Prior to airing its two-part season finale, FX brought a little good cheer to fans of its fantasy football comedy The League by announcing the series would move forward into season 5 with 13 more episodes, scheduled to begin filming next summer.
While it doesn't seem to garner as much attention as higher profile FX comedies like Wilfred, Anger Management, or the Emmy Award-winning Louie, according to the announcement by the network, The League has maintained solid ratings over the last few seasons.
In fact during season 4, it averaged about 1.6 million viewers per first airing, but that number jumped to 2.4 million viewers once encore and On Demand figures are factored in. Those numbers make it a solid earner for the network – especially since the program airs in the less-than-primetime slot of 10:30pm.
In a statement regarding the renewal, Nick Grad, FX's head of original programming, had this to say:
"The League is flat-out one of the funniest shows on television. Co-creators Jeff and Jackie Schaffer have such a perfect take on the material and the show has an amazingly talented ensemble cast of stars. Another season was an easy decision and we hope to have it on our schedule for many more years to come."
Meanwhile, co-creator Jackie Schaffer said:
"It's a dream job – we get to make a show we love with a brilliant cast on a fearless network. If the Mayans and Dirty Randy are right and the world ends tomorrow, at least we can say we made it to Season 5."
Of course, if you're reading this, the world didn't end, which means the Schaffers and the entire League crew can officially rest easy, knowing the world is one step closer to seeing season 5 come to fruition.
In addition to apparently winning the hearts of audiences and FX network executives, The League has also found itself a favorite of big name guest stars. Notable guests have included: Seth Rogen, Jeff Goldblum, Ray Liota, Will Forte, Eliza Dushku and Justified's Timothy Olyphant, to name a few. Also, perhaps not surprisingly, given the nature of the program, the show has managed to secure appearances by NFL players like Robert Griffin III, Maurice Jones Drew and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
But even with the growing list of guest stars, it's the core ensemble and the hilarious, though sometimes crude things the characters do to one another that keeps audiences coming back season after season. And considering one member of the line-up, writer-director-actor Mark Duplass, has recently seen his profile increase, following indie hits like his 2011 directorial effort, Jeff Who Lives at Home, and roles in both indie and mainstream fare like Safety Not Guaranteed, Your Sister's Sister and, perhaps most surprisingly, showing up in Katherine Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, it's good to see that Duplass is still keen on appearing in another season of The League.
In the announcement, FX didn't mention a premiere date for season 5 of The League, but it's likely the new season will air following the season 9 premiere of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in the fall of 2013.
Screen Rant will have more news regarding The League as it is made available.