Louis CK has taken a long hiatus from producing new episodes of his acclaimed FX series Louie, and today FX executive John Landgraf suggested the vacation could become a permanent one. Louie last aired a new episode in May of 2015 and since then its creator and star has moved on to a multitude of other projects including the tragi-comic series Horace and Pete, which he distributed over his own website.
Having established himself as a major stand-up comedian, Louis CK went to FX with his idea for a semi-autobiographical series and hashed out a unique deal that gave him complete creative control. As writer, director and star, CK turned Louie into one of television's most innovative comedy series, blending stand-up with slices of his own life as a struggling comedian bringing up two young daughters, and imbuing the show with a uniquely strange and surrealistic point-of-view. The show has so far aired five seasons, and after Season 5 CK indicated that he was taking an extended break from the show.
With CK's "hiatus" now in year two, FX President and General Manager John Landgraf said at TCA there is nothing new to report on Louie, and indicated that the future of the show is indeed very much in doubt:
No update. I think it’s possible there’ll never be another season of Louie. I also think its possible there’ll be four or five more seasons over the next 30 years.
Landgraf also addressed Louis CK's reasons for stepping away from the show:
I think [Louis had] run out of things to say about that time in his life. "Do I want to take the Louie on my show through the pathway of success I’ve gone through?" If it ever comes back it will be a very different show.
Landgraf's comments leave fans with a faint glimmer of hope that Louie could one day return to FX, though obviously that is entirely up to Louis CK, who is the sole author of the show. If Louie never comes back, it will still go down in history as one of Peak TV's most notable accomplishments, a comedy series that pushed the boundaries of the form in new and interesting directions and opened doors for others like Aziz Ansari (Master of None), Donald Glover (Atlanta) and Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) to unleash their own unique and creative autobiographical comedy visions.
Meanwhile, Louis CK continues to push television boundaries in other ways. His show Horace and Pete was arguably as big a formal experiment and as big a tonal gamble as any season of Louie, and introduced a new approach to self-distribution that cut out networks altogether (and ended up driving its creator deep into debt). Even if Louie never comes back, you can be certain Louis CK will continue creating great and challenging work, and pushing the envelope of what comedy can be and how it can be delivered to the masses. We're all just waiting to see what Louis will do next (fingers crossed for Pootie Tang 2).
We'll keep you updated on Louie as more information becomes available.