When the fifteenth season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was officially announced in 2020, it marked It's Always Sunny as the longest-running live-action comedy series in American history. Conceptualized by Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton, and with additional writing credits to Charlie Day, the creators/stars of It's Always Sunny have managed to keep the series hilarious and relevant. Premiering on FX in August of 2005, the series now runs on FXX and is slated for a total renewal of four seasons.
And It's Always Sunny fans rejoiced!
Set in Philadephia Pennsylvania, It's Always Sunny follows the schemes and exploits of “The Gang”—a group of misfit opportunists that run a grimy bar called Paddy’s Pub. The pub is rarely a financial success, and The Gang can usually be found there getting drunk themselves, and developing unnecessarily complex schemes of opportunity through manipulation and blackmail. Some of their more depraved exploits have included kidnapping, grave robbing, faking AIDS, cannibalism, and other disturbing behavior that can't be mentioned here. The Gang is, in a word, [email protected]&!%$* terrible. Ok, two words. But, in the grand order of the universe, The Gang is rarely rewarded for their actions. In fact, it is usually thier own hubris that interferes and brings about The Gang's downfall.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia directs a harsh light on some of morbidl realities of American society, and does so in an unapologetically funny way. Which is probably why it's been on the air so long.
Here at Collider, we can't wait for season 15 of It's Always Sunny, and are sharing everything we know so far about release dates, character details, and filming timelines.
When is the Season 15 Release Date?
It's Always Sunny Season 15 premieres on December 1, 2021. The series airs live on FXX and will be available to stream next-day on Hulu.
Season 14 ended in November of 2019, and It's Always Sunny fans were excited to find out that the show had been renewed for another season. In fact, It's Always Sunny is renewed for four more seasons on FXX. But, as is the case with most things this last year and a half, production on It's Always Sunny was delayed for a while by the Covid-19 pandemic. Filming for season 15 just wrapped up this fall, with the creators and network confirming the wrap on October fifth.
Watch the It's Always Sunny Season 15 Trailer
The long-awaited trailer for Season 15 finally arrived in mid-November, confirming some reports about It's Always Sunny heading across the pond this season, and revealing a few snippets from the episodes to come.
Who is in the 'Always Sunny' Cast?
Creators Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, and Charlie Day, are set to reprise their roles as Dennis, Mac, and Charlie. Additionally, Kaitlin Olson returns as Dee, and Danny DeVito is back as Frank Reynolds. We'll have to wait and watch to find out which recurring cast members will return for their featured roles, such as Mary Elizabeth Ellis as The Waitress, and David Hornsby as Cricket.
Who are the Main Characters?
Rob McElhenney is Ronald "Mac" McDonald, a co-owner of Paddy's Pub and acting bouncer of the bar. He refers to himself as sheriff of the pub, despite frequently avoiding physical confrontation and often appearing to be the most cowardly of the group. Mac has been friends with The Gang since high school, and might be sexually attracted to his best friend, Dennis.
Glenn Howerton is Dennis Reynolds, co-owner of Paddy's Pub and probable psychopath. Proud creator of "The D.E.N.N.I.S. System" for manipulating women into sleeping with him before he dumps them, Dennis is, at best, a narcissist. And at worst? Well, there's reason to believe he may be a serial killer.
Charlie Day is Charlie Kelly, former co-owner of Paddy's who traded his bar ownership for a half-eaten sandwich and other undisclosed "goods and services." A known illiterate and alcoholic, Charlie is now the janitor of Paddy's, and refers to his custodial projects—which are often disturbing and unnecessary—as "Charlie Work." Charlie shares a rancid apartment and fold-out couch with Frank Reynolds, who may or may not be his biological father.
Kaitlin Olson is Deandra "Sweet Dee" Reynolds, twin sister of Dennis and the main bartender at Paddy's Pub. Dee dreams of being some kind of actress or performer, regardless of stage fright so bad that she dry heaves onstage, and despite having absolutely zero acting talent to speak of. Never quite accepted by The Gang, Dee is ridiculed for her birdlike features, and is often the target of the group's cruelty.
