Donald Glover‘s series Atlanta was an instant hit with fans, but it’s not too surprising that the network wasn’t always on the same page with the former Community star and 30 Rock writer. The reason the show caught the attention of so many was because it was unlike anything we’d ever seen, which is why it makes sense that FX–the network where the show airs–wasn’t always totally on board for what Glover was trying to push. The man also known as Childish Gambino recently revealed how he got the network to get with the program of what he was doing in order to make Atlanta the smash hit it is today.
Tad Friend of The New Yorker spoke extensively with Glover about his groundbreaking series, which is where he revealed that he initially had to Trojan Horse the real plot of Atlanta to get FX to make the show.
The show’s creator explains, “I knew what FX wanted from me. They were thinking it’d be me and Craig Robinson horse-tailing around, and it’ll be kind of like Community, and it’ll be on for a long time. I was Trojan-horsing FX. If I told them what I really wanted to do, it wouldn’t have gotten made.”
Donald’s brother and frequent creative partner, Stephen Glover, explained that initial discussions with the FX glossed over the show’s more esoteric elements and focused on the main plot: “Donald promised, ‘Earn and Al work together to make it in the rough music industry. Al got famous for shooting someone and now he’s trying to deal with fame, and I’ll have a new song for him every week. Darius will be the funny one, and the gang’s going to be all together…That was the Trojan horse.”
That’s how Atlanta came to be what it is today, and next month fans will get to see the first episode of the series since 2016. Though Donald and his crew claim that the network only liked the pilot after it performed well in testing, Glover explained that he knows FX is a business who have no loyalty to a kid from Georgia. And in the world of business moves, Gambino did what he had to do to get his show on screen.