Louie (TV series)
|Created by||Louis C.K.|
|Written by||Louis C.K.|
|Directed by||Louis C.K.|
|Opening theme||"Brother Louie"
performed by Ian Lloyd
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||39 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Louis C.K.
M. Blair Breard
Susan E. Morse
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Production company(s)||3 Arts Entertainment
Pig Newton, Inc.
|Original run||June 29, 2010– present|
Louie is an American comedy-drama television series on the FX network that began airing in 2010. It is written, directed, edited, and produced by the show's creator, stand-up comedian Louis C.K.. He also stars in the show as a fictionalized version of himself, a comedian and newly divorced father raising his two daughters in New York City. The show has a loose format atypical for television comedy series, consisting of largely unconnected storylines and segments (described by John Landgraf as "extended vignettes") that revolve around Louie's life, punctuated by live stand-up performances.
The show has been met with critical acclaim and was included in various critics' 2010 top-ten lists of TV shows. C.K. has received several Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his acting, writing, and directing, and he won for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Each season of Louie contains 13 episodes, and the first season was broadcast in 2010. The series has been renewed for a fourth season, which will premiere in May 2014.
Synopsis and episodes
The series is loosely based on C.K.'s life, showing him as a comic onstage, and depicting his life offstage as a newly divorced father of two girls. Each episode features either two stories (which may or may not connect thematically) or a longer full-episode story (often consisting of numerous connected shorter pieces). The stories of all episodes revolve around Louie.
The pieces are interspersed with segments of Louie's stand-up comedy, usually performed in small New York comedy clubs, mainly the Comedy Cellar and Carolines in Manhattan. The stand-up in the show consists of original material recorded for the series, and is usually shot from the stage rather than from the more traditional audience perspective. Sometimes these comedy segments are integrated into the stories themselves, whereas other times they simply serve to bookend them with a loosely connected topic. In the first season, short, awkward conversations between Louie and his therapist are also shown occasionally. Beginning in the third season, some episodes do not feature any stand-up performances or the opening credit sequence.
Episodes in the series have standalone plots, although some recurring roles (e.g. Louie's playdate friend Pamela, portrayed by Pamela Adlon, who was C.K.'s co-star in Lucky Louie) occasionally provide story arc continuity between episodes. Continuity is not enforced; for example, Louie's mother has been portrayed in two very different ways.[a] As C.K. explained, "Every episode has its own goal, and if it messes up the goal of another episode, [...] I just don't care." Some stories also take place outside of the show's main timeline. For two examples, the episode "God" depicts Louie's childhood, and the episode "Oh Louie" shows the comedian 9 years earlier in his career. Beginning in the third season, Louie has moved toward story continuity within the season, and it includes multi-episode story arcs.
The pilot episode includes segments depicting a school field trip and an awkward first date, with subsequent episodes covering a diverse range of material, including divorce, sex, depression, sexual orientation, and Catholic guilt.
Cast and characters
C.K. serves as the show's star and plays the only character who appears in every episode. Louie lacks a regular fixed cast, and instead features many guest appearances by stand-up comedians and actors. As a stand-up comedian in New York, Louie's social circle on the show consists mainly of other comedians, and many notable comedians (such as Nick DiPaolo, Todd Barry, Jim Norton, Sarah Silverman, and Chris Rock) have recurring roles as fictionalized versions of themselves.
Most episodes tend to focus on Louie's interactions with new characters. However, the show features a number of recurring characters, including Louie's two daughters, Lilly (Hadley Delany) and Jane (Ursula Parker); his brother Robbie (Robert Kelly); his teenage-looking agent Doug (Edward Gelbinovich); Pamela (Pamela Adlon), the playdate friend and potential love interest; Ben Mitchell (Ricky Gervais), Louie's crude and inappropriate doctor; Louie's therapist (David Patrick Kelly); and his ex-wife, Janet (Susan Kelechi Watson).
Since Louie lacks a strictly enforced continuity between episodes, supporting actors occasionally reappear in multiple roles, as is the case with William Stephenson, who appears as a bus driver in the pilot and as himself in "Oh Louie/Tickets"; Amy Landecker, who appears as Louie's date in "Bully" and as a young Louie's mother in "God"; and F. Murray Abraham, who plays a swinger in "New Jersey" and Louie's uncle Excelsior in "Dad". Furthermore, Louie's mother and children have each been portrayed by multiple actresses, although his children have been consistently portrayed by Delaney and Parker since the middle of the first season.
