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TV

Cartoon Network Lied To Us: ‘Uncle Grandpa’ Is Ending Production

Last week Cartoon Network sent out a press release announcing that they had picked up seasons 4 and 5 of two of their popular shows: Steven Universe and Uncle Grandpa. We dutifully wrote up the news, but it turns out that Cartoon Network duped us, along with dozens of other media outlets.

Cartoon Network isn’t picking up new episodes of Uncle Grandpa, but rather ending production on the series, a source with knowledge of the production told Cartoon Brew.

Here’s what’s going on: the Uncle Grandpa crew at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank was informed in mid-March that the show would wrap up production at the end of its current season. When they’re done, the crew will have produced 78 half-hours, or 156 11-minute cartoons.

Because the first season of the series consisted of 52 11-minute shorts, the crew members had assumed that there would be two additional seasons of 52 11-minute shorts. However, Cartoon Network is splitting up the remaining 104 shorts into 26 cartoons per season, which allows them to proclaim four new seasons of content.

It’s not a crime for Cartoon Network to change the number of episodes per season, and in fact, some of their shows have 26 episodes per seasons. Also, the bulk of Uncle Grandpa — 100 cartoons — hasn’t even debuted yet. In other words, fans of Uncle Grandpa, Mr. Gus, Belly Bag, Pizza Steve, and Giant Realistic Flying Tiger can look forward to years of original new content.

But looking at it from the perspective of the crew (and that’s what we do because we’re an industry resource), CN’s announcement of two new seasons was disingenuous. We’ve never received a press release claiming that a show is being renewed, when in fact the entire crew is being laid off. It’s a savvy way for Cartoon Network to spin bad news, and avoid the negative press that often accompanies show cancellation announcements, as Disney has experienced in recent years when they wrapped production on Phineas and Ferb and Wander Over Yonder.

For those wondering about Steven Universe, Cartoon Network pulled a similar stunt on that series by reducing the number of episodes per season to be able to claim additional seasons. This was confirmed by show writer Matt Burnett on Twitter, who posted the following (now-deleted) tweet:

mattburnett_tweet

It’s not clear yet whether Steven Universe will extend beyond its “fourth” and “fifth” seasons.

  • truteal

    And so ends the best animated thing on television, I just hope two things happen

    1: They make a new show created by an Uncle Grandpa vet (I hope Nick Edwards)

    2: The Uncle Grandpa crew makes the final seasons the best they can (I’m hoping for a full-length Oatmeal Quest)

    I felt that it should’ve seen Regular Show’s ending at least (in order for TV in general to grow, old shows have to be cancelled and new shows have to replace them)

    • >There will never be an Uncle Grandpa Movie that’s a full-length parody of Mad Max: Fury Road with Xarna as the main character
      It hurts.

    • ♡cloudy J♡

      Uncle Grandpa has a 4.4/10 on IMDb. Regular Show has an 8.4/10. It’s probably not in their bes interest to get rid of one of their best and most successful cartoons.
      Sorry you have such bad taste.

      • Roman Reigns Owns The IWC

        Ironically though despite the rating, it’s popularity chart is good.

      • BlueBoomPony

        Gosh, we can only hope to aspire to your level of perfect taste in cartoons. Do you have a ring I can kiss or should I just genuflect in your general direction?

    • BlueBoomPony

      The are not ending the best animated thing on tv. Rick and Morty is returning for season 3. ;-)

  • JodyMorgan

    While I wasn’t a regular watcher of Uncle Grandpa, I appreciated its unflagging wackiness and felt it had potential to be a really good show in its later seasons. The show’s crew and its fans have my sympathy. (On the other hand, it’s still getting almost double the episodes of Wander Over Yonder, so it could be worse.)

    (And yes, I’m still seriously bummed about WOY’s cancellation.)

