FX is creating a power block of shows featuring standup comedians, pairing the new Billy Crystal series The Comedians with Louis CK’s Louie. The Comedians, which co-stars Josh Gad, will debut April 9 at 10 PM, leading into the eight-episode fifth season of Louie.

NBC's "66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards" - Press RoomThat is actually one episode more than the original seven announced at the time of Louie‘s Season 5 renewal in July. Still, why so few (Louie’s first four seasons consisted of 13 or 14 episodes each)?

“Louis CK’s got a very dynamic professional life now, successful comedy tour now, getting ready to start writing and directing movies, a career as producer,” FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said today. (As a producer, Louis CK just landed a second pilot order from FX for a comedy starring Louie’s Pamela Adlon). “He wants to keep making the show, which is an intense process, and we are trying to give him as much flexibility as we can. To be honest with you, I have to admit he was a little burned out… and needed time to recharge his batteries.”

In more standup-related news, FX will air Louis CK’s next comedy special in the spring.

Titled Louis C.K. Live From the Comedy Store, the special, produced by C.K.’s production company, Pig Newton, will first be made available on LouisCK.net. Louis CK’s current tour made history as he became the first comedian to sell out three shows for the same tour in Madison Square Garden history. A fourth date at the New York venue was added yesterday.

Louis C.K. Live at the Comedy Store is C.K.’s sixth hour-long standup comedy special and the second to air on FX following Louis C.K. Live At the Beacon Theater in May of 2012. Louis C.K. won an Emmy Award in 2013 for his special Louis C.K. Oh My God and an Emmy Award in 2012 for his special Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theater.

 

Diane Haithman contributed to this report.