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TCA: FX Ending Nip/Tuck, Adds Second Comedy

Beverly Hills -- Nip/Tuck is nearing its end on FX. The network ordered an additional 19 episodes of the series, which will be the show's last, president John Landgraf said at the Television Critics Association tour here Tuesday.

The series will end its run on the network in 2011. Creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy will stay on through the series finale.

Murphy pitched a second series to the network, Pretty/Handsome, that was not picked up. Landgraf said the decision not to pick up Pretty/Handsome did not affect Murphy's decision to stay with Nip/Tuck.

"Ryan has a very large infrastructure around him now," he added. "I think he could have handled both shows. We just made a decision about Pretty/Handsome -- it was separate from Nip/Tuck."

The ending for Nip/Tuck is similar to what the network did with The Shield, which is entering its seventh and final season on the network. For cable dramas such as The Shield and Nip/Tuck, Landgraf said, the timeline is different than many network procedurals.

"I started to have conversations with [Shield creator] Shawn Ryan about the optimal length for a basic-cable series,” he added. "I don't think you will ever see a drama on FX go more than 100 episodes."

Still, Landgraf said, the success of The Shield paved the way for all original scripted development on the network.

"At that point in cable history, only HBO had success with scripted series," he added. "If The Shield had failed, FX would have quickly exited the scripted-series business."

The network also picked up its second comedy series, Testees, from Kenny Hotz of SouthPark and Kenny vs. Spenny on Comedy Central. The series is about friends who earn a living serving as medical guinea pigs.

Still unclear is the status of The Riches, which was well received by critics but saw a 44% drop in ratings from season one to season two. Landgraf said the network had not decided whether it would get another season, adding, "We haven't made a decision yet. We are really struggling with it."

The network is also picking up an additional 39 episodes of comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The creators (and stars) of Sunny will stay on the program even though they also have a comedy in development at Fox, Boldly Going Nowhere.

Landgraf said the decision to order the episodes of Sunny came from the ratings growth it saw over its first three seasons and its multiplatform potential. He added that it was consistently one of the top shows on iTunes and had been the No. 1 show on Hulu for the past week.

FX also confirmed that Michael J. Fox would appear on Rescue Me for a four-episode story arc when it returns in the spring and that Marsha Gay Harden will join the cast of Damages as a regular.

For the latest news and video from the TCA press tour, click here.