Does NBC Deal Mean Dennis Won’t Return to ‘It’s Always Sunny’?

Actor Glenn Howerton’s comedy pilot, A.P. Bio, was just picked up as a new series by NBC.

Glenn Howerton (second from right) with the rest of the cast of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” | Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP

The last episode of the 12th season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia left fans hanging on whether Dennis would ever return to Paddy’s Pub or the city, and recent news out of Hollywood suggests that the show’s open-ended conclusion for the character may have been intentional.

Although It’s Always Sunny has already been renewed for a record-tying 14th season, actor Glenn Howerton signed on to star in a new sitcom helmed by executive producers Lorne Michaels and Seth Meyers, which Variety reports was green-lit by NBC for the network’s 2017-2018 slate.

In A.P. Bio, Howerton plays a philosophy scholar who doesn’t get his dream job and is forced to teach Advanced Placement biology at the high school level. Hilarity ensues.

The issue: Howerton has been a series regular on St. Joe’s Prep grad Rob McElhenney’s beloved show since 2005, where he also pulled double-duty as a writer and producer.

It’s a lot to ask of a television actor to have that much involvement in two projects at once, and even Howerton himself admitted to Uproxx in March that he “might be” finished with It’s Always Sunny — although he wasn’t definitively sure at the time.

In that interview, Howerton revealed that It’s Always Sunny could possibly take an “extended hiatus” between seasons 12 and 13 to accommodate the actors’ busy schedules. Co-star Kaitlin Olson, who also works on the FOX series The Mick in addition to Sunny, confirmed that rumor to TV Guide.

Either way, it looks like Dennis’ appearances on It’s Always Sunny will be less and less frequent — if they happen at all — in the coming years thanks to Howerton’s stint on A.P. Bio, which we totally shouldn’t root for to fail, right?

Officials at FXX have not commented on whether Howerton will return to Sunny.

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