With TBS Cancelling So Many Original Series, American Dad's Showrunner Addressed The Seth MacFarlane Series' Future

The Smith family sitting around dinner table on American Dad
(Image credit: TBS)

It’s safe to say the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger has sparked some of the biggest entertainment news of 2022, from the Batgirl shelving debacle and other potential DC content setbacks to plans for HBO Max and Discovery+ to converge into one streaming entity in 2023, among other headlines. Making slightly less intense noise are the current plans, or lack thereof, for TBS’ future regarding original programming. (Not to mention its sister network TNT.) Following the abrupt cancellation of Nasim Pedrad’s comedy Chad on the day it was set to premiere, audiences likely grew slightly more worried about other TBS series such as American Dad, whose showrunner has addressed what he knows about the Seth MacFarlane comedy’s future.

American Dad is set to debut the back half of Season 19 in early September, and showrunner Matt Weitzman spoke to Digital Spy and others about what fans can expect — Halloween and Christmas specials — and what it can’t expect — a standalone movie in the style of Bob’s Burgers’ well-received recent feature. With American Dad having previously been renewed through Season 21, Weitzman briefly addressed the future beyond the current season, and he apparently isn’t wholly ruling out the possibility of the ax suddenly dropping at any point. Saying the writers and others have “no idea” when American Dad will wrap up, the showrunner said:

It could end at any time. I'm ready for it to end today, if they pull the plug.

To be sure, Matt Weitzman didn’t seem to be ringing death knells while buying American Dad a cemetery plot and flowers. Until TBS actually makes the move to put the Smith family to pasture, there aren’t necessarily any reasons to start panicking and calling up Ricky Spanish [whisper: Ricky Spanish] to enact a plan to keep the series alive. 

Because despite what happened with Chad and other cancelled shows like Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and The O.G., as well as the pulled-before-airing unscripted series The Big D and the cancelled-before-filming Damon Wayans comedy Kill the Orange Bear — despite ALL THAT — American Dad is still currently set to go another two and a half seasons without hindrances. The fact that it’s an animated series with a longer production schedule possibly helps its chances of surviving any potential cancellation ideas that TBS execs are having, since there’s probably already work being done on further-out episodes. 

That said, Chad’s entire second season was completely shot and finished, and had previously been set for an earlier premiere date, so assumptions aren’t very dependable here. To that end, Matt Weitzman even said one of the final episodes of Season 19 could serve as an all-encompassing conclusion. In his words:

The penultimate episode of this coming season could easily play the end of the show, for instance.

In American Dad’s case, I could easily see a future on HBO Max, which is thriving with adult animation series, from Harley Quinn to the recently cancelled Close Enough (not a bad omen?) and more. So even if its fate with TBS ends up falling in line with its cancellation from Fox years prior, one can only hope AD’s core following and the series’ longevity help its chances of living on elsewhere.

For those who can't wait to see more American Dad hilarity, check out the preview video below!

American Dad’s Season 19 summer premiere will take place on Monday, September 5, at 10:00 p.m. ET. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are hitting primetime and beyond in the months to come.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.