It’s hard to not root for Louis CK. The guy has been throwing himself to the wolves at stand-up clubs for almost thirty years, carrying a love of filmmaking in his back pocket while working like a mad yeoman to nab writing jobs for Letterman, Conan O’Brien, the criminally short-lived Dana Carvey Show, and The Chris Rock Show.
Though he ultimately struck out (by conventional standards of success) with his boldly meta HBO sitcom, Lucky Louie, it seems like that failure seasoned CK’s vision and gave way to FX’s Louie, a critically-lauded amalgamation of his earlier passion for short filmmaking and his stand-up act. After all this time, CK is finally a force in comedy and in TV, accomplishing this feat on his own terms as the writer, director, and star of Louie. But as often happens, he seems to want more.
According to Deadline, FX Productions has reached a deal with CK and his production company, Pig Newton, to produce and create a new series that he might also direct and/or write.
Here’s FX President John Landgraf on the deal:
“Working with Louis CK has been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of my career [...] So many incredibly talented artists want to work with Louis and follow down the independent and idiosyncratic creative trail he has blazed. I can’t wait to see who he brings through our door, not to mention any new projects that he wants to create for us.”
While Landgraf’s statement is filled with effusive and well-deserved praise for CK, it doesn’t offer much in the way of details about the deal.
The success of Louie has brought a lot of opportunities to CK’s door – from controlling ticket sales and album downloads through his website (as opposed to Ticketmaster and iTunes) to his work on the big screen with Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine) and David O. Russell (American Hustle) – but it’s also seemingly brought exhaustion.
Back in October of last year, FX and CK announced that the comic was taking an unusually long sabbatical from Louie and the many jobs that he does on the show. This break pushed the show’s upcoming season 4 to the spring of 2014, but now, as CK prepares to potentially double down on his small screen workload, we’re wondering what has changed.
Woody Allen’s influence can be clearly seen on Louie, and working for him had to be a thrill for CK, but maybe he missed telling his own stories.
Maybe he just missed working on TV and he wants to highlight another singular comic talent – as he has done on Louie with Doug Stanhope, Todd Barry, Pamela Adlon and others- but that doesn’t mean that this is the birth of CK’s tele-mogul phase where he auctions off “Louis CK” as a brand or as a mark of the blessed. His dedication to being a multi-hyphenate on Louie seemingly makes that kind of role an impossibility, so this may come down to CK feeling that he wants to tell another set of stories that don’t fit within the sometimes surreal and cynical world of Louie.
Despite all of CK’s success on TV, he was born into our consciousness as a comic, and it’s his habit of retiring his stand-up act annually, constantly developing fresh material, and repeatedly reinventing himself that gives us reason to assume that his is a head that is teeming with enough ideas to sustain at least one other show.
Louie returns to FX in the spring of 2014. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on Louis CK’s other projects.