"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is the tentpole series for FX's new comedy network FXX, with a new season premiering just two days after the network launches (Season 9 premieres Wed., Sept. 4 at 10 p.m. ET).
"This will probably be the longest-running live-action comedy in cable" after the 10th season airs, noted FX Networks' John Solberg when introducing the cast at the Television Critics Association Summer 2013 press tour with three dramatic, black-and-white promos, all with the cast waxing poetic about their move to FXX ... in Swedish.
Season 9 marks a big milestone for "It's Always Sunny," with their 100th episode airing Oct. 9. Executive producer Glenn Howerton teased a few more "great, high-concept episodes," including a follow-up "Lethal Weapon 6" episode and a Thanksgiving special, where the gang takes on the original spirit of the holiday by inviting all of their enemies over for turkey dinner. Howerton confirmed the return of some old "Sunny" friends, including Gail the Snail, played by Mary Lynn Rajskub, as well as the McPoyles and David Hornsby's Rickety Cricket.
This season, the gang will also take on gun violence, though Dee and Dennis can't seem to get their hands on an automatic weapon because of being institutionalized ("You light one bitch on fire and everybody freaks out!") and a history of felonious behavior, respectively.
But this isn't the first time they've tackled the gun debate, star Charlie Day said, noting that "the whole national conversation about guns is so hilariously insane and keeps coming around."
When asked about the show always getting snubbed by the Emmys, Day noted that they're actually doing a nod to their lack of Emmy nods this year with an episode titled "The Gang Desperately Tries To Win An Award." Of course.
With a new home on a new network, are they worried at all that fans will have a hard time finding the show? None of them seemed to be, praising their "younger, savvy audience" who won't have a hard time searching for the show to DVR it.
But creator Rob McElhenney doesn't mind that it's still not going to be getting crazy ratings, no matter where the show goes. "In some respects I still consider us a small, niche show ... which I enjoy." McElhenney also talked about the reason the show can push the envelope as hard and as consistently as they do, saying that having just 10 episodes a season allows them to "stay fresh and continue to evolve."
But don't worry: the characters will never evolve. "We recognize a little bit of the worst part of ourselves in these characters," Howerton said. "I think the goal is sort of that none of us actually change," Kaitlin Olson agreed. "We just stay as self-centered and stuck in our ways and ridiculous. The world around us is sort of the straight person, and we're ludicrous."
And it wouldn't be an "It's Always Sunny" panel without some great stories from Danny DeVito, who talked about whether or not he saw this show going on as long as it has when he first signed on. "Louie de Palma in 'Taxi' was absolutely great ... but I never really thought about doing a show [again] until these guys turned up with 'Sunny' and Frank and I was head over heels," DeVito said, calling his role as Frank the "high point in my career." DeVito also noted that both shows will reach 114 episodes -- and for "Sunny," maybe more if it gets renewed beyond Season 10.
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" Season 9 premieres Wed., Sept. 4 at 10 p.m. ET on FXX.