The League The League

If you haven't been catching The League, FX's screamingly funny fantasy-football comedy, you might want to get your head in the game. In its second season, the sitcom has scored major laughs by giving the excellent ensemble cast more to play with than just sports stats.

"We were told that people were responding to these characters, and that this group really felt like friends," says Jeff Schaffer, who executive produces the series with his wife, Jackie Marcus Schaffer. "So we keep exploring that." As for their inspiration for these friends — lawyer Ruxin (Nick Kroll), newly single Pete (Mark Duplass), icky plastic surgeon Andre (Paul Scheer), stoner Taco (Jon Lajoie), district attorney Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi) and his wife, Jenny (Katie Aselton) — the Shaffers swear they aren't drafting from their own social circle. "They aren't based on people we know; they're based on a collection of stories we've experienced," says Jackie, adding that the crew's crazy exploits "could have easily happened if things went two or three steps further in certain situations we've been in."

Tonight, things go too far, for sure, as Andre tackles an idiotic diet in preparation for the playoffs, and Kevin runs afoul of two fantasy-football gurus. Still, these lovable losers continue to win us over. Says Jackie, "I would want to hang out with all of them, 1,000 percent." Now that is taking one for the team!

The League airs Thursdays at 10:30/9:30c on FX

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