It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia gets a third season
Sunny's pick-up is big news in the television industry for reasons that have nothing to do with Devito, FX's fan base or the reputation of barkeeps in Philly. Sunny is one of basic, ad-supported cable's biggest sitcom successes ever, and its pilot episode is the stuff of industry legend. The episode was shot on a digital camcorder and distributed for amounts that have been said to range from $85-$400. That pilot, which picked up steam via the internet, resulted in the show's creators Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton receiving $400,000 from FX to shoot a first season.
The question for many TV comedy writers out there is whether this could be the new way comedy is brought to television - through internet word-of-mouth and basic cable - especially as network's turn more and more to unscripted reality shows and CSI-type procedurals to complete their line-ups. Scrubs and Nobody's Watching creator Bill Lawrence is fretting about the subject on TV Guide Online, and the New York Times reported a couple of weeks ago that United Talent Agency, along with several networks, have set-up offices just to cull the internet for new comedy talent. Sunny is a fun, irreverent show that deserves all kinds of success, but it is also the harbinger of change in an uncertain industry.