This Week in TV:
We learn that Louie will return to FX next spring with season 4; Showtime has announced a season 6 renewal for Nurse Jackie; FX will replace Russell Brand's Brand X with a new series pilot from the comedian; Amazon has ordered two of its comedy pilots to series; and we get a look at a trailer for season 2 of the web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
FX announced the show's season 4 renewal a year ago, but star/writer/producer/director/editor Louis C.K. said he needed some time to recharge his creative batteries, causing FX to push season 4 back until he was ready. Apparently, that time is now, as C.K. plans to start filming the new season this fall.
It's rare that a network gives up so much creative control, but in the case of Louie, that's the arrangement the two sides made when the series was greenlit. He seldom shows FX episodes before they are completed and basically runs the entire production with little or no network interference. Considering the show has maintained solid ratings, FX hasn't minded staying out of his way and respecting all of his decisions.
The result of this rare talent-network relationship has been one of the most interesting and introspective comedy series on television. It certainly wouldn't work for every show, but for fans of Louie, let's hope the time off helps make for another great season.
Catch Louie season 4 when it premieres in the spring of 2014.
With the Edie Falco-led dramedy Nurse Jackie seeing an uptick in viewership this season, Showtime made the rather easy decision to give it another full season this week. Like the show's loyal following, Showtime has remained just as impressed with the quality of the program as it has with the strong numbers.
Here's what network president David Nevins had to say regarding the renewal:
“ 'Nurse Jackie' is an essential part of the Showtime brand, and we are thrilled with the series’ growth in its fifth season. Under the new leadership of Clyde Phillips, and with an amazing cast led by Edie Falco, this show is as sharp and compelling and entertaining as ever. I’m excited to get to see the next chapter in Jackie’s life.”
While fans are surely excited to see the next chapter as well, there is still the season 5 finale of Nurse Jackie to look forward to, which airs next Sunday, June 16th @9pm.
FX has canceled Russell Brand's live late-night talk show Brand X after just two seasons, but plans to maintain a relationship with the comedian and create a new pilot around him.
Brand X's lack of structure and lack of notable guests likely led to its downfall, but FX is still confident in Brand's comedic sensibilities and is picking up a new scripted live-action comedy pilot with Brand attached as an executive producer and star. The new project is still in the early stages of development, but is said to be in the vein of Curb Your Enthusiasm and will be loosely based on Brand's life.
FX and viewers seemed to agree that the show's format wasn't a good fit for Brand, so we'll have to wait and see if they respond positively to the new, currently untitled pilot.
After allowing viewers to vote for their favorites of 14 pilots, Amazon has ordered five to series, including three children's shows and comedies Alpha House and Betas.
Written by Oscar nominee Garry Trudeau, Alpha House centers on four senators living together in a rented house in Washington D.C. The comedy stars John Goodman (Argo), Clark Johnson (The Wire), Matt Malloy (Six Feet Under) and Mark Consuelos (American Horror Story: Asylum) as the Republican senators.
Amazon's other new comedy, Betas, follows four friends as they try to make it big in Silicon Valley with the new mobile social networking app they've created. The show stars Ed Begley Jr. (Pineapple Express), Jon Daly (Kroll Show), Joe Dinicol, Margo Harshman (The Big Bang Theory), Charlie Saxton (Hung) and Karan Soni (Safety Not Guaranteed).
One notable omission from the five ordered shows is the adaptation of Zombieland, which was passed on by Amazon after fans of the original film responded negatively to the cast and the characters, which seemed to be attempting to replicate the performances from the movie, instead of creating wholly original turns.
The studio appears to be very confident in the shows it did order, and considering they were approved by viewers, there's a good chance they could become hits. We'll just have to wait and see if Amazon's process proves to be successful.
This week, we're getting a first look at the season 2 trailer of the Jerry Seinfeld-created web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Check it out below.
If you're not familiar with the show, the format follows the title. In each episode, host Jerry Seinfeld introduces one of his classic automobiles and then picks up a famous comedian as his guest to get coffee. The show then plays like a casual talk show, as Seinfeld and his guest discuss various topics and tell each other jokes.
The first season, which consisted of 10 episodes, featured guests such as Larry David, Brian Regan Ricky Gervais and Alec Baldwin. The second season will include the next Late Night host Seth Meyers, Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock, David Letterman, Gad Elmaleh and legend Don Rickles as Seinfeld's esteemed guests.
For comedy fans, it's always fun to see these sorts of legendary talents in a casual setting talking about the craft of comedy as well as their careers. And for car enthusiasts, checking out Seinfeld's sweet rides is pretty cool.
Check out season 2 of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee when it premieres on June 13, 2013.