Until FX renewed The League Monday, die-hard fans were panicked they had seen the last of Kevin's meltdowns and Ruxin's schemes. Creators and executive producers Jackie and Jeff Schaffer said they never doubted the comedy's future.
"I honestly never questioned it," Jackie tells TVGuide.com. "I think we have the funniest cast on TV hands down. We weren't done with them, the network wasn't done with them yet and God knows the fans weren't done with them yet."
The League kicked off in late October 2009 and averaged 1.08 million viewers in its six-episode first season. Thanks to strong writing, an experience ensemble and noteworthy guest stars like Chad Ochocinco and Rob Huebel, Season 2 caught the attention of both critics and an average of 1.4 million viewers.
"We're not just getting a football-lovers audience, but a comedy-lovers audience, which has been great," Jeff says. "People have realized our mantra, which is you don't have to know anything about fantasy football, you just have to have friends that you hate."
Adds Jackie: "This is just a show about a group of friends who like to torture each other."
These days, Jackie has plenty of reason to celebrate. She won the fantasy football league she and her husband play in along with the show's cast. "It's my greatest shame," her husband says. "Jackie really knows what she's doing."
In a case of life imitating art, Steve Rannazzisi failed to make their league's playoffs after his character, Kevin, failed to make it to the Shiva Bowl last season. "Steve was the only cast member who played fantasy before the show and now he's just ended up with a terrible record."
Looking ahead, the Schaffers have already started writing Season 3, which premieres next fall on FX. It will explore the aftermath of the league's surprising winners and losers last year. "We ended season 2 as the reign of Ruxin [Nick Kroll] began; the evil overlord of the league. We're excited to see how that works out," Jeff says. "Will he be a gracious champion or will he be a terrible, terrible tyrant?"
Keeping a promise made to the fans before the show was picked up, Season 3 will also include a cameo from Rafi's infamous friend Dirty Randy. With both NFL players and comedians clamoring to appear on the show next season, one of this year's biggest challenges looks to be coordinating guest stars.
"A lot of amazing NFL players would like to be on the show now. The first 10 picks of any fantasy draft — these guys are calling us and saying, 'Hey, I'd like to be on the show,'" Jeff says. "I'm so glad we didn't do a show about fantasy garbage men or anything."