Dennis’ return to ‘It’s Always Sunny’ looks less likely with NBC’s ‘A.P. Bio’ series order

Christine Woods (L) as Mandy and Glenn Howerton (right) as Dennis Reynolds in “Dennis’ Double Life,” the season 12 finale of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.’

Et tu, Dennis?

NBC just made Glenn Howerton's return to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia next season look a lot less likely with a new series order announced this week.

As fans of It’s Always Sunny know, the most recent season of the show ended with the possibility that the lovably deranged egotist Dennis Reynolds, played by Howerton, may not be returning to Paddy’s Pub in future seasons. Howerton’s character, sadly, found he couldn’t “do this [expletive] anymore,” and needed to reevaluate his life, like so many Philadelphians.

In reality, however, Howerton’s return to It’s Always Sunny was dependent on NBC picking up a pilot dubbed A.P. Bio. Headed by executive producers Seth Meyers and Lorne Michaels, the project stars comedian Patton Oswalt and Howerton, who plays a down-on-his-luck philosophy scholar stuck teaching at a high school.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, NBC has greenlit A.P. Bio, meaning Howerton's future on It's Always Sunny is murky.

As Howerton told Uproxx in March, he “might be” done with the show, though he wasn’t certain at the time. The star didn’t discuss A.P. Bio with the site, but news later broke that he had been cast in the A.P. Bio pilot, giving some context to his statements. Representatives at FXX have not yet responded to request for comment about Howerton’s return to the show.

The actor also said that It’s Always Sunny “may be taking an extended hiatus between season 12 and season 13 of the show.” Co-star Kaitlin Olson later told TV Guide the same, saying that the Gang has “ended up pushing our next season a year” because “we were all so busy with separate projects this year.” Fox picked up Olson's The Mick for a second season earlier this year.

The purported delay could push season 13 of It’s Always sunny back to early 2019, as TV Guide reports, and the show is already on the hook for a 14th season. But whenever the new seasons air, it’s looking less and less likely Dennis will be a major part of them.

“I don’t know that you can point to any other character who is as dark and twisted and rapey and murderous and have it somehow still work, and be funny and likeable,” Howerton said of Dennis back in March. “I’m just proud to create such a unique character.”

A.P. Bio isn't the only Philly-connected NBC has picked up. Last week, the Peacock picked up Rise. The show is based on former Daily News and Inquirer reporter Michael Sokolove's book Drama High about Lou Volpe (played by How I Met Your Mother's Josh Radnor), the former head of Levittown's Harry S. Truman High School. No word yet on whether that show will keep it's Bucks County setting.