Hoo…boy…how do I break this one to you? The silence from Adult Swim and TBS these last few weeks over the fate of Final Space meant what you thought it did. Warner Bros has chosen not to produce a fourth season of the series, despite its vocal army of fans demanding it.
What this means is that creator Olan Rogers only got to complete half of his planned six-season story arc, suffering a similar fate to Owen Dennis and his Infinity Train which completed four seasons out of an intended eight. What’s the deal over at WB anyway?
According to an apology video from Rogers, this has a lot to do with the executive turnover from the chaos caused by AT&T’s buyout and subsequent dump of the Warner Bros studio. It means the people in charge one day won’t be the same as the next day, and the new guys tend to feel like dumping anything they didn’t personally have a hand in creating. Also see: Venture Bros.
“You know, in Hollywood, there’s only so many times you can survive a merger,” says Rogers. “As luck would have it, Final Space survived one. But we couldn’t survive number two…we couldn’t survive the second merger.”
Mergers or not, most American cartoons that dare to serialize their storylines seem to suffer one of two fates: get cut off before the story is finished, or go on way beyond their natural shelf life. Only rarely is a series allowed to end on its own terms, to the annoyance of you as well as me. Craig McCracken has revealed that his Netflix series Kid Cosmic will end after Season 3, but that this was by design (given that it’s Netflix, I wouldn’t gamble on a fourth season either).
Rogers said there were still people behind the scenes who wanted Final Space to finish its story. “The TBS five years ago is a different TBS than today. They tried, man. They tried to keep it going. They fought for it. They tried to manifest it. They tried to manifest that Season 4. But it just didn’t happen. The last that I heard, they were trying to find a way to do an hour-long special. But [they told me] to not hold my breath.”
If you missed it, the third season of Final Space will be available on Netflix September 16. And if you’ve never watched an episode, don’t ignore it just because it’s incomplete. There is currently no American cartoon like it.