    • Nairo Camilo

      (Just like everyone should be)

      • Count me in on that. I hope that #SaveWOY campaign going on now goes well and makes a difference, just one more season would make me so happy.
        (I don’t care much for UG though, and I’m actually impressed by how much eps it ended up getting *awaits shitstorm*)

        • Nairo Camilo

          It probably won’t be that much of a game changer, but it’s always the same thing: some exec may see the ruckus, speak with some people, another season is up…

          It doesn’t hurt to hope, after all

  • I think it was more of a case of misinformation on their part than an outright lie.

    • What makes me sad about this is that people don’t realize how quickly reboots are taking over networks. The highest-viewed cartoon at the moment is a reboot (TTG). Cartoon Network has virtually replaced UG with the PPG reboot and Adult Swim and Disney are preparing for Samurai Jack and Duck Tales to come back respectively. And Nick’s highest rated cartoons (other than Spongebob, which has been going on for 17 years) are Alvin and the Chipmunks and TMNT (both reboots) with Hey Arnold and Wild Thornberries on the way. Even most of Netflix’s content consists of series continuations of DreamWorks movies. I’m scared, please don’t let contemporary cartoons fall for the same syndrome the film industry has for the last few years.

      • kuzronk

        Samurai Jack isn’t a reboot. It’s a continuation with the original creator working on it.

        • Metlow Rovenstein

          This, although Wahalla does have a point about reboots on TV networks.

        • BlueBoomPony

          Not to mention one that fans like me were clamoring for.

    • Anon

      “Hey we’re making more episodes” vs “hey sorry we are canceling production.” Hmmmm…misinformation my arse.

  • Wow, that really sucks. RIP Uncle Grandpa, you were one of the only cartoons dedicated to cartooning and now you’re gone along with Wander over Yonder.

  • Don’t eff with my CRYSTAL GEMS!!!!!

    • kkakuoku

      As a UG fan, I humbly ask to not pour liquor on this wound. You’re basically insulting not only a creator but also an entire production team that was straight up lied to. I’m sure Rebecca Sugar would say the same.

      • Minato Arisato

        I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it (definitely not insulting). After what they pulled with UG, who knows who’s on the chopping block.

  • Jorge Perez

    Yes, you are so important that if you don´t like a show it has to be ended. It makes sense.

    • I don’t really think it’s wrong that I want a show I don’t like to end. If you like it, fine, but I don’t. I do agree this isn’t really a good way for it to get cancelled, but unfortunately I rushed and forgot to mention that in my original c. Sorry if I came off as harsh at all. I wasn’t really thinking.

  • [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted.”]

  • I’m not saying you had to like UG but the showrunners were essentially lied to and manipulated by the network. Not even Pete Browngardt knew about the cancellation until recently.

    • I realized I probably should’ve said something about that after that after I hit post. Unfortunately it was while it was awaiting moderation so I couldn’t edit. I do agree this isn’t really a good way for anything to get cancelled. I mean, I’m not disappointed to see it go, but I don’t really like the way it happened either. Sorry if I came off as harsh at all.

  • Elsi Pote

    Well, they have enough material to re run till your eyes bleed.

    Remember there is a truck load of crap from up north coming to all your favorite stations. Hence they don’t need to invest locally.

    Just give it some time and another intrepid artist will convince the Burbank landlords to make more awesome stuff.

  • Coolest Idol

    I’m not an UG fan either, I’m honestly happy to see it go, but as a CN fan I hate the way the network is handling the restructuring in the middle of the seasons, and I think the way they keep misinformation, and keep fans in the dark is seriously annoying. I think they’re seriously making fans people who are serious cartoon fans, upset.

  • Providing honest information to the production team(s) and the audience is better than trying to twist the interpretation. That is unfair to everyone, especially when they are trying to support the network (CN).

  • Callum

    At least we will still have a few more years of UG. It took CN 3 years to air the 52 episodes of season 1.

  • I already thought pretending like you renewed some shows for two more seasons when you actually just split the currently scheduled seasons into two to be a pretty crappy thing to do, but this makes it even worse.

