Endlessly quotable and always hilarious, Archer has graced the airwaves now for seven seasons, providing episode after episode of action and comedy, all while offering more catch phrases — “DO YOU WANT ANTS?!” “Phrasing!” “I mean…” — per pound than, perhaps, any show that came before it or since. The series has been a critical and commercial hit for the FX network, and the series recently won an Emmy award for outstanding animated program.
Archer has continually evolved over its seven seasons, thanks, in part, to the creative direction from series creator Adam Reed (Sealab 2021, Frisky Dingo). The years spent honing his comedic chops on his previous shows all came together for Archer, which follows the titular character, voiced by H. Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers), in a series of increasingly absurd adventures. The characters of Archer have gone from spy agency to drug cartel to CIA franchise to, in the most recent season that aired earlier this year, a private investigations firm in Hollywood. While there may seemingly be no end to the kinds of adventures the characters can get into, unfortunately the end of the series lays just on the horizon.
Reed recently gave an interview on the Murmur Podcast [h/t Splitsider] and revealed that he plans to end the series after season 10. This news comes on the heels of some speculation after word was announced that FX had renewed the series for three more seasons earlier this year. Reed also revealed that the last three seasons will be shorter than usual, coming in at around eight episodes apiece.
“The plan is to end Archer after season 10. I don’t know anybody that has talked about that, but that is my plan to do 8, 9, and 10 — and they’re each going to be shorter seasons of just eight episodes — and then wind it up.”
While the news is certainly a blow to fans of the series, the news is better than what could have been. Reed also revealed that his original plan was to end the series after season 8, which airs next year:
“I had sort of a brain explosion of a way I could do three more seasons and really keep my interest up. So the three seasons that are coming up are gonna be pretty different from what has come before, and they’re gonna be different from each other.”
We could expect nothing less from a show that has been so wildly unpredictable from the moment it first aired, and if it has to go out, at least it’s going on maintaining the same unique sensibilities that made it so popular in the first place. Archer has never shied away from trying new angles to shake up the formula and keep it fresh. From the sound of things Reed has a plan to keep things fresh right up until the final episode airs in three years.
Still, it is a bit disappointing to know that Archer is very near to its conclusion. Of course, it would be more disappointing if the series wasn’t so infinitely watchable. Part of Archer’s charm is that it gets better with every watch; in-jokes become funnier, as do the characters, the more you know about what’s going on in the series and what’s going to happen later. In that respect, we’ll always have Archer in some form. There’s been talk recently of a live-action movie based on the series, and in the absence of new episodes, perhaps that will serve to fill a void.
Season 8 of Archer will premiere on FX in 2017.