Rick and Morty has absolutely exploded in terms of popularity since debuting on Adult Swim back in 2013, but the show has had a very irregular airing schedule. There was a 17-month gap between season 1 and season 2 of Rick and Morty and there hasn't been a new episode since October of 2015. Rick and Morty Season 3 is definitely coming but sadly, according to co-creator Dan Harmon, the new season still doesn't have a premiere date.
Dan Harmon, who co-created Rick and Morty with Justin Roiland, is currently at the Sundance Film Festival and IndieWire caught him speaking about the current state of the new season. Not only did he confirm that Rick and Morty season 3 doesn't have a release date, but he also personally shouldered the blame for the very long delay. Here is what he had to say about it.
"I don't have a release date for Season 3. It's not that I know it and I'm not allowed to say it; it's [Adult Swim's] domain. What I will tell you is it's late because of us, it's late because of me. If Justin were here he'd agree. He and I would go, 'Yeah, we f#*!ed up,' and it's hard to put your finger on how we f#*!ed up. Rick and Morty keeps taking longer and longer to write, and I don't know why."
The only perceivable positive thing that may come from the delay, at least from the perspective of Adult Swim, is that more and more people are catching up on the series in the meantime and it is fueling demand for season 3. So, when Rick and Morty finally does return, it will probably be a much bigger audience than they had for the previous two seasons. What is frustrating for early adopters of the show is that Rick and Morty season 2 ended on a pretty significant cliffhanger which needs to be resolved, so the delay has been tough for many in that respect. Originally, Rick and Morty season 3 was reportedly going to be released at some point in 2016, but the year came and went and we still don't seem to be any closer to the show returning.
For fans, the significant delay on Rick and Morty season 3 may be frustrating, but it is probably better than the alternative. Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland clearly care about the series a lot and they could have tried to rush the production on the new season just to get it out there. Instead, they are really taking their time with it, which should result in a bump in quality when Rick and Morty finally does return. That should hopefully make it worth the wait. Not only that, but the way in which the show is made makes it difficult to do quickly. Justin Roiland, who voices Rick, Morty and a bunch of other characters on the show, improvises a lot of his dialogue from a rough script and the animators have to work around what he ends up coming up with. The dedication seems to extend to everyone working on the show, though. Here is how Dan Harmon explained the process during the summer at San Diego Comic-Con.
"It's been harder this season...I watched the thumbnail animatic of Episode 304 and I was ready to move forward with it and Ryan [Ridley] said 'we're not satisfied with it' and we were already behind schedule. They have to bear the brunt of the schedule, they have to work weekends. They are the ones that wanted to do it. There's a weird higher calling there and it's not an endless perfectionism because you know when something finally clicks and you go 'this is a good episode of TV.' But it's not just me and I was very happy to find that out."
At this point, there is almost no telling when we'll finally see Rick and Morty season 3, but it is nearly impossible to imagine it won't happen in 2017 at some point. The only thing that has been released for the upcoming season was a sneak peek that aired during an Adult Swim livestream on YouTube last month, but even a lot of that animation wasn't totally finished, so we still could be a while away. We'll be sure to keep you updated on the status of Rick and Morty season 3 but for right now, it seems like fans will have to just rewatch the first two seasons and continue to impatiently wait for some more adventures with Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith.