TCA 2012: FX Renews 'Louie,' 'Brand X with Russell Brand,' Adds Martin Sheen to 'Anger Management'

47 REP Louie CK
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In mid-December, Louis C.K. surprised many in the comedy world by offering his latest stand-up album, "Louis CK Live at the Beacon Theater," exclusively on his website for just $5. He then chronicled the experiment's early success.

The cable net arrived at Saturday's Television Critics Association Press Tour Saturday with a slew of announcements, including the likelihood that "Wilfred" will return.

FX is staying in business with Louie and Russell Brand.

The cable network’s President John Landgraf made a series of announcements Saturday morning during his turn at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour, including the likelihood that both Wilfred and Anger Management will live on.

The Louie renewal comes just days after the Louis CK comedy nabbed another three Emmy nominations for the News Corp-owned cable network. The series has a particularly large –and vocal—fan-base among critics, who often praise its tone, style and originality. What is often bewildering to those seeing the series for their first time is that CK writes, produces, directs and stars in the half-hour series, which returned for its third season in late June. To date, Louie is averaging a 1.2 rating in the all-important 18 to 49 demo and lures 1.9 million total weekly viewers, according to Nielsen.

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FX will also move forward with seven more episodes of Brand X with Russell Brand, the net’s late night foray for which its execs remain excited. Helped by a strong lead-in block and guests including Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, the effort premiered to 1.1 million viewers, with 687,000 among them adults in 18-49 bracket.

Even better: The Hollywood Reporter’s chief TV critic Tim Goodman provided it a glowing review: “FX's foray into late night is a great idea, and Brand's lightning-quick take on issues of the day is both funny and, yes, insightful,” he wrote at the time, adding: "If only the show were an hour." The additional episodes will air in the fall with FX's Sons of Anarchy and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

A third season renewal for Wilfred is likely to come shortly, says Landgraf, once "deal issues" are sorted out. Thus far this season, the pot-smoking-dog comedy has garnered a 1.6 rating in the 18 to 49 demo, and just 2.7 million total weekly viewers. Particularly appealing: the half-hour series’ median viewer hovers around 36.

Also promising for a back-90 order is Charlie Sheen's Anger Management. The performance of cable's top-rated scripted comedy thus far -- a 3.1 demo rating-- has given Landgraf "every indication" that additional episodes will be ordered, with Martin Sheen joining the cast as a regular if that is the case.

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