NEW YORK, October 20, 2009 — COMEDY CENTRAL has reached a deal with Twentieth Television for the exclusive basic cable syndication rights to the critically-acclaimed FX comedy series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” in a multi-year deal that will see the series start its run on COMEDY CENTRAL beginning in summer 2010, it was announced today by Steve MacDonald, EVP, General Sales Manager, Basic Cable of Twentieth Television, John Landgraf, President & General Manager, FX Networks, and David Bernath, senior vice president, programming, COMEDY CENTRAL. Following the limited summer 2010 window, the series with settle into its long-term, multi-year run in January 2011.
In regards to the announcement, Bernath stated, “With an outstanding cast, superlative writing and stories that you have to see to believe, ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ is one of the most outrageous comedies on television. The Gang from Paddy’s Pub will feel right at home when they hit our schedule next summer.”
First-run seasons of “Sunny” will continue to air on FX. In addition to its current fifth season that runs through November 5, the network has ordered seasons six and seven which will air in 2010 and 2011 respectively. FX Productions will have produced 84 episodes though season seven.
MacDonald added, “Crossing a series from one hugely successful cable brand to another speaks volumes to the show’s loyal viewers and skyrocketing ratings. Greg Meidel, President of Twentieth Television and I are thrilled that COMEDY CENTRAL will place ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ beside the network’s strong slate of cutting-edge programming; further elevating this hilarious series and introducing a unique cast of characters to new audiences.”
Landgraf added, “‘Sunny’s’ trajectory from home brewed pilot to pop culture phenomenon has been one of the most gratifying successes in FX’s history. This is also a watershed moment in television – the first time a comedy has syndicated from a basic cable network to another basic cable network. We have enormous respect for COMEDY CENTRAL’s outstanding brand within both the comedy business and basic cable. We trust that they will enjoy and benefit from this remarkable show.”
Crude, controversial, outlandish, and downright hilarious, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” premiered on FX on August 4, 2005. The half-hour series, starring Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito, is currently in its 5th season and features the cast as self-centered owners of Paddy’s Irish Pub in Philadelphia who will do just about anything, no matter how reprehensible, in an attempt to better their own situation. Serious issues such as racism, abortion, underage drinking, molestation, gun control, cancer and death somehow weave their way into the cockeyed universe of “The Gang.” The characters are experts on every subject but actually possess expertise in nothing at all. They often use revisionist history to bolster their self-worth, which contrasts sharply with the true reality of their lives.
Initially shot by McElhenney, Howerton and Day on a hand-held digital camera and edited on a home computer for $200 – most of which went to pay for pizza and the cost of gasoline to drive to location shoots – FX picked up the show and re-shot the pilot (for a price significantly higher than that of the original $200). “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” was created by McElhenney and is executive produced by McElhenney, Day and Howerton. Michael Rotenberg and Nick Frenkel are also executive producers. The series is produced by FX Productions and distributed by Twentieth Television.
The critically acclaimed “Sunny” has shown ratings growth in each of its four seasons, rising from cult favorite to hit status. Through five weeks of season five, the series has posted significant gains of +62% among Men 18-34, +55% among Adults 18-49, +51% among Adults 18-34 and +40% in total viewers versus its fourth season. For 2009-to-date among all scripted basic cable series, “Sunny” ranks #3 in delivery of Adults 18-34 and Men 18-34.
About Twentieth Television
A leader in the U.S. program production and distribution arena, Twentieth Television provides a wide array of first-run, network and off-network programming, as well as feature film packages, to the syndication and cable marketplaces. First-run programs distributed by Twentieth Television include “WWE Friday Night SmackDown”, the game show “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader”, and the court shows “Divorce Court” & “Judge Alex.” Off-net shows distributed by Twentieth include “Family Guy,” “24,” “COPS,” “The Simpsons,” “Boston Legal,” “My Name is Earl,” “The Unit,” “Bones” and the 2010 launch of and “How I Met Your Mother.”
About FX and FX Productions
FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable network from the Fox Networks Group. Launched in June of 1994, FX is carried in more than 95 million homes. The diverse schedule includes a growing roster of critically acclaimed and award-winning original series; an established film library with box-office hits from 20th Century Fox and other studios; and an impressive roster of acquired hit series. For more information about FX, visit our web site at www.FXnetworks.com
FX Productions was formed in 2005 and produces or co-produces Emmy many of the critically-acclaimed and award-winning hit series for FX. Dramas co-produced by FX Productions include the Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner “Damages,” the breakout hit “Sons of Anarchy,” and upcoming series “Lawman” and “Lights Out.” Comedies produced by FX Productions include “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and upcoming series “The League,” “Archer” and “Louie.”
About COMEDY CENTRAL
COMEDY CENTRAL, the only all-comedy network, currently is seen in more than 95 million homes nationwide. COMEDY CENTRAL is owned by, and is a registered trademark of, Comedy Partners, a wholly-owned division of Viacom Inc.’s (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) MTV Networks. COMEDY CENTRAL’s Internet address is www.comedycentral.com. For up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs visit Press Central, COMEDY CENTRAL’s press web site at www.comedycentral.com/press.
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company’s portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 400 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, AddictingGames, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, SPIKE, TV Land, Atom, GameTrailers and Xfire.
FX Networks and FX Productions