It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has been renewed for season 15 by FXX, officially making marking it as the longest-running live-action comedy series in the history of TV. The former record holder was ABC's The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, which ran for 14 seasons. Unlike so many other comedy series before it, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has showed no signs of slowing with age, holding steady in its ratings, and achieving the more impressive feats of consistently leading in replay viewings on streaming services (Netflix, Hulu), while also continuing to generate social media buzz, memes, and other viral marketing breakthroughs.
Always Sunny season 15 isn't necessarily the final run, either. Back at the TCA in January, series creator and star Rob McElhenney told press that when it comes to Sunny, "we’re going to keep doing it forever if people keep watching."
For It's Always Sunny this is a fitting turn of events: the season 14 finale, "Waiting for Big Mo" (a spin on the play Waiting for Godot), saw "The Gang" of Sunny use a laser tag game as the framework for a very meta existential discussion of the series and their time on it. The Gang toyed with idea of giving up their "base" to a new generation, and moving on to new things (aka, end the show). In the end though, they proved too greedy and spiteful to ever let some younger would-be players take their crown. Clearly, those ideas weren't limited to the comedic reality of that episode, but were a very real statement about the cast's intentions - despite any performance fatigue.
In announcing FX Networks's 2020 - 2021 slate of TV shows, President of FX Entertainment, Eric Schrier, said:
“We couldn’t be more excited about our roster of new and returning shows slated through next year. It has been an extraordinary time for FX over these past three months with the launch of FX on Hulu, which has transformed our business. We believe the continued strength of our original series coupled with the growing awareness of FX on Hulu as our streaming platform will make the FX brand stronger and more relevant and accessible than ever before.”
Indeed, the Disney-Fox merger has opened up awareness of FX and its original programming in a big way. Disney is using the Hulu streaming platform to offer viewers' FX's lineup of original content, whereas the network was trying to previously force viewers to use its own (lackluster) service, or otherwise made it hard to keep up with all programming across the FX and FXX channels.1comments
The timing couldn't be better: FX and FXX have been breaking out in the last few years, with the former offering gripping and acclaimed modern American history dramas (American Crime Story, Snowfall, Pose); ambitious high-profile sequel or anthology series (Mayans M.C., Fargo, American Horror Story); and some of the most acclaimed and buzzed-about comedies around (Atlanta, Always Sunny, What We Do in the Shadows and Dave). FX's brand is strong, and now the distribution lanes are there.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 15 will premiere as part of FXX's 2020 - 2021 lineup.