FX Wanted Louis C.K.’s ‘Horace and Pete’ Before it Went Online
We’re a few episodes deep into Louis C.K.‘s unique Horace and Pete experiment, the near-weekly release of an original sitcom dramedy distributed entirely through the comedian’s website, and FX must feel at least a little green, especially with Louie on indefinite hiatus. FX head John Landgraf apparently offered C.K. a home on FX, and may consider a second window eventually.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Landgraf said of his relationship with C.K. that FX knew ahead of time the Louie star would soon move forward on a brand-new series, even offering the comedian a home. Still. C.K. flatly refused, not wanting any aspect of the series to owe anything to another party:
I knew it was coming. He called me before we closed our overall deal in July 2015, and he said, “Just so you know, I’m going to do this other thing.” And I said, “You don’t want to do that with us?” He said, “No, I don’t want to market it, I don’t want to publicize it, I don’t want to have any investors in it or people whose needs I have to satisfy other than my own. I specifically want to self-finance this and I want to drop it on the Internet through my site with no prior notice.”
Honestly, what do you say to someone who is that audaciously ambitious? Someone who says basically, “I want to do everything. I want to be head of marketing, head of publicity, I want to do your job, I want to be the investor, I want to write it, direct it, produce it, star in it, I’m going to go raise the money, get the cast.” You stand back in awe and say, “Go for it, my brother.”
Landgraf also noted that he’d be open to running Horace and Pete on FX as a second window, though the two haven’t had any real conversations to that effect just yet. Interestingly, the FX boss also pointed out that should Horace and Pete earn C.K. any award recognition, the nominated network would naturally be be LouisCK.net, a first for major ceremonies.
The series follows the patrons and employees of an Irish bar, Horace and Pete’s, with C.K. writing, directing and starring. Alan Alda plays bartender Pete to C.K.’s Horace, joined by Steve Buscemi as another Pete. Among the myriad guest stars in the first episode, there’s The Sopranos alum Edie Falco, American Horror Story vet Jessica Lange, Rebecca Hall, Kurt Metzger, Steven Wright, SNL player Aidy Bryant and others.
In the meantime, you can check out the premiere and beyond on C.K.’s website, and stay tuned for the latest.