The forecast for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia isn’t nearly as clear as fans of the show’s Dennis character might hope. “Dennis,” says portrayer Glenn Howerton, “could be gone forever.”
The arrival of that particular lightning strike follows recent news accounts that Howerton has confirmed that both he and his sociopath barkeep character would return to Sunny, despite the actor’s lead role in NBC’s new sitcom A.P. Bio.
“I don’t know why people are putting out articles saying that I confirmed that Dennis is coming back,” Howerton wrote in a series of five tweets this morning. “I never said that. What I said is that it is POSSIBLE that he’ll come back.”
See all of the tweets below.
Clouding the situation even further, Howerton writes that the question isn’t necessarily whether he is coming back – but whether “Dennis” is. “I’m here,” Howerton writes. “It’s whether or not ‘Dennis’ is coming back. Dennis could be gone forever.”
Howerton also dismisses suggestions that A.P. Bio is standing in the way of a fully cast Sunny. “Please don’t think that AP Bio is taking me away from Sunny. It isn’t. That’s like saying that Jumanji is taking The Rock away from Fast and Furious. They are different projects.”
Speculation about Howerton’s continued involvement in the long-running FXX show he co-created erupted last March when Sunny’s 12 season ended with Dennis leaving the Paddy’s Pub gang – played by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito – for his secret life (and baby) in North Dakota.
The possibility of a Dennis-free Sunny was bolstered by Howerton’s casting in A.P. Bio, the new comedy debuting on NBC February 1. It’s exec produced by Seth Meyers, Michael Patrick O’Brien, Lorne Michaels and Michael Shoemaker.
And Howerton isn’t the only original Sunny cast member with a full pitcher right now. Olson is starring in Fox’s The Mick, Day co-stars in Pacific Rim: Uprising and McElhenney is directing the upcoming Minecraft movie.
At TCA earlier this month, Howerton pointed to Olson as an example of how he could “absolutely” do two shows.
But even with hints like that, Howerton’s return – or Dennis’ – is anything but certain, contrary to recent articles.
In his tweets today, Howerton said that any specific plans will be a “creative decision that Rob, Charlie and I have to make once the writing process starts, which it hasn’t yet.”
In any case, fans won’t actually see a resolution to the cliffhanger for a while – though the show has been renewed for two more seasons, new episodes aren’t expected until 2019.
Here are Howerton’s tweets: