‘It’s Always Sunny’ At TCAs With Smart Vulgarity, Two More Seasons
About midway through FX’s TCA panel on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, cast member Danny DeVito fell off his chair. Was it humor, or a heart attack?
Luckily, DeVito hoisted himself up before anyone dialed 911, although fellow cast member Kaitlin Olson admitted: “You scared the s*** out of me.”
“Wasn’t that funny?” De Vito asked, somewhat apologetically.
DeVito was doing his best to prove the main point of today’s panel: When you’ve got what FX describes as the “longest-running live-action comedy series in cable history,” you’ve got to keep generating surprises. FX has ordered the series through Season 12.
The panel included creator/ executive producer/writer/cast member Rob McElhenney, EP/writer/cast members Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton and actors Olson and DeVito.
“It’s been fairly astonishing to us,” McElhenney said. When we got to the fifth and sixth season, we knew we had something going, but we certainly didn’t think we’d be here for 12 years…this was my dream.”
He said that with only 10 episodes per season, it has been easy to maintain the series’ integrity. Howerton said that the key to the often-bawdy show is heart, not vulgarity.
“It’s not about just making dick jokes,” he said. Olson said that it’s a challenge to take such a joke and make it not just gross, but intelligent.
The team was asked to comment on the recent brouhaha over the controversial comedy The Interview. Joked Day: “We were so depressed — we did a Korean episode in Season 3 and not even an angry phone call.”
But the producers said they don’t let recent controversies over freedom of expression, including the Charlie Hebdo massacre, affect them. If anything, they said such situations inspire them to write episodes about the situations though they typically don’t because by the time that episode would debut a year later, it would be old news.
Last April, McElhenney, Day and Howerton cemented a three-year deal at FX Prods for their RCG Prods. that was said to surpass the trio’s previous $50-million, three-year deal, signed in 2011.
The new agreement keeps the trio at FX until 2017, and included a two-year renewal of Sunny, which received 10-episode orders for Season 11 and 12. That solidifies its status the longest-running live-action comedy series in cable history, but also puts it in a tie with My Three Sons for the title of second-longest-running live-action comedy in TV history.
The show also migrated to FX sister network FXX, to launch the comedy-focused channel. The upcoming 10th season did not launch in the fall, as had previous seasons, instead unspooling this month.
The show will be paired with RCG’s newest series, a comedy created by McElhenney, Day, Howerton, and Sunny writer Rakhe and starring Tracy Morgan. The untitled project, which has received a 10-episode, straight-to-series order, is not related to Morgan’s FX pilot Do Or Die (aka Death Pact), which is not going forward. RCG will serve as executive producers and showrunners on the series along with with Rakhe. Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum and Nick Frenkel are executive producers.