It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia started as a pretty underground crude comedy for FX, followed only by a very devout, but a very niche group of fans. However, it’s ratings steadily climbed and saw an all-time high last season, culminating in original merchandising and a live tour. Series creator and star Glenn Howerton explains that their core audience has always been with college kids because that kind of free spirit / I-want-to-party-all-day attitude is exactly what the characters embody.
“Those kids that watched us in college in the beginning have graduated and gotten jobs. Those young assistants at the time have moved on and are now agents and junior executives,” Howerton said. But it’s the cycle of life, and new college kids are cropping up at every moment, hence they are finding new viewers all of the time. And as long as there are new viewers, there will be a successful show.
“We’ll take it year by year,” Howerton admitted at the FX TCA event in Beverly Hills today when a reporter asked how many seasons the gang have in them. “But we definitely have at least another year in us!”
And this coming season, which has been shot previewed for critics and fans alike not only at the TCAs but also at Comic Con, will feature some old favorites as well as some new and exciting events. Back is the Waitress (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) in “one or two episodes, as she usually is,” as well as the McPoyles (Jimmi Simpson included), and even soldier Ben (Travis Schuldt), who the guys shared they didn’t plan to keep a recurring character at first.
But as the story line will progress during the season, Sweet Dee turns up pregnant (Kaitlin Olson is pregnant in real life, and the show found in hard to continue to cover it once she hit her seventh month), and the gang decides to set out to find the father. Maybe they parade Ben, along with some others of her past “relationships,” into the bar, police line-up style to figure it out?
Howerton spoke out about being extremely excited to write for the McPoyles again. He said he would love to use them more but “they are so strange it’s hard to justify why they’d be around more.”
Also coming up in the season is a Halloween episode that will have the gang donning costumes once again, but at least for a real reason this time. Interest was expressed regarding another musical episode, and Howerton had mentioned a while back that he wanted to plan to release a soundtrack for the show once they got a few more original songs under their belt– but nothing has been written yet. After all, how would one top The Nightman Cometh?
The gang isn’t sure of the answer to that. They have done some pretty big and almost over-the-top stories as the years have gone on, including a period piece set in 1776, after all! Rob McElhenney said that he doesn’t actively set out to push the envelope with It’s Always Sunny… “We want to introduce into comedy parts of the national conversation,” he said. “I personally haven’t seen shows talking about things like gay marriage, so we will.”
The first episode back this season will tackle that somewhat controversial story line…and follow it up in the second with a gay divorce! Only on It’s Always Sunny…! The series returns to FX on September 16th.