It's not closing time at Paddy's Pub just yet.
After a recent interview, in which It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star and executive producer Glenn Howerton said that Season 10 would be the show's swan song, the producers said they aren't sure when the show will wrap up.
"I still feel like we're doing our best work," star and executive producer Rob McElhenney said at the Television Critics Association fall TV previews Friday. "I'm really, really proud of this season."
Although the show is going into its ninth season, which will include its 100th episode, McElhenney said the short 10-episode orders for recent seasons "allows us to stay fresh and continue to evolve."
In an interview with Rolling Stone last month, Howerton said the show — which has already been renewed for Season 10 — would end in 2014 so that it could go out on a high note. "There's a certain point where you wear out your welcome and we don't want to do that. We want to leave them wanting more," Howerton said. "I think we're proud of what we've done so far, so it's time to stop."
Howerton later called the statement a "misquote" and on Friday, the show's stars and executive producers sounded confident that there were still plenty of territory to mine for stories. "Somehow we've managed to create a world ... in which our characters can get into a lot of different scrapes that other shows can't," Howerton said. "We can go anywhere. We can get into situations that are beyond the scopes of a lot of other shows."
Star and executive producer Charlie Day went so far as to say that the show has become stronger in recent years because of its age. "I actually think the eighth season that we did last year was the best one since Seasons 1 or 2," he said. "Having that sort of daunting, we've-done-it-all challenge is a good thing because it forces you to be as creative as you possibly can."
This season will even see It's Always Sunny revisit old material but with a new take. In one upcoming episode, entitled "Gun Fever," the gang again tackles gun control issues in America, like it did in Season 1, but this time it more closely examines a post-Sandy Hook world. "The goal is sort of that we don't change that much at all — that we stay as self-centered and stuck in our ways as the world expands," star Kaitlin Olson said. "Hopefully, the world around us is sort of the straight person and we're the ones who are ludicrous."
Other upcoming episodes this season include the return of 24's Mary Lynn Rajskub as Gail the Snail, and a Thanksgiving special which will see the gang try to bury the hatchet with their many enemies. It's Always Sunny will also poke fun at its long history of being snubbed by the Emmys. "We're going to address that in an episode called 'The Gang Desperately Tries to Win an Award,'" Day said. Added Olson: "If you watch the episode, you can kind of see our point of view on that."
But the big question is: Will viewers be able to find the new episodes on Sunny's new home, FXX? The team behind the show isn't worried. "We've really benefited from having a savy, younger audience who knew how to find the show,. so I think our hope is that, in that way, they'll find us whether we're on FXX or anything," Day said.
The new season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 10/9c on FXX.