FX's 'The League' Had Contingency Plan in the Event of a Football Lockout

The League Mark 2011

The creators of FX’s fantasy football comedy The League had a backup plan for the series in the event that the National Football League and its players could not come to a compromise during its lockout earlier this year.

“Plan B revolved around [the characters] losing their minds,” Jeff Schaffer joked Saturday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills. “The CFL would have been very happy.” 

“We knew, we prayed that there would be football,” he said. “We desperately wanted there to be football and waited until there was football. FX was cool with us pushing our shooting date and our air date to wait until there was football.”

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To that point, he noted that footage of Nick Kroll (who plays Rodney Ruxin) in a music video spoof of the Chicago Bears’ 1985 “Super Bowl Shuffle” video screened for critics was shot as late as last night.

While the duo noted that having a football season for the series revolving around a fantasy league is important to the show, the threat of a lockout was beneficial to the writers as they realized the series had plenty of material to work with were there not to be any games.

“As we started writing Season 3 we realized we could write the show without football,” Jackie Schaffer said, noting that writers could explore the characters’ lives, love interests and jobs. “We do love fantasy football and we want to keep it as part of the show but we want to continue exploring their lives.”

Added Jeff Schaffer: “When faced with the Armageddon of no football, we had to explore if these guys would still be friends if there wasn’t football.”

Also noteworthy from Saturday’s session: Seth Rogen will appear in the premiere as

Rafi’s (Jason Mantzoukas) infamous friend Dirty Randy.

Season 3 of The League premieres Thursday, Oct. 6 at 10:30 p.m. on FX.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit

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