The Big Picture
- Loudermilk, a popular sobriety-centered comedy about a music journalist, may not have a fourth season due to the shutdown of its broadcasting network.
- The series follows the journey of a recovering alcoholic who tries to do the right thing despite his self-destructive tendencies and gruff attitude.
- While there is no official announcement, there is still hope for a fourth season as the show has found a new home on Amazon Prime Video.
The three seasons of sobriety-centered comedy Loudermilk, about a washed-up music journalist starring Ron Livingston as the eponymous character, was a hit with fans. Still, there are doubts about whether a fourth season will exist. The first three seasons of Loudermilk premiered on the now-defunct Audience Network, a subsidiary of AT&T that ran exclusively on the company’s DirecTV premium television service. The parent company shut down the network before the third season’s release, and while the show wasn’t canceled, its broadcasting network was, and Loudermilk was left without a home. Fans scratched their collective heads, wondering if their favourite churlish Gen X’er and company would ride again.
Sam Loudermilk is a recovering alcoholic and substance-abuse counselor with a bad attitude. Although he has his drinking under control, Loudermilk discovers that when your life is a mess, getting clean is the easy part.
- Release Date
- October 17, 2017
What Is ‘Loudermilk’ About?
Loudermilk is an American comedy series created by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Mort. The series first aired on October 17, 2017, on the AT&T Audience Network and finished on December 31, 2020, much to the ire of fans. Loudermilk stars Ron Livingston as Sam Loudermilk, Will Sasso as Sam’s roommate and sponsor, Ben Burns, Laura Mennell as Allison Montgomery, his love interest next door, and Anja Savcic as Claire Wilkes, a woman deep in the grip of addiction whom Sam reluctantly helps to get her back on her feet.
The series revolves around Sam, a former big-time music journalist and recovering alcoholic who now spends his days griping about coffee and music and working as a substance abuse counselor in Seattle. Sam is, for all intents and purposes, a real jerk. He is a man, more or less, out of time, living out his waning Gen X years in a state of bitter enmity. He seems to be annoyed by almost everything in life. A lot of these scenes happen in coffee shops. One, in particular, stands out as Sam hits up a Starbucks to get his morning medicine and bemoans his barista’s vocal fry as she asks him if he’d like her to leave the room for cream. He mocks her, mimicking her annoying affectation. The poor barista confronts him, asking him, “Why you gotta be so rude,” and he explains that it’s the “way annoying teenagers and rich people talk to sound like they don’t give a shit.” His pleas go unabated with a woman in the back of the line reminding him that other people are waiting to order in her own detached vocal fry. The scene concludes with Sam throwing up his hands in defeat and proclaiming, “Fuck everybody,” which is more or less Sam’s attitude throughout the entirety of the series.
What makes this series so good is the journey of redemption the acid-tongued journalist is on. He’s constantly trying to do the right thing despite his propensity for self-destruction and irritation with almost anything on this planet. His quest is admirable, specifically his reluctant interest in his sponsee, Claire Wilkes, who moves into his apartment with him and Ben rather unexpectedly. He’s just as gloves off when it comes to her millennial behaviour, but a degree of tenderness lurks beneath his gruff exterior. This motley crew of people on the mend is genuinely endearing, making for a bittersweet comedy that shows both the pains of struggling with sobriety and some of the comedy. That ability to laugh at the darkness cemented the show’s audience and is why it endured for three seasons until the Audience Network went bust.
The film will mark Ron Livingston’s first role in a superhero film.
What Happened To the Audience Network?
The Audience Network was a division of AT&T, a pay-for-use channel with its roots dating to 1999 (Sam’s heyday) that shuttered its doors on May 22, 2020. The network was to be a low-cost streaming and Live TV service meant to provide a secondary option to the AT&T DirectTV service for budget-conscious consumers. It launched with 103 channels playing on a continuous loop at a price point of about $15. Customers could access various TV channels like VICELAND, Sundance, CNN, AMC, etc.
On January 8, 2020, AT&T announced that it would cease current operations and transition into a Barker Channel for HBO Max, launched May 27 of that same year. As a result, shows being produced for the dying network were thrown into upheaval, their fates now totally up in the air. Shows like Rich Eisen’s Sports show suddenly found themselves in danger of being cancelled, having maintained their video simulcast through the Audience Network. This was true of The Dan Patrick Show and beloved fan favourite, Loudermilk. Luckily, the show wasn’t without a home for long. Amazon jumped at the chance to snap up the distribution rights about a year after the show’s impromptu cancellation. The series’ actors were subsequently released from their contracts, but the cast remains vocal about wanting to do a fourth season. This later led to Loudermilk being available on Netflix.
Will There Be A ‘Loudermilk’ Season 4?
Unfortunately, there has been no official announcement of a fourth season of Loudermilk. however, with the show now having a home on both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, as it were, there is still a distinct possibility it could happen. Peter Farrelly told The Hollywood Reporter, “I could not be more pleased that Loudermilk is finding a second life on Prime Video,” Farrelly said. “It’s a show that I’m extremely proud of and one that deserves to be seen by all. I would argue that it has the best ensemble cast on television and deserves to be in the conversation with Schitt’s Creek and Cobra Kai, shows that started on one network but found a much wider audience on another. This show is going to give you binge-watching at its best!” This means that there is enormous potential for growth with either Amazon Prime or Netflix, both of which are much bigger networks.
However, with the cast and show now being free agents, the legal work and time necessary to get a fourth season into production might come at too great a cost, a massive hurdle for the much-beloved show. Cast members have invariably moved on to other projects; time has passed, people have aged, and what, if any, stories of Sam and his crew are left to tell? Faced with all this, Peter Farrlley seems undeterred. So, for the time being, audiences will need to wait with bated breath to see their favourite wise-cracking cynic back in action and trust in the cast and producers that everybody wants to see it happen.
Loudermilk is currently streaming on Netflx in the U.S.