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Just a few years ago, no one likely would have predicted the insane levels of popularity that could be reached by a late night animated show about a drunk scientist and his anxiety-clogged grandson. But Rick and Morty is currently one of cable's most popular outliers, turning Justin Roiland into as much of a household name as co-creator (and Community mastermind) Dan Harmon. Now, Roiland is getting to spin his creative wheels elsewhere, as Hulu has ordered up the animated comedy Solar Opposites, which was put together by Roiland and Rick and Morty executive producer Mike McMahon.
Similarly to how Adult Swim locked up Rick and Morty for a massive chunk of future episodes, Hulu definitely seems to have confidence in Solar Opposites' potential. The company's initial order for Justin Roiland's new show is for two seasons, not just one, and fans will get to see a current total of 16 episodes, with presumably eight episodes per season. Since waiting sucks, the creative team needs to follow through on making those limited eps as magnificent as Rick's talent for day drinking, because you know people are going to want to watch them all at once. If only there was some kind of machine, Morty.
Solar Opposites, which is tentatively planned for a 2020 release, was created by Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan. It follows a family of aliens who came to Earth from a planet that's better than ours, and the otherworldly beings have to plant their roots in middle America. It's not immediately clear to them whether their new home is unbelievably terrible or unbelievably great. Knowing how bizarre and over-the-top Roiland's humor can get, it should be quite different to get his take on midwestern life from a pack of aliens' point of view.
Since this is Hulu and not Adult Swim, we definitely won't be seeing any of the aliens that occasionally pop up on Rick and Morty's most out-there episodes. But we will get to hear Justin Roiland's voice, as he'll be portraying the characters Terry and Korvo. Meanwhile, The Goldbergs' star Sean Giambrone and comedian Mary Mack will be playing the aliens Yumyulack and Jesse, respectively. Nothing much was disclosed about what these aliens will be like, but don't expect any of it to be suitable for kids.
We likely won' be getting any preliminary views for quite a long time on Solar Opposites, as _Deadline reports the show's writers room isn't scheduled to open up until October. If the animation process isn't too lengthy, it's possible we could see Justin Roiland's next big TV effort as early as Fall 2019, but it could be even later. Rule number one for _Solar Opposite should be to not make any big references to any obscure fast food sauces that came out 20 years ago. The Rick and Morty fandom doesn't always take it so well when those sauces aren't completely resurrected.
Thanks to shows like Archer and BoJack Horseman, adult animation is one of TV's fastest growing genres. Hulu had previously produced the superhero animated comedy The Awesomes, and also has the highly anticipated Animaniacs reboot in the works. (The Uglydolls show probably won't hit upon too many hyper-mature themes.) And then you have Matt Groening's recent Netflix release Disenchantment, Bob's Burgers creator Loren Bouchard's new musical comedy Central Park on Apple, and more fun projects on the way. If only Mr. Poopybutthole could get his own spinoff now.
Justin Roiland won't be lacking for busywork at any point in the near future. Earlier this year, Adult Swim ordered up 70 more episodes of Rick and Morty, which the creative team has been hard at work on, trying to get things just right without making fans wait eons between seasons. It's assumed that Season 4 will debut later this year or early in 2019. While waiting to hear more on any of Roiland's creations, head to our fall TV premiere schedule to see what else is coming.