It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season Six Preview

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The gang from Paddy’s Pub is back for more demented shenanigans when “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” returns to FX tomorrow night. Of course, if you had told me back in 2005 that the comedy series would even make it to a sixth season, I probably wouldn’t have believed you, because while the show has always been funny to a certain degree, it wasn’t until around Season Three (a year after executive producer Danny DeVito joined the cast) that it really began to find its groove. I’ve also always been surprised to learn how many people watch the show considering its un-PC brand of humor, but the numbers don’t lie – “It’s Always Sunny” continues to grow in viewership every year, conceivably because fans are getting their friends hooked in the same way that many found out about the show themselves.

After what was arguably their most successful season to date (thanks to episodes like “The World Series Defense,” “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System” and “The Gang Reignites the Rivalry”), fans will be happy to learn that Season Six is just as perversely funny as before. Though they had to work actress Kaitlin Olson’s real-life pregnancy into the story this year, they’ve done so in a way that doesn’t feel cheap. In the aptly titled season premiere, “Who Got Dee Pregnant?,” we discover that the gang’s lone female member not only has a bun in the oven, but that one of the guys might be the father.

The rest of the episode revolves around Dennis, Mac, Charlie and Frank recalling the night of conception (a booze-filled Halloween party with plenty of twists and alternate versions of the story) in order to figure out which one of them is the father. I won’t ruin it for you here, but I will say that they definitely throw you for a loop after messing with your mind in true “It’s Always Sunny” fashion. Check out the video below for more about the season premiere, and then tune in tomorrow night for the answer.

  

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TCA Press Tour, Summer 2010: Day 8

Much as the CBS family of networks split their efforts into two days worth of panels – one for CBS, the other for Showtime and The CW – so did Fox give us some breathing room by placing their presentations for FX’s slate of new programming on a separate day. (I wish to God NBC / Universal would take a cue from their peers. I’m so sick of being rushed through a mishmosh of NBC, USA, Bravo, and SyFy series in one long can’t-stop-won’t-stop day.)

Executive Session

Your personal mileage may vary, but for my money, John Landgraf is one of the nicest network heads currently in the game. He’s very low-key, but he’s always ready to give you a quote when you’re looking for one. Today, he offered up the following bits and pieces about the future of FX.

* “Louie” has been renewed for a second season of 13 episodes.

* Ben Garant and Tom Lennon, late of “Reno 911!,” are going to do a pilot for FX called “The USS Alabama.” It’s another partially-scripted, partially-improvised series, and, according to Landgraf, “It takes place in space on the USS Alabama with a crew of spacefarers who might not be too much brighter than the cops in ‘Reno 911!’”

* There are two other pilots in the works as well, the first being “Outlaw Country,” which will star Mary Steenburgen. “Some really talented young actors have joined that cast,” said Landgraf. “That goes into production in, I think, six weeks. It’s a fantastic script. Something we’re really, really excited about.” The other is “Wilfred,” a comedy pilot based on an Australian comedy series, which completed principal photography last week.

* The “Damages” deal done with DirecTV is different from the one that was done with “Friday Night Lights” in that FX will not be offering up the episodes after they’ve run on DirecTV. “The season that has aired, which was the third season of ‘Damages,’ is the last season it will air on FX,” said Landgraf. “For us, we’re also producers on ‘Damages.’ We’ve been co-owners and co-producers through FX Productions, and DirectTV felt very strongly. They were willing to underwrite it, and to a very substantial amount financially, they enabled it to move forward. That was the deal that Sony worked on very aggressively, but they wanted it exclusively, so this was really the best and only way for ‘Damages’ to move forward. So we stepped aside as a network entity, and we’re still involved as a production entity.”

Sons of Anarchy

I don’t know that there’s any series currently on the air that I feel worse about not watching than “Sons of Anarchy.” Everyone tells me it’s fantastic, I have every reason to believe that those people are right, and yet I just haven’t had the time to go back and revisit the show’s first two seasons. But that won’t stop me from bringing you the info that creator Kurt Sutter and his cast provided to us during the show’s panel, of course.

As far as the “big bad” for Season 3, as it were, Sutter says, “We have a couple dual storylines going in Charming and as well as in Belfast, but I guess if you had to pin it down to one specific adversary, I would say that it’s probably the Titus Welliver character, Jimmy O.”

What of the theme of the new season? “I don’t know if there’s one specific overriding theme,” said Sutter. “I think the theme is always about family and Jax sort of defining his role as a father and as a partner and as a son and as a member of this club, and the Abel storyline drives us through pretty much the entire season, and…I don’t want to give anything away in terms of what that means and where that takes us, but, you know, the thing is our seasons, the actual span of time within our seasons is very short. It’s potentially a couple, two or three weeks. So there isn’t a lot of time that passes where you can have a lot of things unfold organically. So it is a very concentrated period of time which I think helps feed, I think, the sense of urgency for the tasks that they have at hand this season.”

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