Louis C.K. announced in August that he was taking an "extended hiatus" from his acclaimed FX series Louie in order to work on other projects. Saturday brought the surprise-release of one of those extracurricular activities as the comedian sent out a simple email to fans announcing the arrival of his dramatic, darkly humorous new series Horace and Pete, starring C.K. and Steve Buscemi in the title roles. The show's first episode is available to purchase now for $5 at C.K.'s official site.
According to Gothamist, the 67-minute first episode of Horace and Pete finds the two actors starring as a pair of bar owners in a show that resembles a more depressing take on the sitcom Cheers. The series, which takes place in a Brooklyn bar, also features Alan Alda as their racist uncle, Saturday Night Live's Aidy Bryant as the daughter of C.K.'s Horace, Rebecca Hall as Horace's girlfriend and Edie Falco as his sister.
Nick DiPaolo, Kurt Metzger, Steven Wright and Jessica Lange also make appearances in the premiere episode, with C.K. serving as writer and director. Horace and Pete's theme song was also reportedly written by Paul Simon. The episode appears to have been filmed recently, as Donald Trump and Super Bowl quarterbacks are topics of conversation at Horace and Pete.
In addition to the surprise Horace and Pete, C.K. has spent his time away from Louie developing an animated series with Albert Brooks, producing the Zach Galifianakis clown comedy Baskets, working on a film called I'm a Cop and shadowing the mayor of New York for an unspecified project.