Seven seasons worth of episodes and two years of speculation later, The Venture Bros. has officially been canceled by Adult Swim. After the seventh season first aired in 2018, the creator of the show Christopher McCulloch had told fans he was negotiating with the studio for an eighth season. But now McCullock has taken to his Twitter pseudonym Jackson Publick to announce the cancellation:
"Unfortunately, it's true: 'Venture Bros.' has been canceled. We got the highly disappointing news a few months ago, while we were writing what would have been season 8. We thank you, our amazing fans, for 17 years of your kind (and patient) attention. And, as always, we love you."
The cancellation marks the end of a 17-year-long time period over which the show aired on Adult Swim. The Venture Bros. holds the record for the fewest seasons produced of a scripted show per year of continuous production, with seven produced seasons over fifteen years of production. In a statement to Variety following McCulloch's announcement, Adult Swim said that things may not be entirely over for the cult classic series:
"We also want more Venture Bros. and have been working with Jackson [Publick] and Doc [Hammer] to find another way to continue the Venture Bros. story."
After the seventh season of the show aired in 2018, the creative team under McCulloch had already begun writing the episodes for the eighth season, meaning there are still storylines left to explore within the show, and Variety has reported that sources indicate talks are underway for The Venture Bros. to move to HBO Max instead.
Debuting in 2004, The Venture Bros. started out as a satirical take on adventure cartoon tropes prevalent in the '80s and '90s, in such shows as Johnny Quest and Scooby Doo. The show told the story of the Venture family, consisting of incompetent but well-meaning brothers Dean and Hank, their brilliant but insecure scientist father Rusty, and sociopathic bodyguard Brock Sampson.
The show introduced a colorful cast of supervillains and adhered to a 'villain-of-the-week' format during its initial seasons. Later seasons, however, evolved the narrative structure of the series to include longer story arcs and overarching themes, the main one, according to McCulloch, being the inevitability of the failure of dreams:
"This show... If you'll permit me to get a 'big picture', this show is actually all about failure. Even in the design, everything is supposed to be kinda the death of the space-age dream world. The death of the jet-age promises."
McCulloch provided the voice work for several of the characters in the series along with co-writer Doc Hammer, Michael Sinterniklaas, James Urbaniak, Patrick Warburton, Steven Rattazzi, and Dana Snyder. Urbaniak also took to Twitter to express his sadness over losing the show:
"So, as it must to all, cancellation has come for 'The Venture Bros.' The pilot aired 17 years ago, which means the show was almost old enough to vote. It was one of the great gifts of my life & career. The fans were, quite simply, the best. Thank you, everybody. Go. Team. Venture!"