Louis C.K. is in massive debt and it’s all because of quitting Louie.
Louis CK has been extremely lucky with creating new and original content. Supported by the success of his FX show Louie and a large fanbase on social media websites, a recent comedy special became extremely successful when he released it through his website for $5 a pop.
But not every effort is proving to be profitable for the comedian, as evidenced by the results of self-producing a new web-series Horace and Pete and selling it on a per-episode basis.
After he decided to take a major break from Louie, CK still kept busy by working on Horace and Pete. Instead of trying to pitch the show on a traditional network, CK went ahead and produced, made and distributed the show himself on top of writing, directing, editing and acting in the series. Every week or so, he posted the latest episode on his website for $5. That price did extremely well for him in the past, so it should work again right? Wrong. Apparently, nobody was that interested in Horace and Pete and Louis CK is in “millions of dollars” of debt.
Louie CK spoke to Howard Stern about how much it costs to make the show as a part of a publicity stunt to make more money off the failing TV series.
Asked by Stern whether he had sought any outside financial backing for the show, C.K. said, “Nah, I don’t do that.” Instead, he said, he is relying on a publicity push that includes television appearances and an Emmy campaign to drive viewers to the show, and to his website. “I believe that … by the summer, the show will have paid itself off,” he told Stern.
While most web series are made for a few bucks and don’t count on earning back the money put into them, this is a different situation because each episode of Horace and Pete costs nearly a half million dollars to make. CK also revealed that he hasn’t reached out to a network to buy the show from him and re-air it, he most likely will in the future.
You can listen to the full interview here and decide for yourself if having full creative control is a smart idea or -simply impossible.