You know how it goes. You find a little gem of a show and you fall in love with it; you go around everywhere extolling its virtues while everyone you know just rolls their eyes at you and tunes into the next episode of The Walking Dead instead. (I mean, it is the highest-rated show on broadcast television, so that's a likely scenario.) Then, at the end of the season, the fate of your new favorite show hangs in the balance while you desperately wait for good news… or for the axe to fall. It's a tale as old as time — and it's something that fans of new FX comedy Baskets thankfully won't have to go through as the show prepares to air its Season 1 finale this Thursday night. Why's that? Because the show has miraculously already been renewed for another round! So when will Baskets return for Season 2?
FX's renewal of the show, created by Louis C.K. and Zach Galifianakis — and starring the latter comedian as a washed-up wannabe clown — came with an announcement that Season 2 would premiere sometime "in early 2017," which puts it right in line with Season 1's Jan. 21 premiere. That may seem like a long time from now… but Baskets fans should probably be happy that they're getting more episodes at all, to be quite honest. And since timing is such a crucial ingredient of comedy, it's good to see FX, C.K., and Galifianakis taking their time with developing the show's sophomore run rather than rushing it into production.
It's clear why Baskets fans are fortunate to be getting more of their new favorite show when you take a look at the numbers; the series hasn't exactly been smashing ratings records in its inaugural season. While the premiere episode, "Renoir," garnered just over a million viewers, Baskets' audience has shrunk ever since, pulling in a mere 396,000 pairs of eyeballs at its lowest point a couple of weeks ago. (It's hard to even begin comparing that number to the 12.69 million people that tuned in to the latest episode of that aforementioned zombie series.)
The network officially announced the comedy's renewal a month ago, when Baskets was only halfway through its first season. While you may experience a bit of cognitive dissonance contemplating a renewal while simultaneously looking at those low viewership numbers, it's actually not all that surprising. First of all, it's not unheard of for low-rated shows to be renewed as long as they're critically acclaimed; for example, the CW just renewed freshman series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend even though it pulled in an only-marginally-better 710,000 viewers this week.
The second factor in Baskets' renewal is undoubtedly the participation of creator and executive producer Louis C.K.; FX has a long-standing relationship with the popular comedian thanks to his own comedy series, Louie. That show has lasted five seasons on the network, despite pulling in numbers that aren't much bigger than Baskets' — it usually averages somewhere between 500,000 and one million, with some episodes even approaching the low 300,000 mark reached by Baskets this year. If FX has stuck by C.K. this long, why would they stop now?
So while Season 2 may seem a long way off at this point, at least this means you can use the remaining nine months of the year to bully, bribe, and cajole all your friends into watching Baskets so that when it returns, its ratings will be higher than ever, and you can help the show earn a third season renewal! Win-win, right? But first, be sure tune into the Season 1 finale, "Family Portrait," this Thursday at 10pm ET.
Images: Ben Cohen (2), Bernard Brun/FX