“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” Was Almost Canceled After Season 1

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” renewed at the last minute after its first season.

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” has carved a unique niche in the sitcom world with its dark humor, irreverent social commentary, and unforgettable characters. It has become a cult classic that still continues to entertain and shock audiences. But the show’s success story was far from straightforward, and its future wasn’t always as bright as it is today.

Back in the early days, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” was a scrappy, low-budget production. Despite its originality and authenticity, the show struggled to find its audience. The actors and creators Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Glenn Howerton were not widely recognized at the time, making it challenging to draw in viewers. Even with its promising debut, the first season did not garner the ratings the network had hoped for.

The creators knew the show had potential, but the numbers just weren’t there. It wasn’t until the end of the first season that the show found its life-line: the addition of a well-known actor to the cast. “Our season-two pickup was predicated on if we could bring in that high-level name. Not only did it mean that we were getting Danny on the show, it meant we still had a show,” recalled Howerton in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Enter Danny DeVito, a seasoned actor with an extensive filmography that attracted a larger audience. DeVito’s introduction to the show was a masterstroke that revived the series from the brink of obscurity. However, even with DeVito onboard, the series remained relatively low-key until the fourth season. But with each passing season, the show began to amass a loyal fan base.

So, was “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” destined to become a cult favorite? If you were among the few who watched it before the second season aired, you likely consider it a cult classic. Those early fans cherished the dark humor and absurdity that made the show a hidden gem. However, without the addition of DeVito, many potential viewers may have never discovered it. The show could have slipped into obscurity, remembered only by a handful of early adopters.

Today, it’s hard to imagine the television landscape without “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Despite its rocky start, the show is an example of how creativity, perseverance, and a well-placed high-level name can turn a fledgling series into a beloved cult classic. It’s a testament to the creators’ vision and their refusal to compromise on their unique comedic approach, despite initial low ratings.

As we look back, we realize that it was indeed always sunny in Philadelphia; it just took a little time for the rest of the world to catch up to its gleaming humor.