In case you missed the news last night, HBO has ordered up a fourth season of “Eastbound & Down.” That’s right, the show that everyone expected was over and done with this spring — including creators Danny McBride and Jody Hill — is now back, with eight more episodes to come. The announcement was a surprise for everyone, but according to a very candid McBride, he’s just glad to have another shot at the show, which it seems he felt was slightly compromised in the third season, in terms of everything they wanted to delve into with Kenny Fucking Powers.
“Something we never really got to explore with the show that we always wanted to was what life would be like once April and Kenny were together. Katy Mixon was on a hit television show [‘Mike & Molly‘], and her schedule with that show didn’t really allow her to be involved with the show as much as Jody and I would have loved for her to be. So we came up with solutions to get around that, and we sort of kept her character as the carrot at the end of the stick. So that was a real stumbling block,” McBride revealed to HitFix. “We knew if we were going to tell one more story with Kenny, we would need to have full access to Mixon to tell that story that we always kind of wanted to. That’s when HBO came in, and they’re going to work with the schedule to make sure we do have access to Katy Mixon, and that creatively, to us, allows us to finish off the story the way we initially would have done it. I think it’s exciting, and it’s something that we’re…we wouldn’t have signed up for it if we weren’t confident about being able to deliver something that won’t take away from what we’ve done, that will add to it and give us one last encore performance of this disgusting man.”
McBride also adds that the seeds for some kind of final chapter were always knocking around, and now they really get the chance to do it. “We joke around and we pitch each other bits, and that’s sort of all the development we had ever thought of for a season four. And now a little bit of time has passed and it feels like there’s still a hunger for more out there, and Jody and I looked at each other and like…see, we did have an idea for a sort of an epilogue to the show,” he said. “We had sort of seen this as like what ‘The Office‘ did with its Christmas special. And for a while, we thought of this epilogue as something that was maybe like an hour and a half special, and the more we talked about it, the more we thought it could be one more season.”
As for Hill, he concurs that the network’s support allows them to continue to maintain their strong creative hold and deliver the saga of Kenny Powers the way they want to. “We knew we had more story to tell. We didn’t want to exactly let the cat out of the bag, but we didn’t want to have to come in and do anything that we didn’t want to do – have HBO come at us with lot of new storylines, which we were afraid to do for a long time, so we always stuck to our guns,” he told the New York Times. “But HBO’s going to let us wrap things up the way we want to do it, so we figure one more’s going to do it.”
But for all this excitement, the wait will likely be a long one. New episodes aren’t expected to air until “the latter half of next year” at the earliest, which means they are probably waiting for Mixon’s next hiatus from the CBS comedy to get cameras rolling. But it will give them plenty of time to get all the material together, and fans will no doubt wait out this seventh inning stretch, for more time with Kenny.