By Catherine Coreno
Updated June 29, 2011 at 10:34 PM EDT
Credit: Eric Leibowitz/FX

You loved the first season of FX’s critical darling Louie. Who didn’t? But if you’re expecting season 2 to look exactly like the series’ first, prepare to be surprised. “It is like a whole other product,” says comedian Louis C.K., the star, writer, director, editor, and executive producer of the show, which is loosely based on his life as a single dad. “If you missed the whole first season it really doesn’t matter,” he explains. “This season has absolutely no bearing on it. I don’t have a brother this season. I have two sisters that probably won’t be in the third season. We live in another apartment than we used to. It is all different stuff.”

But don’t fret, Louie purists — the changes will only add to the comic sensibilities of show. Not to mention make for a more streamlined viewing. Though during its first season, Louie sometimes included multiple story arcs in one 30-minute showing, season 2’s episodes will hone in on one narrative for most shows. And some of those narratives will follow Louie’s children, who will be playing a more central role during season 2. “There’s more of me engaged with the children as human beings instead of them just being comedy props,” C.K. says.

Sadly, don’t expect some fan favorite characters to have bigger roles in season 2: According to C.K., Ricky Gervais will not be reprising his role as Dr. Ben. (“I loved having Ricky on,” he says. “I think that that ran its course though. It was sort of a good two-part bit.”) The good news: Viewers will see some other new famous faces instead, like Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham and Joan Rivers. The latter, who was one of C.K.’s inspirations growing up, will appear as herself in the fourth episode of this season. “I thought about when I used to work in the shitty rooms in casinos and what it would have been like to meet someone like [Rivers] then, so I just wrote it,” says C.K. “Then I sent it to her and she really liked [the script]. She called me and said, ‘You know, I’d like to be funnier in this,’ so we talked about [it]. She suggested a few really funny lines and I put them in.”

Though C.K. does collaborate with folks like Rivers, he still has creative control over Louie, writing and directing the FX series. Still, there’s one role he wishes he could explore further: Costume designer, thanks to a shopping trip with his kid. “I bought a sewing machine for my daughter,” he says. “We started making shirts and stuff together. I went crazy. I loved it. I used to watch Project Runway, so I’d probably make all the clothes if I could.”

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