Adult Swim Has Cancelled ‘The Venture Bros.’ Afer 17 Glorious​ Years

Published on September 8, 2020

Well, it’s a sad day when you gotta say farewell to The Venture Bros. The cult favorite at Adult Swim was on the air for a total of 17 years. For a total of seven seasons, creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer’s spin on Johnny Quest fathered a very passionate fanbase. Over the last few days, those fans been mourning the loss of this truly wonderful, oddball show.

What Happened

There’s no concrete reasoning for the cancellation yet. Publick shared the disappointing news on Twitter, however, which he learned months ago from the brass at Adult Swim:

Unfortunately, it’s true: #VentureBros 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.

Venture Bros. had been off the air for two years. Famously, the show takes an awful lot of time to produce, but since it always delivered the goods, fans were as patient as can be.

Adult Swim’s Odd Response

Adult Swim didn’t put an in-depth statement out to clarify the cancellation. In a single tweet, however, the company said they do indeed want more The Venture Bros., despite canceling the 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.”

Admittedly, Venture Bros. was never a huge hit along the lines of Rick & Morty, but it never needed to be. The fans were always there for it. It’s a shame Adult Swim wouldn’t let Hammer and Publick at least end the show on their own terms. The series is well-known for its spectacular season finales, so we can only imagine how epic a final Venture Bros. episode would’ve been.

Could The Show Live On?

After disappointment was expressed across social media by fans, Variety did a little digging and learned, just as Adult Swim mentioned, the show could live on. Adult Swim confirmed they’re working on avenues for the show to continue. HBO Max is apparently one option being discussed at the moment. It’s far from a done deal and could easily not happen, from the sound of it, but at least Venture Bros. has a fighting chance of staying alive. There’s so much more gas in the tank of this show. 

17 Years is No Joke 

The Venture Bros. was a love letter to old school adventure shows like Johnny Quest and a million other properties the series referenced. The characters were simultaneously hilarious and deep, usually ridiculed with insecurity or some kind of familiar pain. The show was packed with loveable and quotable characters, including Dr. Venture, the brilliant idiot played by James Urbaniak, who recently expressed his gratitude for the series and its fans: 

“So, as it must to all, the 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!”

If The Venture Bros. doesn’t find a way to keep entertaining us, at least fans got 17 years of great entertainment. Almost 20 years on air is an incredible accomplishment, especially when the quality is consistent and high. The show only got better from the start. It’s why it’d take so long to produce. Hammer and Publick had more roles on the show, including directing and editing and designing characters than most showrunners do. 

It’s always unfortunate when a favorite show is canceled, but the loss of Venture Bros. sure does sting a bit more than the average cancellation. Probably because it wasn’t ever an average show.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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