    I’m sad for UG and its fans, and as a fan of Steven Universe it makes me very worried…

  • Liebheart

    Does this mean the second season of Steven Universe is already over?
    This is news to me.

    • D.A.V.E.

      Sort of. They just split regular seasons in half, so it’s technically over, but really just halfway.

      • Barrett

        Seems like Steven Universe is going to go the Gravity Falls route – split seasons to “extend the supply” so to speak, a creator being given the room to develop large arcs that ultimately conclude in a specific way, and a show that will end on its own terms, not the networks. Although the similarities end there when it comes to show length; it’s pretty clear Disney wanted Alex Hirsch to do at least another half-season of Gravity Falls, but he felt that really would ahve been pushing it, and insisted in wrapping it all up by the end of the second season (fourth half-season.) I suspect Steven Universe is going to go at least 3, possibly 4 “real” seasons before it ends.

  • Justin

    Will Steven Universe be cancelled as well before its time ends?

    • Rebecca Sugar said she knows how she wants the show to end, and that CN has so far been supportive, so I don’t think it would get cut off at this point. Especially with how CN has been pushing Steven Universe merchandise more lately. Hopefully it’ll be fine!

  • yotsubafanfan

    I’ll always remember you for one of the best crossovers ever (That being the Steven Universe and Uncle Grandpa crossover) I hope he can do a crossover with Clarence before it goes off the air (I’d LOVE to see Jeffs reaction to the madness that is Uncle Grandpa’s RV). I’ll also remember you for the “Beary nice and Hot dog person” sketches. (One of the few things in modern tv that made me laugh out loud for a solid minute)

  • Barrett

    I’m getting pretty fed up with the fast and loose definitions of what constitutes a “season.” The first place I started to notice this was with The Venture Bros., but it has extended to both other animated shows like Gravity Falls (which would appear to have four seasons rather than two to the average viewer watching new episodes as they premiere) and live action (AMC shows such as Breaking Bad and Mad Men.) I remember when animated shows had a defined length for “seasons”; it used to be 65 eps for weekday shows, 13 eps for Saturday morning/weekend series. Then 65 became 52, and now we’re lucky to get 26 rather than 12 or 10, or even 8 (damn you, Venture!) I guess even “hit” series like Steven Universe aren’t likely to ever get 65-ep season orders ever again.

    • Tracy Reynolds

      I’ve stopped watching shows that had their season “premieres” at unusual times. I look for it in September, October…if it hasn’t aired by then I’ve forgotten about its existence and moved on.

  • The_Purple_People_Eater

    Shame this show got canned, it was an actual lively cartoon! Rare thing these days. But I’m at ease knowing that there;s no doubt this talented team will have no trouble finding work. It’s true because most of them have already found work elsewhere.

  • Kanaletto

    Come on, teen titans go is incredibly funny. You just gotta realize that no matter how many people complain, the originals aren’t coming back. And that’s a good thing, as they will keep their legend intact.

    • OG Thug McNasty

      THANK YOU.

      I see that it can be a bit of a turn-off when any of the Titans (usually Robin) occasionally acts a little hostile, but the show is still very funny!

      I appreciate that Teen Titans Go! tries to be something else and differentiate itself from the original… unlike a more recent reboot I won’t bother mentioning…

    • Roman Reigns Owns The IWC

      It’s not funny, and I watched it before the original show so I didn’t have any bias. That should’ve been the show to go imo.

    • cesar

      TTG is dope

  • MoMoCHu5360

    They’re way more lax than Disney and Nick when it comes to ratings. As long as the merchandise sells (Young Justice).

  • Breno

    I love old cartoons and nonsense stuff but this show is just too forced, repetitive and boring. They should really cancell it and use the show’s budget to give Lakewood Plaza Turbo its so deserved full series.

