For my final project, I would like to look into how low budget cable comedy shows are produced, and how they can come to be more critically acclaimed than their more expensive counterparts. This topic is not meant to prove that low budget shows are always better than well funded programs; it is more to explore how the successful programs have captured critical attention without hiring superstar actors or having highly elaborate production. The issues I will be looking at in this research have to do with creative practices, the American television system, and economic conditions in production. While I will be touching on all three of these themes, the argument will be narrowly focused on low budget cable comedy shows. Specifically, I will be looking into It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Louie, two shows on FX that have operated on very small budgets to create very unique and entertaining programs. These two shows have been able to operate without much input from the network, which has entrusted its creators with writing, directing, and acting in their own works. They started out producing the shows with very limited budgets and still produce relatively cheap episodes despite their widespread popularity and, perhaps most importantly, they have contributed to the change of the comedy genre on TV. The main questions I am trying to answer in this project is how these shows were produced in their earliest forms before they became known hits (i.e. when they were operating with the least budgets), how the creators of the programs managed to wield significant creative control over their work, and how these shows have innovated comedy on television. I believe that looking at these shows will illustrate possible paths for success for other types of shows as the comedy genre continues to develop.