'Rescue Me' Answers Bell for Fourth Season


The boys of 62 Truck will be working another shift for FX.

The cable network has picked up a fourth season of "Rescue Me," which has enjoyed improved ratings -- along with a healthy dose of controversy -- during its run this summer. The show will likely return in the spring of 2007.

"'Rescue Me' is a key part of one of FX's stated goals, which is to foster some of the best episodic series on television," FX President John Landgraf says. "[The cast and crew] have done an incredible job on season three and the audience and critics responded with continued loyalty and passion. We are enormously proud of this series and of Denis [Leary's] Emmy nomination for best actor."

Through its first six airings this season, "Rescue Me" is drawing about 2.9 million viewers a week, a 10-percent improvement over its season two performance. Ratings among FX's target audience of adults 18-49 are up by 8 percent.

Leary and Peter Tolan, who co-created the series about New York firefighters, and Jim Serpico will remain as executive producers. The entire cast is set to return as well.

The show has courted some controversy lately with a scene in a June episode in which Leary's character, Tommy Gavin, assaulted his estranged wife, Janet (Andrea Roth). A number of critics and fans have called it rape, although Leary and Tolan have both said the scene is more complicated than that. Landgraf says Tommy will get his comeuppance as the season wears on.

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