April 04, 2014 10:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
FXX Renews 'It's Always Sunny' for Two Seasons, Adds New Tracy Morgan Series
FXX is investing in the future of Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton.
The younger-skewing FX offshoot has inked a new three-year overall production deal with the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia trio that includes a two-season renewal for the comedy as well as a straight-to-series pickup for a new comedy starring Tracy Morgan. Included in the deal is a yet-to-be announced comedy pilot order and three script pickups. (The new deal for their RCG Productions banner comes after FX first inked the trio to a three-year overall pact in 2011.)
"Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton are three of the most talented comedy writers and producers in our business, not to mention very gifted actors,” FX president of original programming Nick Grad said. "This deal is a testament to their skill, intelligence and work ethic, which combined to earn them one of the best overall deals in TV. Not bad for three guys who shot a pilot 10 years ago for $200 and a few pizzas."
The renewal for It's Always Sunny -- picked up for two seasons of 10 episodes each -- will take the series through its 12th season. The series will become the longest-running live-action comedy in cable history, and its 12 seasons will tie My Three Sons for the second-longest-running live action comedy in TV history.
The Morgan series, meanwhile, is for an entirely different project than Death Pact, the comedy pilot the 30 Rock alum was set to star in. That project, known internally as Do or Die, is now dead. The new untitled half-hour series was created by McElhenney, Day, Howerton and Luvh Rakhe. RCG will executive produce and serve as showrunners alongside Rakhe. Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum and Nick Frenkel will executive produce. The untitled project will be paired with the upcoming 10th season of It's Always Sunny and launch in January.
In addition to the series order and two-season renewal, FX and FX Productions have also put into development a comedy pilot yet to be announced as well as three scripts from RCG. They are:
• A comedy pilot order that will be revealed soon.
• A script for Harder, written by It's Always Sunny EP Scott Marder and Howerton.
• A script for We're Good, Thanks, written by It's Always Sunny actresses Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Artemis Pebdani and Day, with Ellis and Pebdani attached to star.
• A script for Blow Up Dolls, written by and starring Sarah Solemani (Bad Education).
"We’ve had a wonderful partnership with Rob, Charlie and Glenn and over the past 10 years. They are fantastic and prolific producers, writers and actors, and it’s great to continue to support their talents for many years to come," said FX Networks president of original programming Eric Schrier.
For its part, It's Always Sunny -- created by McElhenney and exec produced by McElhenney, Day, Howerton, Michael Rotenberg, Nick Frenkel and Tom Lofaro, is one of ad-supported cable's highest-rated comedy series among adults 18-49, 18-34 and men 18-34. It's the first basic cable comedy to air in syndication on another network (Comedy Central).
At FX Productions, RCG joins a roster of producers with overall deals including Adam Reed and Matt Thompson's Floyd County TV (Archer, Chozen); Louis C.K. and M. Blair Breard's Pig Newton (Louie, the untitled Zach Galifianakis project); Wilfred's Randall Einhorn; Paul Giamatti and Dan Carey's Touchy Feely Films; and Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson's Color Force.
It's unclear which network the pilot and the three script projects -- should either or any move forward -- will land on as FX typically completes development before determining which network projects are best suited for.
It's Always Sunny and the untitled Morgan comedy join an FXX roster that also includes animated entry Chozen -- which awaits word on a second season -- and The League. The Morgan comedy comes after flagship network FX recently picked up Billy Crystal's comedy The Comedians as well as You're the Worst and Married to series.
FX still has six comedy pilots in contention for both the flagship and FXX. They include Denis Leary's Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll; the Galifianakis entry; Charlie Kaufman's How and Why; Jay Baruchel starrer Man Seeking Woman and the animated effort Bigfoot, from Seth Rogen and produced by Rogen, Reed and Thompson.
RCG is repped by WME and 3 Arts.