Rick And Morty Could Go On Forever, Say Dan Harmon And Justin Roiland

The success of "Rick and Morty" must be a breath of fresh air to Dan Harmon, considering how underappreciated his last big sitcom was in its time. "Community" may have made it to six seasons in the end, but the show's constant struggle against less-than-stellar ratings meant there was always a good chance each season would be its last. 

Meanwhile, "Rick and Morty" has been a hit as it's aired, not after the fact. In 2018 it was renewed for 70 episodes, meaning the series could comfortably go into its next six or seven seasons without worrying about any sort of premature cancelation. And unlike "Community," this is a show where the characters don't age and where alternate realities exist, making it capable of going on longer than most without running out of steam. "I do believe that the adventures can go on for theoretically 1000 episodes," co-creator Dan Harmon told The Wrap in a recent interview. 

"Our foundation is so broad," co-creator Justin Roiland added. "We've got the multiverse, we've got any sci-fi concept we want. There's too many ideas, so it wouldn't be for lack of content in a show like this." Although it's rare for a show to peak after season 6 (as the "Community" finale pointed out), "Rick and Morty" is in a rare position where the showrunner might actually get to pull the feat off. 

Avoiding the route of the Simpsons

When people think of animated TV shows that go on forever, their minds naturally jump to "The Simpsons," which is currently going into its 34th season despite its best years being far, far behind it. As nice as an infinite supply of "Rick and Morty" adventures sounds, it's hard to feel too good about it when we've already seen what happens to a show that's never allowed to end. Luckily, this is something Roiland and Harmon seem to have taken into consideration.

"We're also not trying to do what 'The Simpsons' is doing and we're doing less episodes than 'The Simpsons,'" Roiland said. Whereas "The Simpsons" has consistently aired twenty-plus episodes a year, every year, "Rick and Morty" has limited itself to around 10 episodes per season. And as much as the long waits between seasons have frustrated fans, it also means the writers have time to really polish up the scripts. It's a lot easier for a show to stay consistent when they have a much smaller episode mandate. (Just ask the people behind "Always Sunny.")

"I think we could easily run this thing into season 20 if we wanted, if the network wanted and if the fans wanted," Roiland said. After all, "The Simpsons" had a golden era that lasted from 178 to 200 episodes (depending on if you include season 9), and that's about how long 20 seasons of "Rick and Morty" would last. It seems impossible for a show to go on for that many years without getting stale — but hey, maybe we're in that one universe where they can actually pull it off.

"Rick and Morty" season 6 premieres Sunday, September 4 on Adult Swim.