'Louie' won't return until 2014: 'I don't want it to be making the doughnuts,' Louis C.K. says

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louie-season-4-fx.jpgThere will be a fourth season of "Louie" on FX, but you'll have to wait a while for it.

Series creator/writer/director/star Louis C.K. and FX president John Landgraf say the show won't return until the spring of 2014. C.K. wants to take some extra time to figure out where he wants the show to go and, he says, make it better.

"The last three seasons have been this surge of fun and work and stories. It's been great to share all this stuff, but I want to keep going. I want the show to keep getting better," C.K. says. "That's my goal. I don't want it to be making the doughnuts. I want it to keep being something that comes from somewhere fun and important, and I want it to stay funny."

C.K. says he wants the fourth season of "Louie" to go "somewhere new," and having extra time to figure out what that is will help. The extended hiatus will also mean less overlap between filming of the show, editing -- he says he's likely to return to that in Season 4 after working with frequent Woody Allen collaborator Susan Morse this year -- and promotion.

What's happening with "Louie" now is similar to the way HBO handles "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Larry David's show has had several long hiatuses in the course of its life, but executives there have long said they basically have an open door to him when he's ready to do another season.

"Interestingly enough, the late-night trilogy 'Louie' did was about -- Jack Dall's [ David Lynch] whole point of view is that if you're gonna do this, you've got to be able to turn it on and off like a switch. And I think professional artists gain skill at doing that," Landgraf says. "But there's a downside to the notion that, 'OK, we're employing you, we're paying you, so just turn it on when we need you to. We need to market it at this time, we need to put it on the air at this time. Let's be honest -- sometimes the work suffers because of that. ...

"You have to live as an artist to grow and recharge your batteries. Sometimes there's not enough time to live when you get a really successful show and a really successful career. Your whole world reduces down to working. From my standpoint, if Louis says, 'I want to make the show not only just as good, but even better, I want to figure out how to continue to evolve and grow as a creative person, but I need more time to do it,' it's a pretty obvious answer to that question. It's a simple yes."

C.K. adds that he's as excited about the show as he's ever been. "I want to be on the air now, again. I'm really eager all the time with this show. I eat it up. I love doing it," he says.

"But every season, when I have such a short shooting period, the way things are, I want to do better. ... To me it was just exciting to think of, 'Oh my God, what if I had that much time to deliver Season 4, what we could do.' I don't want to put too much pressure on it, because if it stinks now, it's going to be really tough for all of us. But that's always the case anyway. But to me it's like, Wow -- if we could do that we could turn in something really great. I hope."
Photo/Video credit: FX