For people who aren't familiar with Rick and Morty, it's not the easiest show to delve into explanations on without just putting episodes on. And when it comes to the currently airing Season 3, more people are putting those episodes on than ever before, and so far, Adult Swim can boast that the animated comedy is earning its best numbers yet. These ratings, Morty, seriously, they're out of this world. I'm not [Brrrrrrp] even sure what world they're in, Morty, but it isn't this one.
When it comes to cable ratings and viewership right now, Game of Thrones is obviously the dragon-sized king of the mountain, but it will almost definitely blow some people's minds that with Season 3, Rick and Morty has been the second-highest rated TV show since its official Adult Swim premiere on July 30. In order, the first three episodes have earned a 1.5, a 1.3 and (most recently) a 1.4 in the key 18-49 age demographic, which are all higher than Rick and Morty's ratings in seasons past. We're not sure Pickle Rick would appreciate having the lowest of the three, but he's Pickle Riiiiick.
Granted, those ratings are pretty far behind Game of Thrones' wildly impressive numbers, but the fact that Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon's oddball creation is securing more younger adults than The Rock's Ballers and WWE telecasts is pretty damned amazing. Especially since the series airs in a pre-midnight timeslot on Sunday nights, when most people are zonking out before the work week starts up again.
As well, Rick and Morty's first three televised Season 3 episodes also brought in the three biggest viewer totals in the show's brief history. Sunday night's ep, "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender," was watched by 2.66 million people, according to TV By the Numbers, which is beyond stellar. ("Rickmancing the Stone" brought in 2.86 million, while "Pickle Rick" got 2.31 million.) Those numbers put Episodes 1 and 3 within the Top 10 most-watched cable shows of their respective weeks, while "Pickle Rick" was sadly knocked out of the rankings.
Adult Swim notably decided to pull the plug on Rick and Morty's free livestreams on its website just recently, which hasn't exactly warmed fans over. It seemed like that decision would have something to do with the show's televised ratings. Now that we see just how amazing things are going in that department, I'm not unconvinced that execs are trying to push these new viewership records up even higher without having to siphon out the online streams. Can't blame them too much, either.
It isn't often that animated sci-fi comedies on cable can create a fever pitch between seasons, but Rick and Morty certainly achieved that and then some, thanks to some brilliant trolling in the Season 2 finale teasing a long delay before Season 3, which was combined with what became a legitimate and massive delay between the second and third seasons. By coming out of nowhere with its surprise 24-hour April Fool's Day stream of its Szechwan Sauce-infused premiere, which was then followed by more months of waiting, Rick and Morty further proved to be its own best marketing tool. And we're hoping the rest of Season 3 continues to grow bigger and bigger, to the point where none of the show's many universes can even contain it. (And that it lands on Jerry's head at some point.)