With the conclusion of Rick And Morty’s third season earlier this week, Adult Swim has finally been able to mull over the ratings that the enormously popular animated series has received. And while impressive, the success is unsurprising.
Adult Swim, the most-viewed network by young adults, announced in a press release that the hit TV show pulled in the highest numbers in network history. Rick And Morty has now also become the most-watched show by adults ages 18-24 and 18-34.
The show is now also the highest rated comedy on all of television, and that is largely thanks to the younger demographic.
Christina Miller, who is President of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Boomerang, had high praise for what show creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have built.
“Rick and Morty is truly what a modern day hit looks like across multiple screens and multiple touchpoints,” she says. “Dan and Justin have created a world, not just a show, and fans are completely engaged.”
To kick the show’s third season off with a bang, Adult Swim reverse April-fooled everyone by premiering the first episode on April 1 without warning in classic prankster fashion.
The stunt garnered a lot of attention, bringing in three million viewers to the network’s website, while Facebook held a live streaming event of their own that gained another 8.7 million video views and another 43.3 million impressions.
This continues the show’s success across multiple platforms, since digital viewership and live streaming have served as alternatives to cable. Gaming, retail, and fan-themed events have also taken place to further its reach to a wider audience, helping the show and brand become more popular than it was a year ago in general.
A notable example of this involves the Szechuan sauce from McDonald’s, which was referenced in the third season’s surprise premiere. The sauce was once upon a time available when Disney’s Mulan aired in theaters, but it was soon lost in the history books, being a product that was long forgotten by even those who lived through its existence.
However, when Rick demanded the sauce in the episode, so did the show’s viewers. An instant plea from the internet was raised to get McDonald’s to bring back the defunct product, and before you knew it, the fast food chain re-engineered the sauce and sent a barrel of it to co-creator Justin Roiland, and even a few lucky fans.
At the end of the day, Rick And Morty is transforming the way we perceive a hit animated series, and we can assume this will only encourage the show’s longevity.