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Glenn Howerton on Possible ‘Always Sunny’ Return: ‘I’ve Not Officially Left’

The writers room for Season 13 of the show is set to start up next month, when Howerton's new show "A.P. Bio" premieres on NBC.

Glenn HowertonThe Contenders Emmys, presented by Deadline, Photo Studio, Los Angeles, USA - 09 Apr 2017

Buckne/Deadline/REX/Shutterstock

Glenn Howerton may not be done with Dennis Reynolds, but he’s aware that some people may see his lead character in the upcoming NBC sitcom “A.P. Bio” in the same vein as his fan-favorite role from the FX series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

Speaking to the Television Critics Association on Tuesday, Howerton talked about the similarities between the two characters.

“I think one of the tough things about doing a show for twelve years is that people are going to have a hard time seeing you as anything else. I realize that can be a little bit of a struggle,” Howerton said. “That’s why it was important to do something with someone who has a distinctive voice like Mike.”

Speaking of the yet-to-be-filmed Season 13 of “Sunny,” Howerton wanted to reiterate that his involvement with the show hasn’t definitively ended.

“I’ve not officially left yet and I hope people understand that,” Howerton said.

After stepping away from “Sunny” at the end of last season, Howerton said he didn’t have immediate plans to join another show so soon.

“I wasn’t even planning on jumping into anything else, but when I read the script, I couldn’t pass it up,” he said.

When asked whether the “A.P. Bio” schedule would allow him to do both, Howerton said, “Absolutely.”

The overall “Sunny” deal is still in effect for two more seasons, and when Howerton was describing the slight production schedule delay that left the show without a January premiere for the first time since 2014, he made comparisons to another show with an irregular release schedule.

“I don’t know if this is going to turn into a ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ thing where we make them when we can or if it’s gonna pick up where it left off and it’s gonna be every year again. I don’t really know,” Howerton said.

Addressing the prospect of another gap in between potential Seasons 13 and 14, Howerton said that the future is still being worked out.

“We’ve talked about that. We love the show and we love each other and we want to keep doing it and if we can get away with just doing it whenever we want, why not?” Howerton said. “Creatively speaking, we just want the show to be good, so if any of us is feeling burned out and we feel like it’s gonna compromise the quality of the show, we just won’t do it.”

At an event at Vulture Festival last fall, Howerton was noncommittal about coming back.

“I will say this: All joking aside, I love these guys and we have an absolute blast working together. We’ll see,” he said.

In “A.P. Bio,” Howerton plays a vindictive high school teacher dead-set on destroying his professional rival while doing as little actual teaching as possible.

“This character definitely does share some traits with the character on ‘Sunny,’ but I think he’s distinct in some other ways. I think there’s some real heart to this guy. He really wears his heart on his sleeve more than he realizes. I don’t think he’s as hardened as…” Howerton said, trailing off, pretending to forget the name “Dennis.”

The series, created by former “SNL” writer and featured player Mike O’Brien, co-stars Patton Oswalt, Mary Sohn, Lyric Lewis, and Jean Villepique.

“A.P. Bio” premieres February 1 on NBC.

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