"Louie" has been renewed for a 13-episode Season 4, FX president John Landgraf announced at his Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour executive session Saturday.
“There are not enough superlatives in the English language to bestow on "Louie" or the work Louis C.K. is doing,” Landgraf boasted. “With this series, he has changed the form and is doing truly groundbreaking, landmark work that is inspiring a whole new generation of artists. Simply put, he is making one of the best shows anywhere on television.”
The network also announced it has picked up seven additional episodes of "BrandX With Russell Brand."
Louis C.K.'s critically-acclaimed dark comedy just landed three Emmy nominations last Thursday, even though it was snubbed from the Outstanding Comedy category.
"We're incredibly proud of Louis C.K.'s seven Emmy nominations, more than any individual in Emmy history, and particularly proud of his nominations for best director, best writer and best actor in a comedy series for 'Louie.' We're obviously disappointed that the show 'Louie' was not nominated as best comedy series, but thrilled with the nominations nonetheless," Landgraf said.
"Louie" has seen a jump in the ratings this season as C.K. has taken dating and friendship to new heights of awkwardness.
C.K. appeared via satellite at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on July 27 to share a few thoughts on what's ahead for the rest of the season and his record seven Emmy nominations.
"The record was previously held by David Lynch, who is a big hero of mine, so to take something away from him is bittersweet," C.K. said. Though competition seems more like "an athletic thing" and "kind of silly" when applied to creative arts, he said, "It's nice for the people who work for me and for the network."
Critics were shown a long, typically funny/uncomfortable scene in which F. Murray Abraham played Louie's uncle, and C.K. talked about having the actor guest on the show again (he played a different character in a Season 2 episode).
"When I got a show, like, thought number three was 'I want to get F. Murray Abraham.' I love him," C.K. said. The previous role he gave to the actor was not "that special a role, in terms of how I wrote it. I wanted another crack at it and …. I wrote it for his voice."
C.K. also talked about an upcoming episode with guest star Robin Williams, whom he said he's become friends with over the last year or so. "He's a great actor and a very generous guy," he said, telling a story about how the day of filming outdoors with Williams was like "the siege of Leningrad" due to pouring rain. "We gave him a Town Car to sit in, but he just stood out there in the rain with the rest of us."
The writer-actor-director-producer went on to say that there will be a lot of notable guest stars in Episodes 10, 11 and 12, but he wouldn't say who they were. As for Parker Posey, who guest starred in a two-parter, he said he would be open to her character returning. Guest stars come back "as long as I'm able to write for them," he said.
He also talked a little about how he interacts with the Standards and Practices department at FX. Earlier in the day, FX president John Landgraf said that material had been removed from the Season 2 episode "God." Landgraf wasn't specific about what was removed, but he said that the material might have made the episode quite offensive to Catholics.
C.K. said he had no problem removing the material because he wanted the focus of the episode to remain on the experiences of his character on the show. In general, he views the notes he gets from the Standards and Practices department as "a service."
"If I step too far over the line and piss off a group really terribly, I'm going to get curtailed [more] than I am now," C.K. said. But having worked in the industry for a long time, he said he is generally aware of where the lines are. "I'm like a dog with a shock collar, and you can take off the collar. I know where the fence is."
The most interesting part of the panel was when C.K. talked about the music composition for the show. He said that before he begins writing a season, he and composer Matt Kilmer record music with a band for two days, and then C.K. uses that music to inspire him as he pens episodes.
For instance, they recorded a piece of music called "Angel" that was very haunting, and he wanted to write something that would live up to the mood of that song. He came up with the story of Louie's date with Parker Posey's character, and "Angel" was the soundtrack for their rooftop scene. He said that being part of the music composition process was his "second favorite part of making the show."
C.K. was asked about his favorite TV shows, which include "Project Runway." "I really enjoy fashion, I like looking at it and creating stuff in a competition is really fun," he said. "And I love that Tim Gunn guy. He's got a great work ethic and he's a great teacher." He added that his daughters also love the show.
He said doesn't watch a lot of TV, but "Family Guy" makes him laugh, and he likes "American Idol" and other talent shows. "Deal or No Deal" also gets him. "I'm a real sucker for maudlin emotional stuff. I used to cry like a baby at that show. Watching a working man trying to earn for his family" always got to him, he said.
"Louie" airs Thursdays at 10.30 p.m. ET on FX.
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