Fargo is a black comedy–crime drama anthology TV series created and primarily written by Noah Hawley. The show is inspired by the eponymous 1996 film written and directed by the Coen Brothers, who serve as executive producers on the series alongside Hawley. The series follows an anthology format, with each season set in a different era, and with a different story and mostly new characters and cast, although there is some minor overlap. Each season has a common chronology with the original film.
Set in January 2006, Season 1 follows hitman Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) who stops at a hospital in Bemidji, Minnesota after a car accident and influences local mild-mannered insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) with his violent and deceptive ways. Their meeting touches off a series of murders throughout the city. Meanwhile, Deputy Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) and Officer Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks) of Duluth, Minnesota attempt to solve several crimes across the state that they believe may be linked to Malvo and Nygaard.
A prequel to the events in its first season, Season 2 of Fargo takes place in the Midwestern United States in March 1979. It follows the lives of a young couple—Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) and Ed Blumquist (Jesse Plemons) — as they attempt to cover up the hit and run and murder of Rye Gerhardt (Kieran Culkin), the son of Floyd Gerhardt (Jean Smart), matriarch of the Gerhardt crime family. During this time, Minnesota state trooper Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson), and Rock County sheriff Hank Larsson (Ted Danson), investigate three murders linked to Rye.
The third season is set primarily between December 2010 and March 2011, in three Minnesota towns: St. Cloud, Eden Valley, and Eden Prairie, and is the only season to not actually feature Fargo, North Dakota. It follows the lives of a couple, Ray Stussy (Ewan McGregor) and Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who, after unsuccessfully trying to rob Ray's brother Emmit (also played by McGregor), become involved in a double murder case. One of the victims is an old man with a mysterious past whose stepdaughter, Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon), is a policewoman. Meanwhile, Emmit tries to cut his ties with a shady organization he borrowed money from two years before, but the company, whose employees include V.M. Varga (David Thewlis) and Yuri Gurka (Goran Bogdan), has other plans.
The series is on an extended hiatus as of this writing (April 2018). FX announced in January 2018 that a fourth season is in development and is planned for a 2019 release.