John Scurti and Denis Leary in Rescue Me by Larry Riley/FX John Scurti and Denis Leary in Rescue Me by Larry Riley/FX

Better late than never.

An FX spokesperson confirms that Rescue Me has finally been renewed for a 22-episode fifth season.

Production is slated to get under way in the spring, give or take a few months (or years) depending on how this whole writers'-strike thing shakes out. [ Gulp] The 22 episodes will air in two separate cycles, although FX isn't saying when the first batch will debut.

It's not clear what took the cable net so long to pick up one of its flagship programs. Maybe they were as unimpressed with Season 4 as the rest of us? Eh, it was probably just some pesky red tape.

Regardless, I'm glad Tommy and Co. will be back. A subpar Rescue Me is still better than 50 percent of the crap that's out there. You with me? I think you are....