Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This weekly, half-hour "slacker-com" began life as an independent project cooked up by three experienced Hollywood writers who were tired of scrounging around for jobs and decided to create their own opportunity. With little more than a single digital camera and a budget of 200 dollars, Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Glenn Howerton taped the pilot episode for a series about three overaged slackers, friends since high school, who ran a spectacularly unprofitable Irish bar in Philadelphia. The trio then shopped their pilot around to various networks and cable outlets, finally landing a weekly, half-hour slot on the FX cable service. Most of the humor in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia arose from the inflated egos and low-watt IQs of the three male protagonists, Mac (McElhenney), Charlie (Day), and Dennis (Howerton), as they endeavored to maintain their blue-collar values and machismo in the face of such sociopolitical challenges as racism, homophobia, abortion, and feminism. Added to the cast for the series proper was Kaitlin Olson as Dennis' sister, Dee, the most sensible of the bunch, albeit perennially unlucky in matters of the heart. Original debuting over FX in tandem with another low-budget sitcom, Starved, on August 4, 2005, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia was given a brief "over-the-air" tryout on FX's sister network Fox in June 2006.