FX Renews 'Archer' for Third Season

"Archer"
"Archer"
 Courtesy of FX Network

FX has renewed Archer for a third season.

The News Corp.-owned network has ordered 16 episodes of the animated series, which is up more than 20% from last season. The renewal news, made official at FX's upfront presentation to advertisers in New York, comes hours after news surfaced about Justified's 13-episode pickup.

The first three Archer episodes will air following It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in September, with the season's remaining 13 set to begin in early 2012. At that time, the network will look to pair it with a sixth, not-yet-ordered comedy. Among the potentials is animated comedy Townies, from Sunny writers David Hornsby, Scott Marder and Rob Rosell. It centers on two earnest yet misguided 15-year-old best friends who are left to raise themselves.

FX, which rounded out the first quarter ranked No. 7 among basic cable networks in primetime total viewers, has been particularly high on comedies, given both their cost and repeatability. By comparison, FX president John Landgraf recently told The Hollywood Reporter that "you can't make a high-quality drama for less than $2 million an episode," and that doesn't include the hefty promotional costs needed to cut through the clutter. The network pulled the plug on critically acclaimed ratings dud Lights Out earlier this month.

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