Rick and Morty has captured the imagination of the Adult Swim audience ever since it debuted back in 2013, but the loose Back to the Future parody has also expanded and evolved over time as well. Gradually building up a massive following and fanbase, the series arguably seems to get bigger with every new episode. Now it looks like the show has even reached a new peak, as it has officially become the No. 1 rated comedy on television.
Cartoon Network has officially announced that Rick and Morty has achieved an impressive milestone with its third season. The Adult Swim cartoon has formally become the No. 1 rated comedy with adults in the 18-24 and 18-34 demographic. That's nothing to scoff at, especially when we consider the fact that it went up against heavy-hitters like Saturday Night Live and Modern Family. Beyond that, Rick and Morty also delivered Adult Swim the best ratings in the history of the network. Not bad for a high-concept, science fiction comedy, is it?
The folks behind the scenes at Cartoon Network seem to have figured out what's working for the show, and by the admission of network President Christina Miller: much of it has to do with the fact that the show has constructed a full world for its characters AND fans to engage with. To capitalize on that idea, Adult Swim has seen massive success with tie-in content such as the "Rickmobile" that toured 40 cities across the United States earlier this year, or the show's assistance in the resurgence of McDonald's Szechuan sauce.
The very nature of Rick and Morty's mind-bending structure allows its heroes to permeate pop culture in a way that few other fictional heroes can, and as a result, Rick and Morty can continuously show up anywhere to skew anything. Want to turn Rick into a pickle? Sure, why not? Wish to have them encounter a Facehugger? You got it. You can even have Rick and Morty reenact a real-life courtroom case, and it will go viral almost instantly.
Building on that idea, another reason for the success of the show likely has to do with the creators' commitment to the fans. Series co-creator Dan Harmon has made no secret of the fact that he has no interest in unnecessarily shooting down fan theories about the show, thus allowing our imaginations to run wild with the small details on the series. Moreover, Harmon has also recently admitted that fan enthusiasm for the series plays a significant role in determining his favorite and least favorite episodes, suggesting that the crew places a premium on focusing on what fans actually like about it.
Although Rick and Morty's long-awaited third season has finally come to an end, we can rest easy knowing that an even longer fourth season is currently in development. That said, if you want some high-quality TV to fill that Rick and Morty void before the Adult Swim series returns, then make sure to take a glance at CinemaBlend's comprehensive fall TV premiere guide to keep yourself up to date on everything that's set to debut this season -- such as Stranger Things Season 2, The Walking Dead Season 8, and Arrow Season 6.