of the week compilation on Sundays). All three premiere Wednesday.
Then, early next year, "Legit" will return there for season two, and the animated comedy "Chozen" will launch. From the producers of "Archer" and "Eastbound & Down," "Chozen" is about a gay, white rapper (voiced by Bobby Moynihan of "SNL") fresh out of prison. Nick Grad, FX Networks' president of original programming, said when the show's pick-up was announced, "'Chozen' is an outrageous comedy, but it's also a very smart examination of the rap culture."
There will also be some movies (comedies and a few action blockbusters judging from the schedule so far) as well as reruns of "How I Met Your Mother," "Freaks and Geeks," "Arrested Development," "Sports Night," "Mad About You," "Sin City" and "The Hughleys." The channel launches with a 17-hour marathon of "Parks and Recreation," aptly named the "Treat Yo' Self Marathon."
This change means you might need to shell out some extra dough if you really want to see those shows. For Suddenlink customers, it will be an extra $7 a month, according to the agent I spoke to. That's because, in its current incarnation as Fox Soccer, the channel (507) is situated in the Sports & Information Package. That tier of channels includes 15 sports networks (including some high-definition duplicates), Discovery Fit & Health and the TV Guide Network.
The agent said that by Jan. 1, Suddenlink plans to move it to the Family Package, which is the 300s channels (including OWN, BBC America, Soapnet, TeenNick and WE). If you don't already subscribe to that, it's also an additional $7 per month.
DISH and DirecTV subscribers will get FXX, as well. It's channel 390 on DISH and 619 on DirecTV, though I'm not sure what packages, if any, those belong to.
If you don't want to pay the extra money each month, you might be able to catch the FXX originals on Video On Demand. For instance, though I only have the SL200 (expanded basic) package through Suddenlink, I can still watch Discovery Fit & Health and several channels in the 300s on their VOD channels if I feel so inclined. Of course, those offer a much more limited selection than the actual channel, usually only including a few shows each.
FX is also working on its own VOD service, FXNOW, which it plans to roll out by the end of the year. According to Chuck Saftler, one of FX Networks' presidents, at a press event in June, it will be offered on a variety of platforms and include episodes from original series the day after they air, as well as a library of 40 to 60 movies. You'll most likely already have to be a subscriber to get it, though.