Even the best sitcoms in history have ended eventually. Cheers lasted for 11 seasons, Seinfeld for nine. Sure, The Simpsons is into its second quarter-century - but that’s with the benefit of animation, and characters who never age.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia arrived from humble beginnings, growing from a DIY pilot from a group of unknown actors/creators into one of the most popular and long-running sitcoms of the last decade. And now, we know the show will be running even longer.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has now been officially renewed for its 13th and 14th seasons, as announced by FX Networks and FX Productions. The series recently completed its 11th season - earning the strongest ratings of its time on FXX - and had already been picked up for a 12th year too. The 14 seasons will tie ‘Sunny’ with a very, very different series - the 1960s sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - for the record of the longest-running live action comedy program in television history. A 15th season after that would break that record.
Here is the official statement from FX Networks President of Original Programming Nick Grad, regarding the news (which arrives on the day that Sunny will be featured at a Paley Center event in Los Angeles):
“If anyone doubts the power of a camcorder and a dream, just look at It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which was a DIY backyard pilot when Rob, Charlie and Glenn brought it to FX and will go down in TV history as one of the most loved and enduring comedies. Few shows make it this far or have such devoted fans, and we owe it all to the creative vision and great humor of the creators and cast who keep Sunny fresh and inventive every season."
How has Sunny lasted this long, when popular sitcoms often peter out far sooner? For one thing, the TV show's core cast - originals Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton and Kaitlin Olson, along with season 2 addition Danny DeVito - have stuck with the comedy series, as have an extended cast of strong recurring guest stars. Not to mention, the show's central premise - five people being awful sociopaths to one another and those around them - is uncommonly durable and hasn’t gotten tiresome yet.
Question is, then, will Sunny ever get old? Perhaps the premise will wear thin eventually; the show has a tendency to repeat itself, after all, and the last few seasons of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia have generally had at least one episode that was a dud. Nevertheless, Sunny has proven that it remains capable of pulling out the surprises - for example, see Howerton’s amazing impression of CCH Pounder in the season 11 finale:
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will return for season 12 in January 2017.
Source: FX Networks