'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' Season 15: How Many Episodes Is the New Season?

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 15 premieres Dec. 1 on FXX, the sister network of FX. Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson, Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day and Danny DeVito return for another season of shenanigans, but for how many episodes? New episodes of Sunny premiere Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FXX and stream Thursdays on Hulu. But, there are fewer than previous years. 

There are only 8 episodes of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Season 15

FX confirmed It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 15 would consist of eight episodes. That’s still one more than the first season. Most seasons of Sunny have been 10 episodes. Season 3 hit 15 and Season 4, 6, and 7 were 13 episodes. Season 4 had 12. So get ready for eight new episodes of classic Sunny sick jokes.

The record-breaking 15th season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is its most ambitious yet. In the seismic wake of COVID-19 and all things 2020, The Gang stands at a crossroads in this strange new world. The rules are changing quicker than anyone can keep up with, despite herculean efforts from “Mac” (Rob McElhenney), “Charlie” (Charlie Day), “Dennis” (Glenn Howerton), “Dee” (Kaitlin Olson) and “Frank” (Danny DeVito) to continue business as usual. Now, they must face the music and decide who they’ll become in the cultural upheaval that is 2021. Across the span of eight episodes — and the Atlantic Ocean — we find them answer in a way only they could think to.

The reason ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Season 15 only has 8 episodes

FX renewed It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia through season 18. Then the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic happened. The ensuing year and a half certainly gave Sunny lots of ideas, including episodes on pandemic assistance and cancel culture. However, they couldn’t force it. 

“For as much as we love it, we also don’t want to make a show that isn’t worthy of the audience’s time and attention and love,” McElhenney said at a Zoom press conference. “We feel like we’ve cultivated that and fostered that over the last 15 years. And we want to make sure that if we’re going to put out a season of Sunny that it has something to say. That it’s interesting, that it’s still fun, it’s still very funny and that it’s satire at its highest. Sometimes that just takes a little bit more time, especially as you get into the later years. Regardless of how much fodder the world seems to continue to generate for us, we wanted to make sure we get it right.”

After waiting a year and a half to film season 15, eight episodes weren’t quite enough to satiate Olson.

“One of the best things about doing eight episodes is that it doesn’t give us a chance to get tired of it,” Olson said. “So only being able to do eight episodes is the ultimate leaving people wanting more. It leaves us wanting more as well. It feels like we’ve been done forever and I can’t wait to get back and do more.”

The short season still breaks a record

Eight episodes is more than enough to set a new It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia record. The season 15 premiere allows the show to pass The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet. FX was sure to tout that in their announcement.

Oh, and did we mention this is season 15? Sunny now breaks the record and becomes the longest-running live-action sitcom of all time. The show is executive produced by McElhenney (creator), Day, and Howerton, along with David Hornsby, Megan Ganz, Rob Rosell, Nick Frenkel, and Michael Rotenberg. None of this could be possible without the unyielding faith and courage of FX, who took a gamble on a small, homegrown show and now have cultivated one of the most vital, boundary-breaking comedies in American history. 

So, raise that snifter and cheers: To Sunny! Yes, it burns a little, and that’s what you want.

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