The latter half of that strategy began in earnest this week with the debut of “Man Seeking Woman,” a surrealist look at the dating lives of a group of twentysomethings starring Jay Baruchel (“This Is the End”) and executive produced by Lorne Michaels. The wacky narcissists on “Sunny” find themselves arrested for arson one week and hooked on crack the next, while when Baruchel says he’s dating a troll on “Man” (or his ex-girlfriend is sleeping with Hitler) he means it literally. Landgraf says even if the modestly performing “Worst” takes a ratings hit with the move (FXX is in 77 million homes versus FX’s 90 million, and often has a less desirable location on channel lineups), he’s prepared to stick with it for the long haul provided it demonstrates solid creative growth. Meanwhile on FX, the upcoming laffers appeal more to the grown-up humor of “Louie.” First up is the March bow of “The Comedians,” starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad as polar opposites paired for a successful sketch comedy series. Not yet ordered to series are pilots from Donald Glover (“Atlanta”) and the “Sunny” team of Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton (“Pariah”) — both of which sound like natural fits for FXX, though Landgraf says he’s “sometimes surprised” when he sees how a pilot turns out.


Instead, FX remains committed to its signature in-house productions, whether they’re in line with the comic shenanigans of “Sunny” and FXX or tragi-coms like “Louie” for FX. FXX's "Man Seeking Woman" loses a considerable portion of its "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" lead-in. This year the cabler will launch two series that aim to follow the lead of critically-hailed game changer “Louie,” and Fox’s flagship cabler will take bigger steps to differentiate the branding between comedies on the mothership channel and its FXX offspring.
The half-hour follows FXX flagship series “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” a cult favorite that is now entering its tenth season as a remarkably steady ratings performer.
That’s what cemented its status and pickup for season three,” Landgraf notes of his overall philosophy. He points out that it took four seasons for “Sunny” to emerge as a true breakout success.


Hopefully more neilsen viewers watch it, so it can have ratings at least as good as it’s lead in.



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