It's rare for a show to sustain comedic quality the way It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia has since 2005. For twelve seasons, the FX-turned-FXX series has delivered solid laughs, with many stemming from Glenn Howerton's portrayal of Dennis Reynolds. However, Howerton is about to switch things up by jumping to NBC for the upcoming single-camera sitcom A.P. Bio, which is a notable career change for the Sunny star. During the show's TCA winter press tour panel, Howerton admitted the chance to work on a wholly new character with executive producers Lorne Michael, Mike O'Brien, and Seth Meyers was a huge draw.
Look, I think one of the tough things about doing a show for twelve years is people might have a hard time seeing you as anything else. I've realized that that can be a little bit of a struggle for me as an actor, but that's why it was important for me to get to do something with someone who has a distinctive voice like Mike. I wasn't even planning on jumping into anything else, but when I read the script and saw that it was Lorne Michaels and Seth Meyers, I couldn't pass it up. But mostly I just loved the script and the character.
It's not hard to understand why Glenn Howerton would be attracted to developing a new character within that type of collaboration. Lorne Michaels has long been regarded as a kingmaker in the television world (particularly on NBC), and Seth Meyers is currently at the top of his game in late night, and he's coming off his recent hosting stint at the Golden Globes. Howerton didn't want to just jump into any random project, because he understood the inherent difficulties of rising above and beyond his role as the monstrous Dennis, but Mike O'Brien's "distinctive voice" on A.P. Bio apparently offered him the perfect reason to step out of his Paddy's Pub comfort zone.
Of course, even with Glenn Howerton's desire to break out of his Dennis shell to try new things, it seems like A.P. Bio will play to the comedic strengths that he honed and developed on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. His character, a disgraced Harvard philosopher named Jack, is a selfish and self-centered jerk who echoes some of Dennis' worst traits. (Well, maybe not the worst of the worst traits.) That said, we will have to wait and see how the move to NBC will allow him to evolve as a performer.