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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's characters entered primetime by failing to prove their lack of prejudice, and 13 years later, its most recent finale saw Mac coming out to his father via a show-stopping dance sequence. FX Networks' wonderfully vocal president John Landgraf was a big fan of that episode. In fact, the magnificence of that and other Season 13 installments boosted his confidence that the show could continue beyond the already ordered Season 14. He's what he told the press at TCA.
To be sure, no deals have been made for Season 15, and no contracts have been signed. (Don't trust any contracts that have Frank's crabby handprints on them, either.) Still, if FX's big boss is keen on keeping It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia around on FXX for another two or three seasons, he's likely not going to find much aggressive opposition. Assuming the creators and writers willingly choose to return beyond Season 14, naturally.
It was all the way back in April of 2016 when FX gave It's Always Sunny the two-season renewal for 13 and 14. With the first of those seasons in the can, the FX comedy just needs to make it through one more in order to be tied with The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet as the longest running live-action TV comedy. In terms of seasons, since Ozzie's 435 episodes is a tad larger than Sunny's current tally of 144.
During his executive session at the Television Critics Association's 2019 winter press tour, John Landgraf talked about how FX built up most of its successful series by pulling a familiar TV concept apart and finding new ways to put it all back together.
One of the biggest reasons that It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia was caught in a relative standstill, production-wise, is because its cast members' were finding a lot of success outside the FX comedy. While Kaitlin Olsen's time on The Mick didn't seem to derail much, Glenn Howerton's commitment to the NBC comedy A.P. Bio initially made it unclear if Sunny would even get Season 13 off the ground.
Everyone involved with the show knew exactly how much attention was being given to Glenn Howerton's availability to return for more episodes. As such, It's Always Sunny pulled off one of the best twists of its lifespan when bringing Dennis into the Season 13 premiere. Obviously a Dennis-looking sex doll was involved.
For John Landgraf, it seems the relatively simple reason for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's longevity and comedic success is the never-ending number of ways for Mac, Dee, Charlie, Frank and Dennis to shine a light on the woes of society by serving as the worst that humanity has to offer. (On a sliding scale at least.) Here's how he put it:
The latest season started off with a "Make Paddy's Great Again" campaign, with Mindy Kaling guest-starring as a new schemer trying to bring about partisan chaos. There was a #MeToo-focused episode in which the Paddy's crew usurp an anti-harassment seminar. What appeared to be a Jimmy Buffet episode turned into a conversation about gender identity.
While Eagles football is only a hot-button issue to some, that Super Bowl episode was a loving tribute whose earnestness could be appreciated by anyone. Degenerates one and all, but ones capable of making a legitimate statement when the time calls for it.
For now, it's unclear when It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia will get back to rocking and rolling and test driving economy cars and attempting the Boggs Challenge. It's even more unclear if we're going to get more Buff Mac, or if he'll relapse and turn back into Fat Mac. There have been worst things on TV than either one of those, certainly.
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