When it was announced last year that American Dad was going to be finishing out its run on Fox and moving over to TBS, it felt like the show might be taking its last breath before fading off into the bipartisan ethers. But like the other Seth MacFarlane-created series that came before it, American Dad cannot be stopped, as TBS has put in an order for another year of episodes, bringing it to Season 12. Sorry Cleveland Show, you’re still dead.
TBS has ordered 22 more episodes of American Dad, which actually make this next one the most extensive season yet for the long-running animated series. (Seasons 5 and 10 both had 20 episodes, but every other one had fewer.) Pretty strange, considering only five American Dad episodes have actually played on TBS so far, but the network is obviously overjoyed with the ratings those episodes brought in.
The October 20 premiere on TBS and Adult Swim brought in over 2.5 million people, and according to THR, the episodes are averaging around 3.1 million viewers for each first airing alone. And TBS does repeat the shit out of its programming, so I’m sure even more people are checking out the successive airings. That’s just above what the show was bringing in during its worst days on Fox, but it’s a completely different world of ratings when it comes to cable. 3 million viewers for a relatively cheap late-primetime series are definitely going to warrant a renewal.
American Dad premiered on Fox in 2005, and continued to air there until last month, when it passed the baton to TBS after Episode 3. It’s rather refreshing to see the series on TBS, as it’s set in a normal timeslot that probably won’t change, as opposed to Fox’s strategy of sticking it in the pre-primetime Animation Domination slot, where it often got its time usurped by overlong football games. Considering American Dad was second only to the similarly shafted Bob’s Burgers in humor, you’d think Fox would have treated it better.
But that’s what TBS is for. The network also allows the writers a little more leniency on some topics and the language. Listen to Steve drop an S-bomb in this clip from the latest episode.
The additional season order comes early to give MacFarlane and his crew the most amount of time to take the Smith family (and Roger and Klaus) to even stranger places. I’m all for it, especially with another 10 or so episodes still left to air this season.