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IFC keeps Portlandia alive for another season, maybe more

Popular TV series produces 10 episodes this year, more could be done for a third season
by: Jaime Valdez "Portlandia" Director Jonathan Krisel, right, talks with a crew member Thursday afternoon during filming in front of Good Neighbor Pizzeria on Northeast Dekum Street. The show starring Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen wraps up filming its second season this week. A third season is possible, with even more episodes.

The fantasyland of Portlandia - where it never rains and oddball folks with a decidedly leftist bent do good things for each other - is going to stick around for one more year, and maybe longer.

The popular IFC series starring Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live, Portland musician/actress Carrie Brownstein and Golden Globe winner/University of Washington grad Kyle MacLachlan, wraps up filming its second season in a few days. The show will produce 10 half-hour episodes in the new season. The first season had only six episodes.

IFC is already talking with Broadway Video - Lorne Michaels' New York production company - about the possibility of producing another 10 to 20 shows for the third season. That's still not a done deal, and it could involve stretching out the production schedule for several more weeks and keeping Armisen around a little longer, which could cut into his time on Saturday Night Live.

Armisen works on 'Portlandia' during his summer hiatus from Saturday Night Live. This year, the production returned to Portland in July and episodes were filmed through this week. (Michaels' son was an intern on this summer's production.)

Armisen returns to New York next week to begin writing for the new SNL season.

'Portlandia's' cast and most of the crew met Thursday afternoon with nearly two dozen reporters during a luncheon at the Firehouse Restaurant on Northeast Dekum Street, about a block from where they were filming one of the show's scenes in front of the Good Neighbor Pizzeria. In between courses of beets with salsa verde, meatballs with roasted summer vegetable ragu and bittersweet chocolate torte, they said this year's work was a bit more focused than the first season.

'Definitely this season we kind of honed in on what 'Portlandia' is,' said Director Jonathan Krisel, who is also one of the show's creators and writers. 'Last season we were kind of testing a lot of different concepts. I had a point of view and it was about a place and a time and about people who were striving to do good.

'It's a great community, but it's still just silly and stupid at the end of the day.'

Krisel means the show is silly and stupid, not the city.

'This show is a special thing,' he said. 'It's so small and everyone's friends. Everything's so relaxed. If Portland did make a show, this is how it would be made.'

'Portlandia' premiered in January. In February, IFC renewed the series for another season. The new season begins in January 2012.