“Rick and Morty” fans were happy to learn in 2018 that the beloved animated series had been renewed for an additional 70 episodes, but now as creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon are about halfway through that mammoth order, how are they feeling about the longevity of the series? Optimistic would be an understatement.
“I think the show could run forever,” Roiland told TheWrap during a recent interview about the upcoming sixth season. “The show could run as long as we want it to.”
Harmon concurred in a separate interview, saying theoretically “Rick and Morty” could continue on for 1000 episodes — his ideal number for a good TV show.
“As far as the longevity of the show, to me, it just feels infinite. That’s kind of the easy part. And I think that might be the cause of some frustration on the fans’ part, because my original commitment to just, I think a good TV show is one that lasts 1000 episodes. You don’t design a paper airplane to land at a certain spot a certain distance for you. A good paper airplane is the one that stays in the air forever, and that’s impossible but you fold it in a way that that’s the goal.”
Harmon added that “Rick and Morty” was never conceived as a show with a definite endpoint, which adds to the longevity.
“That’s the nice thing about ‘Rick and Morty’ is I feel like from Episode 1 forward, there’s always been a commitment in the DNA of the show to not engage in so much soap opera-ness that there’s an inevitable conclusion coming – you know, Mulder is gonna find his sister and he won’t have a reason to do ‘X-Files’ anymore (laughs). We don’t really have that. We’ve certainly got elements that can only happen once as far as revelations about Rick and stuff like that, but I do believe that the adventures can go on for theoretically 1000 episodes.”
Not only that, but “Rick and Morty” is also now on a schedule to release a season a year, Harmon revealed.
“This is the strangest thing I’ve ever said about the show and it still feels unreal to say it, but we’ll be doing a season a year now,” Harmon said. “I still don’t understand how that’s possible. But that’s why it never happened on my watch. [Showrunner] Scott [Marder] is able to keep us on a schedule that mostly involves being so ahead of schedule that we can actually release things in a timely manner.”
Roiland compared the longevity of the series to that of “The Simpsons,” noting the shows differ in key ways.
“We’re also not trying to do what ‘The Simpsons’ is doing and we’re doing less episodes than ‘The Simpsons’,” Roiland said. “I think we could easily run this thing into Season 20 if we wanted, if the network wanted and if the fans wanted.”
In short, there’s no lack of “Rick and Morty” ideas, and for now all involved are still having a blast making the show.
“Our foundation is so broad,” Roiland added. “We’ve got the multiverse, we’ve got any sci-fi concept we want. There’s too many ideas, so it wouldn’t be for lack of content in a show like this.”
“Rick and Morty” Season 6 premieres on Adult Swim on Sunday, Sept. 4.