Creator Rob McElhenney said that Live Nation originally approached the cast about doing the show at 30 cities, but in the end the cast settled on 6.  Co-developer Glenn Howerton described the show as "essentially an expanded version of the actual episode of "The Nightman Cometh", which was the final episode for season four. There are some added moments, added scenes, added songs, and extended versions of songs that already existed."  Two new songs were included in the performance and a longer running time allowed for greater improvisation by the actors. The performance was also preceded by a preview screening of a season five episode.
The first episode of the season premiered with the lowest number of . viewers since it has been tracked for the show. This was primarily due to the new channel, FXX, being unavailable from many television providers. Many Suddenlink Communications franchises, although carrying the channel, have required the subscriber to buy a "Sports Package" in order to receive the network.  Nonetheless, FX Network president John Landgraf said that "the numbers last night [...] far exceeded our highest expectations" and that "To have just launched the channel three days ago and get these ratings is thrilling."