FX orders fifth season of ‘Rescue’

Production begins next spring on Leary show

FX has sounded the alarm for a fifth season of “Rescue Me,” picking up 22 episodes of the Denis Leary drama.

Production begins early next year on the season, which the cabler will split into two cycles. Leary, Peter Tolan and Jim Serpico are back as executive producer-showrunners; the series’ cast is back intact as well.

“The show has been a great source of pride to FX and remains one of the cornerstones of our respected brand of original series,” said FX Networks president/general manager John Landgraf.

“Rescue Me,” which comes from Sony Pictures TV, DreamWorks TV and Leary’s Apostle shingle, has been one of FX’s top-rated skeins, averaging a cumed audience of 3.2 million adults 18-49 and 4.8 million total viewers with its four weekly telecasts combined.

Sony Pictures TV co-prexy of programming and production Jamie Erlicht said having all three producers back for the show’s fifth season was “key.”

“Their vision and execution are what make this show a success,” Erlicht said.

Leary scored an Emmy nom this year (his second consecutive) for his portrayal of tortured firefighter Tommy Gavin. Show, which centers on the relationships among the crew of 62 Truck, also stars Michael Lombardi, Tatum O’Neal, Steven Pasquale, Andrea Roth, John Scurti, Daniel Sunjata and Callie Thorne.

“Rescue Me’s” fifth season is the first 22-episode order for the show, which until now has produced a cable standard 13 episodes per year.

“Now I can finally buy the pool I’ve always wanted,” said Serpico, who also serves as president of Apostle. “Or at least the foundation for that pool.”

“Rescue Me,” which bowed in July 2004, has also been nommed for an Emmy in drama series writing and drama directing, both in 2005.

Meanwhile, no word yet from FX on the fate of “Damages,” the recently concluded thriller starring Glenn Close. Insiders, however, believe word on whether a second season will be ordered is imminent.

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