Notable guest stars
- F. Murray Abraham
- Pamela Adlon
- Ted Alexandro
- Maria Bamford
- Todd Barry
- Amir Blumenfeld
- Eddie Brill
- Matthew Broderick
- Hannibal Buress
- Bobby Cannavale
- Vernon Chatman
- Dane Cook
- Rick Crom
- Joe DeRosa
- Nick DiPaolo
- Ricky Gervais
- Chris Gethard
- Todd Glass
- Greg Gutfeld
- Megan Hilty
- David Patrick Kelly
- Robert Kelly
- Artie Lange
- Jay Leno
- Melissa Leo
- David Lynch
- Marc Maron
- Garry Marshall
- Tom Noonan
- Jim Norton
- Opie and Anthony
- Chelsea Peretti
- Amy Poehler
- Parker Posey
- Joan Rivers
- Chris Rock
- Stephen Root
- Paul Rudd
- Bob Saget
- Susan Sarandon
- Amy Schumer
- Jerry Seinfeld
- Chloë Sevigny
- Sarah Silverman
- J. B. Smoove
- Doug Stanhope
- Michael Torpey
- Robin Williams
- Steven Wright
Rather than accepting a bigger-budget production deal with a larger network, C.K. accepted the modest offer of $200,000 (covering his own fee as well as production costs) to do a pilot with FX, which was because FX allowed him full creative control. The show is shot on a Red camera setup, and C.K. edits many of the episodes on his personal laptop. In addition to starring, C.K. serves as the show's sole writer and director, an unusual combination in American TV production. Referring to John Landgraf, who convinced C.K. to accept a deal with FX, C.K. said:
He had a very loose idea of what he wanted. I said, "Let me shoot a pilot and you don't have anything to do with it. I won't even pitch you the idea or show you the script or show you the footage or show you the casting. Just wire me the money and let me do the show." And he was willing to do that. One of the reasons it was done that way was he only gave me $200,000 for the thing all in. Since I was able to prove this was a way to do it and they liked what they got, I was able to keep doing it that way.
Dave Becky also serves as executive producer. C.K. directed, cast, and edited the first episode of the show with a budget of $250,000, provided by FX. In the second season, the budget was increased to $300,000 per episode.
Production began in November 2009. C.K. said of his show, "It's very vignette-y. It's very vérité. All those French words. I use 'em all." C.K.'s Lucky Louie co-star Pamela Adlon serves as consulting producer of the series.
Louie has received widespread critical acclaim. On Metacritic, the first season scored 70 out of 100, based on 20 reviews. The stand-up segments received strong praise, as did the show's perceived "indie film" style, with some likening the show to the work of Woody Allen. Criticisms largely centered on the pacing and low-key delivery of the show's jokes, which often include long setups compared to the rapid-fire punchlines of a traditional sitcom.
Critical response to Louie improved since its debut. Of the "top TV" lists tracked by Metacritic, Louie appeared on 9 of 28 in 2010 and 22 of 39 in 2011, the latter of which includes 3 lists where the show was ranked 1st. The first four episodes of the second season scored 90 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 7 reviews. The third season has received very positive reviews, scoring 94 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 16 reviews.
|2011||16th Satellite Awards||Best Actor – Television Series: Musical or Comedy||Louis C.K.||Won|
|Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy||Louie||Nominated|
|27th TCA Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Comedy||Louie||Nominated|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement in Comedy||Louis C.K.||Nominated|
|63rd Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Louis C.K.||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Louis C.K. for "Poker/Divorce"||Nominated|
|AFI Awards||Top Television Programs of the Year||Louie (for season 2)||Won|
|17th Satellite Awards||Best Actor – Television Series: Musical or Comedy||Louis C.K.||Nominated|
|28th TCA Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Comedy||Louie||Won|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement in Comedy||Louis C.K.||Won|
|64th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Louis C.K.||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series||Louis C.K. for "Duckling"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Louis C.K. for "Pregnant"||Won|
|64th Writers Guild of America Awards||Best Screenplay – Comedy Series||Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon||Nominated|
|AFI Awards||Top Television Programs of the Year||Louie (for season 3)||Won|
|2013||19th Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series||Louis C.K.||Nominated|
|65th Writers Guild of America Awards||Best Screenplay – Comedy Series||Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon||Won|
|70th Golden Globe Awards||Best Actor – Television Series: Musical or Comedy||Louis C.K.||Nominated|
|29th TCA Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Comedy||Louie||Nominated|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement in Comedy||Louis C.K.||Won|
|65th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Louis C.K.||Nominated|
|Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||Melissa Leo||Won|
|Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series||Louis C.K. for "New Year's Eve"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon for "Daddy's Girlfriend (Part 1)"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Single-camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series||Susan E. Morse||Nominated|
Home media releases
|Season||Episodes||Release date||Bonus features|
|The Complete First Season||13||June 21, 2011||
|The Complete Second Season||13||June 19, 2012||
- In the first season's seventh episode, "Double Date/Mom", Louie's mother is played by Mary Louise Wilson and is portrayed a very unpleasant woman. By contrast, in that season's eleventh episode, "God", a flashback to Louie's childhood shows the young Louie's mother as a very different woman with a nice personality, and she is played by Amy Landecker. Landecker also portrayed present-day Louie's date earlier in the season, in episode 9, "Bully".
