As he he did in 2012, Louie creator/executive producer Louis C.K. will take an “extended hiatus” from the show after Season 5. FX CEO John Landgraf made the announcement during the network’s executive session at the TCA Summer Press Tour. “He is anxious to take a break and wants to focus on other things,” Landgraf said. C.K. is prepping a movie, and his company has two upcoming series for FX, created/co-created by C.K., comedies Better Things starring Pamela Adlon and Baskets starring Zach Galifianakis.
There is no return date set for the comedian, Landgraf said, “it will be his choice.” It could be as little as six months, it could be much longer. “Curb Your Enthusiasm is the right analogy,” Landgraf said, referring to Larry David’s HBO series, for which he makes new seasons on his own timetable. C.K. previously took a hiatus after Season 3 of Louie, with almost a two-year break between the show’s third and fourth season.
“I hope Louie lasts 20 years,” Landgraf said, noting that there are no endgame plans for the Emmy-nominated comedy.
Later in the session, Landgraf shared a fun anecdote about the beginning of Louie. Louis C.K. would only do the show if he does it with with zero interference, no notes from the network. “You’ll have to do for less money,” was Landgraf’s response as he explained that when his company invests a capital in a show, it’s his duty to make sure that the money is spent wisely.
“We wired him $4 million dollars for the first season,” and left him alone, Landgraf said. There was no interaction with C.K. until he one day called Landgraf. “You f**ker, son of a b**ch,” C.K. said. “You gave me all that freedom, now it will be my fault if the show fails. I don’t want notes, I want input.”
Landgraf used the anecdote to illustrate a point that the best collaboration between a network and a creator “hovers in the middle” between “micromanagenting on one end of spectrum and paying zero attention on the other.”
“We do fulfill function as a partner,” Landgraf said.