After all the drama of Glenn Howerton's hiatus on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a new report claims he is actually in "pretty much every" episode of the upcoming season.
Howerton has played the devious and sociopathic Dennis Reynolds on the beloved series for over a decade. He is central to the show's bizarre premise, often taking a ring-leader role in the gang's various plots and schemes, so it makes sense that his exit would cause so much trepidation among fans.
However, all of that worry might have been for nothing, as series creator Rob McElhenney said that Howerton did not end up missing much of the new season. Last week, McElhenney — who also stars as Mac on the series — spoke to reporters at the Television Critis Association summer press tour. According to TVLine, he said that he and the writers had “talked about all sorts of different ideas” for Dennis-free stories, “before we knew that Glenn was actually coming back.”
“He’s in pretty much every episode,” McElhenney confirmed.
Howerton's exit was big news in the TV realm last year, after the season 12 finale suggested he might be gone for good. In it, Dennis discovered that he had a child out in North Dakota, and he moved out there to help raise it.
The move was not just plot driven, however, as Howerton also took the lead on a new sitcom this year at NBC. A.P. Bio stars Howerton along with Patton Oswalt, Lyric Lewis and a cast of talented kids. It follows Jack Griffin (Howerton,) a narcissistic philosophy professor forced to take a high school teaching job in Toledo after his mother's passing. Rather than teaching his students, he ropes them into his various schemes to humiliate his academic rival, get a book published and escape to an easier life.
The show has gotten generally favorable reviews, though it did not inspire the kind of buzz that Always Sunny is known for. Many felt that Jack Griffin is too similar to Dennis Reynolds, and the show simply followed an established template.
Still, it did well enough to earn a second season thanks to its ratings performance. According to a report by Deadline, A.P. Bio got a big bump from the PyeongChang Olympics, and ended up the No. 3 primetime series among the Big 4 networks this year. It also did the best out of NBC's bubble comedies, in a year when all eyes were on The Good Place.