FX announced today that Louis C.K.'s show Louie will premiere its fourth season on Monday, May 5th, at 10pm. The show will air back-to-back new episodes in that timeslot for the entire season, finishing its run in June. FX had ordered 13 episodes of the new season, but Louis C.K. delivered 14.
Louis C.K. took the show on a self-imposed hiatus after its third season ended in September of 2012, leaving a big 19-month gap between seasons. Season 4 was supposed to debut in summer of 2013, but C.K. had it pushed back, explaining:
I want season four to go somewhere new … I'm looking back to when I did the first season and the time I took to do the show and decide which directions to go in and I want that back again. I want a little breathing room … The last three seasons have been a surge of fun stories and it's been great to share all the stuff and I want the show to keep getting better. That's my goal, and I don't want it to be making the donuts, I want it to be something that comes from somewhere important and stays funny … I used to shoot, promote and edit all at the same time in June and I think I can do better work if I spread things out.
During his hiatus, Louis C.K. co-created an FX pilot with Zach Galifianakis that will star Galifianakis, signed a multi-year development deal with HBO to develop and create shows, filmed and released his new standup hour Oh My God, hosted SNL for the first time, self-released his 1998 indie movie Tomorrow Night, and filmed a supporting role in American Hustle. He returns to SNL for the second time on March 29th.
Details are scant on the new season of Louie beyond the fact that it will be 14 episodes, but if it's anything like last season, it'll be full of high-profile guest stars and surprises. Louis C.K. told Jerry Seinfeld on his recent episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee that he intends to end Louie after seven or eight seasons and that he brought on some writers this season, including Steven Wright. C.K. explained, "I took on a couple of new people to try. They, like, sit on my couch while I write, and it's somebody to talk to and this time I used Steven Wright … When I grew up in Boston, when I started doing standup, he was everybody's hero."