10:32 AM PDT 10/9/2012 by Lesley Goldberg
FX is delaying the return of critical darling Louie from summer 2013 to spring 2014.
During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, FX president and GM John Landgraf announced that Louis C.K. requested and received an extended hiatus between the recently completed third season and the upcoming fourth frame.
"Louie has continued to raise the bar and recharge his batteries. I don't think there's anyone else in business who's produced, starred, directed and edited all but seven episodes … I'm not surprised he needs a bit of a break," Landgraf said.
The stand-up comic will continue on tour this year and will shift his focus to penning the upcoming season in the first-quarter of 2013.
"I want season four to go somewhere new … I'm looking back to when I did the first season and the time I took to do the show and decide which directions to go in and I want that back again," Louis C.K. told reporters. "I want a little breathing room."
In the meantime, the Emmy winner said his current 22-city tour would "probably" be turned into a stand-up special. The Louis C.K. bypassed the traditional approach to the tour and brought it directly to the people, bypassing ticket brokers and selling seats for a flat $45 fee. "That's the way I'm going to do it from now on," he said.
"The last three seasons have been a surge of fun stories and it's been great to share all the stuff and I want the show to keep getting better," Louis C.K. said. "I want it to keep being something that comes from somewhere fun and important."
The increased lead time will allow the FX funnyman to focus mostly on writing. "I usually start shooting in March for a June launch and we'll start September or October for a May launch," he said. "I used to shoot, promote and edit all at the same time in June and I think I can do better work if I spread things out."
FX renewed Louie for a fourth season in July. Louis C.K. took home the Emmy this year for writing in a comedy series for his work on the series. As for the show's lead-in once it does return, Landgraf noted Louie's two-season companion wouldn't be joining it.
"I have trust that we will find something amazing, but it won't be Wilfred," Landgraf said, touting the network's Jim Jeffries comedy Legit — which is due in January.