The Rick and Morty fanbase is known for getting a little... exuberant about the show, whether it’s in sauce-based shenanigans or the panicking that ensued during the lengthy time it took for Adult Swim to renew the show for a fourth season. But the reason it took so long in the first place was actually to make sure the show continued for a good while down the road.
When Adult Swim finally officially announced a renewal for Rick and Morty a few weeks ago, it was for a hell of a lot more than just a fourth season—instead, for an unexpected 70 episodes, a huge long-term deal for the series. And, according to an extensive new profile of series co-creator Dan Harmon in GQ, it was getting that deal that was the reason behind the lengthy delay.
But why fight not just for one new season, but up to seven seasons’ worth of episodes? Harmon and his fellow co-creator Justin Roiland said it was essential not just for the quality of the show, but for the state of their own minds:
“It has [been renewed], but we’re still in negotiations.” Harmon and Roiland say they’re holding out for a contract that grants them immortality. Or, if immortality is unavailable, at least “many, many, many more seasons,” and enough money so that, as Roiland says, Harmon “doesn’t have to take 12 other jobs while we’re working on season four.” That way, Harmon can give Rick and Morty the full attention it deserves. To be able to follow his bliss, without taking on a dozen other tortures-for-hire.
Now that the show has a definite, almost absurdly long future ahead of it, Harmon and Roiland are free to put the entirety of their focus on bringing Rick and Morty’s dimension-hopping adventures to life—instead of having to take other jobs to sustain themselves, or stressing out about when it could all come tumbling down around them like one of Rick’s myriad schemes. It’s a lot more than most people in the animation industry could ever dream of.
The end result is, of course, very good news for Rick and Morty fans... even if they’re still going to be left waiting a while to see the fruits of Harmon and Roiland’s labor. It’ll be worth it to know, at least, that creation of the show for the foreseeable future is Harmon and Roiland’s top priority thanks to this deal.