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The network most reliable for producing high quality animated series for primetime – which is admittedly something of a limited market – has been Fox for many years. Of course, when you think of Fox animated series, you’re likely to think of The Simpsons or Family Guy or even Futurama before any other. As it happens, however, there is a more recent animated series that has been refreshing the market, as Bob’s Burger’s has emerged as a success story for Fox over the first six seasons. Fortunately for fans of Bob’s, Fox has now renewed the series for two more seasons.
Bob’s Burgers follows the exploits of the Belcher family as they run a hamburger restaurant. Parents Bob and Linda do the majority of the work, but kids Tina, Louise, and Gene help out whenever they’re not getting into whatever hijinks will drive the plot of an episode.
Unlike The Simpsons and Family Guy, however, Bob’s Burgers does not only focus on the family exploits on the homefront. Creator Loren Bouchard crafted a combination of the familiar family formula and workplace comedy that has worked to carve out a niche for Bob’s Burgers.
Bob’s Burgers actually takes after the format of Fox animated comedy King of the Hill, which premiered in 1997 and ran for thirteen seasons until finally airing its last episode in 2010. The similarities come as no surprise, considering that Loren Bouchard is joined by King of the Hill alum Jim Dauterive as executive producers of Bob’s.
The series has been received well with fans since premiering in 2011, but it became a critical darling following the bumpy first season. Bob’s Burgers won the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Comedy, beating out Archer, Futurama, South Park, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 2015 saw Bob’s receive its fourth nomination for Outstanding Animated Program as well as a first nomination for Outstanding Character Voiceover for John Roberts, who voices Linda Belcher.
The move of American Dad to TBS brought an end to Fox’s traditional “Animation Domination” block of programming that occupied the Sunday night scheduling, but the three remaining current animated shows of Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, and Family Guy combine with live-action cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the humorously dystopian Last Man on Earth to create “Sunday Funday.” It was the first time that a non-animated show aired live during primetime hours on a Sunday on Fox, but none of the current shows have suffered for it.
Fox renewing Bob’s for two seasons while the sixth is still airing is a tremendous show of faith in the series. The network’s past successes with animated primetime comedy prove that Fox has a good eye for good animation, and hopefully Bob’s Burgers will last for many more seasons to come.