FX’s dark, new miniseries A Christmas Carol is based on the 1843 novella of the same name by Charles Dickens and premieres tonight, December 19 at 7:30 p.m. EST/PT. The premiere is expected to run for at least three hours, according to the FX schedule, and will air again for an encore over Christmas week.
UPDATE 12/23/2019: FX has A Christmas Carol scheduled to re-air on the following days and times during Christmas week – December 24 at 8/7c on FX, and again on Christmas Day, December 25 in the early afternoon at 3/2c. The miniseries runs for three hours.
The series description reads, “FX’s A Christmas Carol is an original take on Charles Dickens’ iconic ghost story by Steven Knight (Taboo, Peaky Blinders). The FX Original movie is a spine-tingling immersion into Ebenezer Scrooge’s dark night of the soul.”
The miniseries, which FX calls a “dark reimagining” of the classic holiday tale, features several notable actors, including Andy Serkis, Guy Pearce, Stephen Graham and more. You can read more about the cast and schedule of the 2019 remake here.
Showrunner Steven Knight Plans to Adapt Several Dickens Novels Into Miniseries Over the Next Few Years
Although he questioned whether or not the world needed yet another adaptation of A Christmas Carol, showrunner Steven Knight ultimately decided that he wanted to shine a unique light on the story, so he focused on creating a dark, adult-oriented version of Dickens’ novel, both visually and thematically. According to the Los Angeles Times, Knight wanted to “augment elements of the British novelist’s works in a way Dickens couldn’t at the time.”
“Every change is rooted in the book,” Knight told the Los Angeles Times in a December interview. “What I’ve done is a thorough examination of the text … there are paragraphs that don’t move the plot along and you sort of skip over them, and they often contain incredible amounts of material. I really approached this with reverence and tried to only use things that had sources within the text.”
Director Nick Murphy added, “One of the main attractions to me was that my first reaction when I got sent the script was, ‘Do we need another version of ‘A Christmas Carol?’ It was the very risk of it that I liked. The script, ultimately, was an entirely fresh take … I was really drawn to the fact that it wasn’t just about Scrooge as a baddie, but actually that you came to understand what made him a baddie.”
Knight told the Los Angeles Times that he plans on adapting several Dickens novels into miniseries over a long period of time, ideally using the “same repertoire of cast and crew.”
“I’m a big admirer of Dickens, of the way he works,” Knight told the outlet. “Many people say that if he was alive today he would be writing in miniseries, because he wrote in episodes and he created indelible characters. I was keen to take advantage of the fact that television is now what it is, that there are now huge amounts of screen time so you can do the library of classics justice. I felt a good way to begin would be a short novel, which is ‘A Christmas Carol.’”
Both Knight & FX Believe the Miniseries is a Unique Take on the Classic Christmas Tale
FX president of original programming Eric Schrier released a statement about the re-imagined miniseries, noting how proud the network was to present the remake.
“We are incredibly proud to join the BBC in this latest creative venture, which builds on our expansive programming partnership to bring the best in television to audiences in the U.S. and U.K.,” Schrier stated. “Charles Dickens’ classics, including A Christmas Carol, are timeless tales that have been re-imagined generation after generation. We couldn’t imagine a better team to undertake this enormous task than Steven Knight, Tom Hardy, Ridley Scott, and their formidable production companies.”
Knight also expressed in a statement that his production of A Christmas Carol will “respectfully present what we believe to be a timely interpretation of a timeless story.” The series is executive produced by Knight, Tom Hardy, Ridley Scott, Dean Baker, David W. Zucker and Kate Crowe.
Tune in tonight, December 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT to catch the premiere of A Christmas Carol on FX. There will also be encores of the miniseries during Christmas week, according to the network. In the meantime, check out this author’s profile for more entertainment news and TV coverage.