Fargo (TV series)

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Title card from "The Crocodile's Dilemma"
Genre Crime drama
Dark comedy
Created by Noah Hawley
Based on Fargo 
by Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
Composer(s) Jeff Russo
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 10 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Kim Todd
  • Chad Oakes
  • Michael Frislev
Location(s) Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Cinematography Matthew J. Lloyd
Running time 68 minutes (premiere)
48–53 minutes (regular)
63 minutes (finale)
Production company(s)
Original channel FX
Picture format 16:9 HDTV
Original run April 15, 2014 (2014-04-15) – present
External links

Fargo is an American dark comedy-crime drama television series created and written by Noah Hawley. The show is inspired by the 1996 film of the same name written and directed by the Coen brothers, who serve as executive producers on the series. It premiered on April 15, 2014, on FX.[1] Future seasons will follow an anthology format with each season being set in a different era along with a different story, cast and set of characters.

The first season, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, and Martin Freeman, was met with considerable acclaim.[2] It won the Emmy Awards for Outstanding Miniseries and Outstanding Directing, and received fifteen additional nominations including Outstanding Writing, another Outstanding Directing nomination, and acting nominations for Thornton, Tolman, Hanks, and Freeman.

On July 21, 2014, FX renewed Fargo for a ten-episode second season[3] to premiere in fall 2015.[4]


Season 1[edit]

In January 2006, Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) passes through Bemidji, Minnesota and influences put-upon insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) with his malice and violence. Meanwhile, Deputy Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) and Duluth police officer Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks) team up to solve a series of murders they believe may be linked to Malvo and Nygaard.

Season 2[edit]

According to series creator Noah Hawley, the second season's story will revolve around an incident that occurred in 1979 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which was often mentioned during the first season, and will feature a young Lou Solverson and Molly's mother.[5]


Season 1[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Season 2[edit]

In December 2014, it was reported that Jeffrey Donovan and Rachel Keller had been cast for the second season, while Nick Offerman was offered a role.[6] Later in December 2014, it was announced that Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons had been cast as series regulars.[4]


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 10 April 15, 2014 (2014-04-15) June 17, 2014 (2014-06-17)
2 10[3] Fall 2015[4] N/A


In 2012, it was announced that FX, with the Coen brothers as executive producers, was developing a new television series based on the 1996 Academy Award-winning film Fargo.[7] It was later announced that adaptation would be a 10-episode limited series.[8] On August 2, 2013, it was announced that Billy Bob Thornton had signed on to star in the series.[9] On September 27, 2013, Martin Freeman also signed on to star. On October 3, 2013, it was announced that Colin Hanks was cast in the role of Duluth police officer Gus Grimly.[10] Production began in fall 2013 with filming taking place in and around Calgary, Alberta.[11]

The series is set in the same fictional universe as the film, whose events took place between Minneapolis and Brainerd, Minnesota in 1987. The first season features the buried ransom money from the film in a minor subplot.[12][13] Additionally, a number of references are made connecting the series to the film.[14]

Following the renewal of the second season in July 2014, series creator Noah Hawley revealed some details about it. He stated it will focus on Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1979, as referenced by Lou Solverson in the first season. The ten episodes will be set in Luverne, Minnesota, Fargo and Sioux Falls. Hawley agreed that this takes place before the events of the film, but he believes all the stories connect: "I like the idea that somewhere out there is a big, leather-bound book that's the history of true crime in the Midwest, and the movie was Chapter 4, Season 1 was Chapter 9 and this is Chapter 2," he said. "You can turn the pages of this book, and you just find this collection of stories. ... But I like the idea that these things are connected somehow, whether it's linearly or literally or thematically. That's what we play around with."[5]

"This is a true story"[edit]

Similar to the original film, each episode begins with the superimposed text:

"This is a true story. The events depicted took place in Minnesota in 2006. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred."

However, like the film, this claim is completely fictional.[15] Showrunner Noah Hawley continued use of the Coens' device, saying it allowed him to tell “a story in a new way”.[16]


Critical response[edit]

Fargo has received broad acclaim from television critics, and the first season received a Metacritic score of 85 out of 100 based on 40 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim."[2] The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes currently reports a 98% "certified fresh" critics rating with an average rating of 8.3/10 based on 54 reviews. The website consensus reads: "Based on the film of the same name in atmosphere, style, and location only, Fargo presents more quirky characters and a new storyline that is expertly executed with dark humor and odd twists."[17] IGN reviewer Roth Cornet gave the first season a 9.7 out of 10 score, praising the casting, its thematic ties to the movie, and the writing.[18] The A.V. Club named it the sixth best TV series of 2014.[19]


