ATHF Watch 24 – Your Show Is NOT Cancelled

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ATHF Cancelled again? Probably not, you may be reading into it too much. We explain.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

…someone on Twitter posts a rather cryptic message. It was in reference to *YOUR FAVORITE SHOW* that may (or may not suggest, depending on how you take it…) be cancelled or removed from a digital streaming platform. Then, another Twitter account with well over 40,000 followers (for whatever reason) decides they’re going to signal boost it, suggesting that it “might” be possible without any official word. THEN the repost shared and also reposted to said account’s 40,000+ followers (and their followers and so on and so on.), causing the fandom to go into an uncertain frenzy over the original comments.

Not finished yet… so then some more well-known entertainment sites (oh I don’t know, let’s say for instance, ComicBook.com) decide to run with the “news”, causing even more of a stir. Yep, that’s right folks…

…your modern-day online firefighters return with another installment of “Stay Calm! It’s Not Official.”

In the last installment, Rilo mentioned how none of Venture Bros. (with the exception of two specials) was leaving Max (Besides the fact that you can likely find the entire series elsewhere). There was also the entire “Someone from Titmouse said something about Venture Bros. returning” issue that we won’t even get into here… but let’s break down this current one…

We reported recently that ATHF co-creator Matt Maiellaro joined Twitter. In one of his recent responses, he answers a question that came from another post:

There’s a number of ways to break this down… however there’s no doubt, the incorrect way is “OMG ATHF IS CANCELLED!!!!” What I mean by this:

  • “Cancelled” doesn’t have the same meaning as it used to: When linear programming (aka broadcast/cable TV) was still the king, “cancelled” meant done. The show is never coming back, go scratch, the end. In recent years, that clearly has had a different meaning. In 2015, then VP Mike Lazzo “cancelled” ATHF outright and we came to terms with the fact that the show would not be coming back at all…

    Six years and two merger/acquisitions in corporate (plus two streaming apps) later, it was announced that not only would we be getting a new movie, but five episodes were being greenlit, which we presumed (and was later confirmed by President Michael Ouweleen) was a way of sorts to test the waters for more episodes. The episodes were seemingly successful, to the point where it received a slideshow nod during Wednesday’s Upfront Presentation (FYI: Where no shows were mentioned as coming, outside the previously mentioned Rick and Morty: The Anime) alongside of regular Rick and Morty, and other previous/current programs.
  • Two words vs. an entire elaboration: There’s a vast difference between a creator (or someone close with the creator) mentioning something with a two-word cryptic/misconstrued message vs a creator just coming out and saying it. I’m of course talking about Dodge Greenly (creator of Pibby) stating on Instagram last October on how WBD passed on a full series for the show. Honestly, I once responded to a similar post like Eric Alper’s above with Dancing With the Stars, and a couple of people actually were like “Wait, what?!?” As I am but a humble under 1.5k poster, it didn’t go too far, but imagine if someone with 20k – 50k followers reposted? Hmmmm….
  • Speaking of trolling: Maiellaro (and by association Adult Swim) are notorious for saying stuff that turns out not to be true, or even cryptic: Take this perfect example of when ATHF was in its prime: An ad campaign ran during the 2004 season of the show, wherein the characters were killed one-by-one with the caption “ATHF is cancelled” Our then, AquaTeenCentral.com whether in our forums, by e-mail, etc would get dozens of messages every month after from fans, that asking us if the show was indeed cancelled. Some of which we straight out said “No, this was a joke.” others we had fun with (because we were kids with no lives who didn’t like having to answer the same thing over and over again) and decided following suit was an alternative. Later in the show’s run there were episodes with titles like “The Last One” and “The Last One Forever and Ever” and I believe one or two other iterations where people asked the same question, and it was a lather rinse repeat of the same answer(s). In short, don’t believe everything everyone says or read into it.
  • What we know: Since starting to write this, I reached out to a couple of sources and found out the following that seem to match up:

    1) The show isn’t cancelled; it just hasn’t been ordered for a new season.

    2) More than likely this is due to last year’s strike, which slowed down/stopped a lot of animated shows and work. For example, I bring up that this season’s Bob’s Burgers had to be cut down. Fans of the show didn’t get the standard Halloween – Christmas episodes, and the show has been on hiatus since early March, with the season finale finally premiering this coming Sunday.

    3) In both instances I heard Season 12 did rather well… and have no reason to doubt that, considering (again) it was prominently featured on-screen at the Upfronts.

    4) Maiellaro might just be playing it up, as word has just come out about him guesting on Ronnie’s Aqua Teen Podcast: Dancing is Forbidden on Monday.

    So let’s recap… what have we all learned from this…
  • Words have meaning, and when someone’s been cryptic or given next to no information, keep calm and wait for further instructions. Best not to read into it until 110% clear.
  • “Cancelled” doesn’t mean what people think it means. Reasons we have new versions of Fraiser and The Office
  • Listen to P.E.:

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