    And these reboots they’re doing is just another waste of money too. If they’re going to make a reboot, they should make one for something the creators are still enthusiastic with the idea, like Courage and Codename Kids Next Door. John Dilworth and Mr Warburton are dying to make more cartoons and CN don’t even care for them, instead they’d rather do Teen Titans Go, Ben 10’s 5th series and another PPG reboot WITHOUT Craig McCracken (even after everyone disliked the last one they did without him).

  • Billy Shears

    I hope Uncle Grandpa can continue on the web somehow…

  • Abdullah Zubair

    I might be wrong here, but what if they told the bad news to the Cartoon crew but the good news to the cartoon brew…???In order to avoid what is happening now

  • Mr. Popo

    Goddamn it. Dude, like, fuck CN.

  • JodyMorgan

    whinny internet trolls” — You mean bronies?

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist an easy setup for a silly pun.)

    • BlueBoomPony

      No worries. :)

  • Roman Reigns Owns The IWC

    Okay, so the show will be on for a while, but CN you still made a bad move there to the crew.

  • Pennyjpie

    That’s too bad. I mean, it wasn’t the best show in the world, but I could appreciate the zany humor and the characters. I thought this show got too much hate to begin with when it was really just ok. Not great or terrible, just ok.

    I’ll still miss it, but only because it was the only CN show that explored a more cartoony humor (without pissing people off in a way like Teen Titans Go, which went out of it’s way to mess with people.)

  • Paul Jones

    Great. He gets crapped on so they can do a really bad reload of PPG and Ben 10. The suits need a kick to the head.

  • star1234

    I don’t think I’ve seen Uncle Grandpa…but your point on reboots echoes the constant complaint of live-action screenwriters, too…They can’t get an original screenplay read if a comic book character needs a new vehicle…So many creative people out there–I pitch my cartoons almost every week–and still, the tried and true and the established creators keep on getting… Way of the world, I guess.

  • DeMat DeMat

    It’s like they’re trying to kill off the golden age of western TV animation.

  • Dakota

    I was not the biggest fan of Uncle Grandpa I just thought it was mediocre compared to the other shows Cartoon Network has to offer but to be cancelled is pretty harsh especially considering they have that abomination of TEEN TITANS GO! on the air……

    Pretty bad start to 2016 for cartoons we lost Uncle Grandpa, Wander of Yonder, and Gravity Falls (even though there is a rumor that is getting a reboot on Fox because Alex said we will see Dipper, Mabel, and the Stan twins again, but that is just a rumor I heard)

    Hopefully this trend does not get worse….

  • Domonique Andrews

    Okay, so here’s what I got out of this:
    There’s no law that says a station can change the number of episodes they are going to release per season. That’s up for the execs. to decide. They technically can cancel a show at any time, but they have to give the writers some sort of notice, at least I think.
    But when they cut a season down, say they originally had, for example, 20 episodes in season 1, and the writers expect to produce another 20 because season 2 has already been ordered. The crew would have been working on finishing all 20 then they would wait and see if the show would be picked up for season 3.
    What happened was: They produced all 20 episodes, and it was understood among the crew that there would be a season 3 of some sort. What CN did was collect all 20 episodes, but cut them up by 10 episodes each. So that yes, there is going to be a season 2 and 3, but they’re only 10
    episodes each. Then CN has no more work for the crew. It’s legal. That’s what’s atrocious about it.
    If that’s what’s going on, Cartoon Network, you did wrong. You did very wrong. These writers and storyboard artists have families to feed. Animation is a job to them. I’m sure they’ll find more work, but it’s a nasty way to let them go. I don’t care how good the show was, or WHAT show it was.

  • Vic Art

    They’d better give Steven Universe a fourth and fifth season

    • Danniel

      Steven Universe is not the theme here, please stick to the topic and don’t enrage UG fans like me.

      • Vic Art

        I don’t even know how to reply to this, considering I said nothing about hating on UG.
        It’s a funny show, I’ll admit (especially after that SU and UG crossover)

        • Danniel

          Steven Universe is not the topic of the discussion.