FX quietly plans sneak-peek of animated Archer
When FX initially picked up six episodes of its first foray into animated comedy, the plan for Archer was to pair it with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Since that greenlight, two things happened.
First, FX got trigger-happy and greenlit a whole bunch of other shows (from the likes of Louis CK and Don Cheadle). Second, and more importantly, according to FX it turns out that from start through post, it takes almost a whole month to complete one episode of Archer. With Always Sunny premiering this Thursday night at 10PM ET on FX, slotting in Archer's six eps suddenly became impossible. So the plan has changed. Instead of pairing Archer with Sunny mid-season, FX plans to launch its fantasy-football themed sitcom The League instead. However, if you were looking forward to seeing Archer, I've got some good news.
Since FX desperately wants to ensure that Archer is sampled by the very desirable Always Sunny demographic, they're going to air the pilot episode at 10:30PM ET immediately following the Sunny premiere Thursday night. The catch? Well, there isn't a catch... but they aren't telling anyone except for TV critics and other select news outlets. It won't show up in your program guides and there won't be any promos or marketing campaign indicating the date and time. This is a complete programming stunt set up purely for the numbers and aimed at seeing who sticks around to watch.
With that in mind, you should watch. The spy-themed show (which FX has now upped to a 10 ep order and plans to officially debut in January) features some stellar voice talent, including Jon Benjamin (recently seen as Master Shake in the live-action Aqua Teen finale), Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Judy Greer, and Chris Parnell. I've seen a few clips from the show and the Adult Swim-ish feel might be a turn off to some. However, as the promo and clip below show, it still has enough broad comedy appeal to make a good first impression. Be sure to check back here on TV Squad on Thursday night for our review of the pilot.