Danny DeVito is Frank Reynolds, the legal—though not biological—father of Dennis and Dee Reynolds. Previously a successful businessman, Frank is the "de facto" boss of the pub and is usually the mastermind behind The Gang's many hijinks. While he has enough money to live comfortably elsewhere, Frank chooses to be Charlie's roommate, so he can live adventurously since splitting from his "whore wife" Barbara. Frank is usually armed with a pistol and a pocket full of sausages.
Mary Elizabeth Ellis is featured in many episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia as The Waitress. And after 14 seasons, we have yet to discover her real name. The Waitress harbors affection for Dennis, and is the object of Charlie's obsessive, unrequited love.
David Hornsby is Rickety Cricket, real name Matthew Mara, and is a tragically recurring victim of The Gang. A former Catholic Priest, over the years Cricket has been defrocked, abducted, addicted to PCP, and subjected to other unmentionable antics at the hands of The Gang.
Time will tell when and where recurring characters like The Waitress and Cricket (among others) will show up in future seasons of It's Always Sunny, but we can't wait to watch what happens.
When Did Season 15 Film?
In May of 2021, Charlie Day shared an Instagram post that alluded to the beginning of filming season 15. Many fans understood the post to be confirmation that production was indeed underway. Then, in October of this year, a post from It's Always Sunny FXX announced that filming for season 15 was complete. The post features Charlie, Mac, and Dennis posing outside of Paddy's Pub, and the trio is sporting some fresh style. Mac is seen with long hair and a goatee, donning a very 1990s windbreaker, Dennis is rocking smoothly side-parted hair and a nice sweater, appearing fairly predatory, and Charlie pretty much looks like Charlie...
Where Is Season 15 Set?
As the title and basis of the series suggests, we can assume that most of season 15 would logically take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We're likely to catch The Gang hatching up plans at Paddy's Pub, and we'll probably be subjected to all sorts of depravity at the dingy apartment shared by Charlie and Frank. However, reports of casting calls for a Danny DeVito look-alike in Ireland this past year inspired rumors that scenes for It's Always Sunny were being filmed there, and recent updates confirm that Season 15 will take us overseas.
What is Season 15 About?
According to the creators of the series, It's Always Sunny fans can expect the show to feature relevant events, including the pandemic and current political climate. Rob McElhenney said this about season 15 in an interview last year:
"Well, we actually do have an episode called 'The Gang Gets Quarantined' where we quarantine ourselves in the bar. I think there’s a big flu going around Philadelphia or something like that. When we come back, don’t worry, we will address all this in the way only Sunny can!"
Also, this past August, McElhenney revealed the title for the first episode of season 15 on his newly created TikTok account. The first episode is titled, "2020: A Year In Review" and the TikTok video reveals McElhenney in Paddy's Pub, dressed in full riot gear while holding the episode script. We can only guess what McElhenney's character Mac, self-proclaimed expert in hand-to-hand combat, needs with all that tactical gear, but it's sure to be an interesting way to kick off the season.
The video also shows that the first episode script is written by McElhenney, Day, and Howerton. Howerton, one of the show's creators and original writers, hadn't been involved in writing for the last couple of seasons. He recently explained on Late Night with Seth Meyers how much he's enjoyed getting back to writing after taking a break for a while.
"I'm not gonna lie, it's absolutely brutal," he told Seth Meyers. “The characters can't fundamentally change who they are. Like they can't just become a different person, so you're sort of hemmed in a little bit in terms of like what the character's attitudes and what their point of view is."
Howerton also said, "I think I can honestly say this season of 'Sunny' is probably going to be our best in many years.”
Here's the official, pretty in-depth, and very exciting synopsis for Season 15:
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.Like a fine Irish whiskey, Sunny’s distinct flavor has gotten richer and intensified through the years. First barreled in 2005, the show has become a landmark for dark comedy and American satire, uniting the most devoted of fans from all over the country and abroad, and this monumental 15th season is truly one to crack open and celebrate. Continuing to deliver some of the hardest laughs on television while tackling society’s most pressing issues, Sunny turns its fearless focus both outward and inward: to a national and international level but also to a deeply personal level. This is a season that sees The Gang try to exploit pandemic aid, sidestep cancel culture, evade criminal justice, reflect on their origins, and reconcile their identities and homeland roots.
Four more years! Four more years!
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