Comedy Impact Report 2012: TV - Louis C.K.

Louis C.K. reinvented the idea of writing your own ticket in showbiz — and television in particular — nurturing his FX half-hour dramedy beyond cult love into the good graces of the TV Academy, which gave “Louie” three Emmy noms in 2012, including a trophy for comedy writing. That award went to series exec producer and star Louis C.K., who has the sole writing credit on 36 of the third-year skein’s 39 episodes (all of which he also directed).

Louis C.K. famously bargained with FX prexy John Landgraf for creative control of the series, in exchange for keeping the budget low. Hardly resting on his laurels, the comedian continued to innovate: He sold his “Live at the Beacon Theater” comedy special directly on the Internet for $5 per buyer, grossing $1 million in the first 10 days. FX then picked up the special, which earned four Emmy noms, including another writing Emmy (in the variety special category) for Louis C.K.

The comedian also bypassed Ticketmaster (and its fees) in June to sell 100,000 tickets in 45 hours for his tour, grossing $4.5 million despite a maximum ticket price below the cheapest seat for the typical standup of his caliber. As the Associated Press noted, after announcing the results, Louis C.K. tweeted: “I guess it was a good idea.”

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