- Sepinwall, Alan (January 24, 2011). "Interview: 'Louie' creator/star Louis CK on season 1, drunken Sarah Palin tweets and more". HitFix.com. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- Littleton, Cynthia (August 19, 2009). "More laffs in FX lineup". Variety. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
- Dietz, Jason (December 3, 2010). "2010 Television Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (March 28, 2013). "FX Networks to Launch FXX, A New Network for Young Adults Debuting on September 2, 2013 and Available to 74 Million Homes". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
- Presenter: Jimmy Kimmel (June 27, 2011). "Monday, June 27, 2011". Jimmy Kimmel Live!. ABC. http://abc.go.com/shows/jimmy-kimmel-live/episode-detail/louis-ck-ashley-hebert-missy-peregrym-steel-magnolia/805384. Louis C.K. segment on YouTube: Part 1 on YouTube, Part 2 on YouTube, Part 3 on YouTube
- Sepinwall, Alan (June 27, 2012). "Review: FX's 'Louie' still unpredictable, and brilliant, in season 3". HitFix. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Harris, Adam (October 8, 2010). "How Louis C.K. Shoots and Edits His Own Show". Gizmodo. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- "Episode 112 - Louis CK part 2". WTF with Marc Maron Podcast. October 7, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
- "FX Landed Louis C.K. With Creative Freedom and by Wiring $200,000". The New York Times. March 26, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- Itzkoff, Dave (August 20, 2009). "New Comedy Series for Louis C.K.". The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
- Schneider, Michael (August 6, 2009). "FX likes Louis C.K.". Variety. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
- Stanley, Alessandra (June 28, 2010). "Life After Divorce (Don’t Ask About the Monkeys)". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- C.K., Louis (February 26, 2012). "Exciting: I have fired myself as editor of LOUIE for season 3 and hired Susan E. Morse". Twitter. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
- "Critic Reviews for Louie Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- Stanley, Alessandra (June 28, 2010). "Life After Divorce (Don’t Ask About the Monkeys)". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- Hinckley, David (June 29, 2010). "FX's 'Louie' better than HBO's 'Lucky Louie', but Louis C.K. still hasn't found his niche". Daily News. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- Lowry, Brian (June 26, 2010). "Louie". Variety.com. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- Dietz, Jason. "2011 Television Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "Critic Review for Louie Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- "Critic Review for Louie Season 3". Metacritic. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
- "2011 Winners". International Press Academy. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
- "The Television Critics Association Announces 2011 TCA Awards Nominees". Television Critics Association. June 13, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
- "Louie". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
- "AFI Awards 2011". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
- "2012 Winners". International Press Academy. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- "The Television Critics Association Announces 2012 TCA Awards Winners" (Press release). Television Critics Association. July 28, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
- "2012 Writers Guild Awards Television, News, Radio, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation Nominees Announced". Writers Guild of America. December 7, 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- "AFI Awards 2012". American Film Institute. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- "The 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Kim, Wook (February 18, 2013). "2013 WGA Awards: The Complete List of Winners". Time. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Ellwood, Gregory (January 13, 2013). "70th Golden Globe Awards winners and nominees". HitFix. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- "72nd Annual Peabody Awards: Complete List of Winners". George Foster Peabody Awards. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Ausiello, Michael (August 3, 2013). "Tatiana Maslany, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Americans, Bunheads, Parks and Rec, Big Bang Among Winners at 2013 TCA Awards". TVLine. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- Lambert, David (March 28, 2011). "Louie - Fox's Canadian Press Release Gives Street Date, Extras for Season 1 DVD/Blu Combo Set". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- Lacey, Gord (April 4, 2012). "Louie - Season 2 Announced". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved April 7, 2012.