Louis C.K. Says He’s ‘Millions of Dollars in Debt’ Over ‘Horace and Pete’
Louis C.K.’s self-financed and produced Horace and Pete gave the comedian a major creative high, enough that FX’s Louie seems like a distant memory, but the unorthodox financing may have caught up with him, According to C.K. himself, lackluster sales of the streaming series place him “millions of dollars in debt,” at least for now.
Appearing on The Howard Stern Show (h/t Vulture), C.K. explained that he’d put $2 million of his own money into the first four Horace and Pete episodes, hoping to recoup the investment and turn it toward the remaining episodes of the season. Still, even at prices averaging $2 or $3 an episode, ten hours in total, C.K. hasn’t quite turned a profit just yet. Far from it, even.
After four episodes - the whole ideas was I’m not going to have to spend my own money after that - because I didn’t promote the show. I didn’t tell anybody about it. Here’s the thing: I got so excited by the idea of having a show appear from nothing … So I made the first four, and I didn’t tell nobody, and it made a nice, little amount of money, but when I got to episode four, I was like ‘Hey gang, I don’t have any money.’ So I had to take out a line of credit … I’m millions of dollars in debt right now.
C.K. noted that the production itself remained on budget, but lacking sales kept Horace in Pete from remaining solvent, as did the comedian’s refusal to seek out additional backers. A promotional appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! significantly aided sales (C.K. admitted similar intent for Stern’s show), noting that the show would likely pay for itself by the summer.
In addition to an Emmy push, C.K. acknowledged the likelihood of selling the series to another outlet down the line, as well his own fascination with market showbusiness keeping the debt from dampening his spirits. He’ll continue the Horace and Pete marketing push in the meantime, so check it out for yourself.