TV Junkie Interview: Louis C.K., Mastermind Of FX's 'Louie'
Louie C.K. is an ambitious man. While he has excelled in standup comedy for almost two decades, his desire to do more on both the small and big screen is ever-present. A long-time TV writer for other people's shows (David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, etc.), C.K.'s short-lived but critically acclaimed "Lucky Louie" (HBO) that lasted one season in 2006 was a revelation of his ability to create a world as he saw it.After the demise of "Lucky Louie," C.K. helped write Chris Rock's movie, I Think I Love My Wife, had a multi-episode arc on NBC's "Parks and Recreation," and released three stand up comedy DVDs, most recently the excellent Hilarious, which we highly recommend.
Then came "Louie" on FX in 2010. The story of how this series came about is quickly becoming Hollywood legend and C.K.'s position as showrunner of a show where he has complete control is becoming the envy of both established showrunners and aspiring comedians everywhere. FX network president John Landgraf has given a brief summary of the negotiation that resulted in the creation of "Louie," essentially a presentation of the amount of money he was willing to spend on a series from C.K. that would be reduced as the network lost control: the ability to participate in script preparation and production, notes and suggestions, etc. The end result was a budget where C.K. could create each episode without network interference or "input" until they saw the final cut. Landgraf essentially told C.K. "do what you want as long as there isn't certain kinds of nudity and you avoid a specific set of profane vocabulary.