Category Nominated artist/work Result
30th TCA Awards[20]
Outstanding New Program Fargo Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries, and Specials Nominated
4th Critics' Choice Television Awards[21]
Best Miniseries Fargo Won
Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries Martin Freeman Nominated
Billy Bob Thornton Won
Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries Colin Hanks Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries Allison Tolman Won
66th Primetime Emmy Awards[22]
Outstanding Miniseries Fargo Won
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Martin Freeman Nominated
Billy Bob Thornton Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Colin Hanks Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Allison Tolman Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special Adam Bernstein ("The Crocodile's Dilemma") Nominated
Colin Bucksey ("Buridan's Ass") Won
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special Noah Hawley ("The Crocodile's Dilemma") Nominated
66th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards[22]
Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Rachel Tenner and Jackie Lind, casting directors Won
Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie Dana Gonzales ("Buridan's Ass") Nominated
Matt Lloyd ("The Crocodile's Dilemma") Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or Movie Regis Kimble ("Buridan's Ass") Nominated
Skip MacDonald ("The Crocodile's Dilemma") Nominated
Bridget Durnford ("The Rooster Prince") Nominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries or Movie (Non-Prosthetic) Gail Kennedy, Joanne Preece, Gunther Schetterer, and Keith Sayer Nominated
Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Jeff Russo ("The Crocodile's Dilemma") Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or Special Frank Laratta, Kevin Buchholz, John Peccatiello, Skye Lewin, Jason Lawrence, Brent Planiden, Adam DeCoster, and Andrew Morgado ("The Crocodile's Dilemma") Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or Movie Mike Playfair, David Raines, Mark Server, and Chris Philp ("The Crocodile's Dilemma") Nominated
19th Satellite Awards[23]
Best Actor – Television Series Drama Martin Freeman Pending
Billy Bob Thornton Pending
Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Allison Tolman Pending
Best Television Series – Drama Fargo Pending
21st Screen Actors Guild Awards[24]
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Billy Bob Thornton Pending
72nd Golden Globe Awards[25]
Best Miniseries or Television Film Fargo Pending
Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Martin Freeman Pending
Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Billy Bob Thornton Pending
Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Allison Tolman Pending
Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Colin Hanks Pending
The Joey Awards[26]
Young Actor in a TV Series Drama Supporting/Recurring Spencer Drever Won

International broadcast[edit]

The series made its debut on FXX and FX Canada on April 15, 2014; the remaining episodes were shown on FXX.[27][28] On April 19, 2014, it premiered in Israel on Hot 3.[29] The next day, it premiered in the UK on Channel 4.[30] On May 1, 2014, it premiered on SBS One in Australia,[31] on M-Net in South Africa,[32] and on SoHo in New Zealand.[33]


  1. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (January 14, 2014). "FX's 'Fargo' Cast, EPs on Film Comparisons, Anthology Format, Courting Billy Bob Thornton". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Fargo : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved July 23, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Bibel, Sara (July 21, 2014). "'Fargo' Renewed for Season Two & 'Louie' Renewed for Season Five by FX; 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' to Premiere in January". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Hibberd, James (December 10, 2014). "'Fargo' season 2 to star Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Porter, Rick (July 21, 2014). "'Fargo' Season 2: EP Noah Hawley details where, when and how it's connected to Season 1". Zap2it. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  6. ^ Kenneally, Tim; Sneider, Jeff (December 3, 2014). "Jeffrey Donovan Joining ‘Fargo’ for Season 2; Nick Offerman Sought for Role (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 21, 2012). "FX Teams With Joel & Ethan Coen And Noah Hawley For Series Adaptation Of 'Fargo'". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  8. ^ Schwartz, Terri (March 28, 2013). "'Fargo' TV Series Gets 10 Episodes On FX". MTV. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Billy Bob Thornton to star in "Fargo" TV series". CBS News. August 2, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ Kenneally, Tim (October 2, 2013). "Colin Hanks Heading for FX's 'Fargo'". The Wrap. Retrieved October 14, 2013. 
  11. ^ Rackl, Lori (August 2, 2013). "Billy Bob Thornton to star in 'Fargo' series on FX". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ Ray, Amber (May 7, 2014). "'Fargo' episode 4: The Easter egg that connects the series to the film". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  13. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (May 6, 2014). "Fargo Boss Breaks Down That (Very Familiar) Money Shot". TV Guide. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  14. ^ Ray, Amber (June 17, 2014). "'Fargo': Rounding up every Coen Brothers Easter egg". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  15. ^ Vincent, Alice (April 28, 2014). "The truth behind Fargo's 'true story'". The Telegraph. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  16. ^ Gupta, Prachi (April 16, 2014). "“No Country for Old Fargo”: The story behind FX’s new adaptation of the classic movie". Salon. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Fargo: Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  18. ^ Cornet, Roth (June 25, 2014). "Fargo: Season 1 Review". IGN. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 
  19. ^ McNutt, Myles (December 11, 2014). "The best TV shows of 2014 (part 2)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  20. ^ Hibberd, James (May 27, 2014). "TCA nominations: 'True Detective' starts awards season fight". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  21. ^ Prudom, Laura (June 20, 2014). "Critics' Choice Awards: 'Breaking Bad,' 'OITNB,' 'Fargo,' 'Normal Heart' Among Top Winners". Variety. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  22. ^ a b Lowry, Brian (July 10, 2014). "2014 Emmy Awards: ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Fargo’ Lead Nominations". Variety. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Satellite Awards (2014)". International Press Academy. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  24. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 10, 2014). "SAG Awards: Modern Family, Thrones, Homeland, Boardwalk, Cards Lead Noms; Mad Men Shut Out; HTGAWM, Maslany and Aduba Get Nods". TVLine. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  25. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 11, 2014). "Golden Globes: Fargo, True Detective Lead Nominations; Jane the Virgin, Transparent Score Multiple Nods". TVLine. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  26. ^ "The Joey Awards (2014)". The Joey Awards. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  27. ^ Strachan, Alex (April 8, 2014). "New Fargo TV series is strange and remarkable". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  28. ^ Oswald, Brad (April 15, 2014). "Fargo an excellent series... that we can't watch". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  29. ^ Dekel, Ayelet (April 17, 2014). "Fargo – More Than a Remix". MidnightEast. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  30. ^ Arnold, Ben (April 12, 2014). "Fargo comes to Channel 4: 'This is not a TV series, it's a 10-hour movie'". The Guardian. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  31. ^ Knox, David (March 25, 2014). "Airdate: Fargo". TV Tonight. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  32. ^ Jinabhai, Dhirta (April 30, 2014). "Following Fargo". M-Net. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Small town. Small tale.". SkyTV. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 

External links[edit]