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‘Gravity Falls’ Creator Alex Hirsch Explains Why He’s Ending the Show After 2 Seasons

The quirky Disney XD series Gravity Falls will end with a one-hour series finale that will air sometime in the next few months.

"Gravity Falls" creator Alex Hirsch. (Photo by Greg De Stefano.)
“Gravity Falls” creator Alex Hirsch. (Photo by Greg De Stefano.)

“The first thing to know is that the show isn’t being cancelled,” the frequently-flanneled series creator (and noted Cartoon Brew fan) Alex Hirsch wrote on his Tumblr yesterday. “It’s being finished. This is 100% my choice, and it[’]s something I decided on a very long time ago. I always designed Gravity Falls to be a finite series about one epic summer- a series with a beginning, middle, and end. There are so many shows that go on endlessly until they lose their original spark, or mysteries that are cancelled before they ever get a chance to payoff.”

The penultimate episode, “Weirdmageddon Part 2: Escape From Reality,” will premiere this Monday. Hirsch has promised fans that these last episodes are leading to a finale that will answer some, but not all, questions about the show’s mysteries.

“I wanted Gravity Falls to have a mystery that had a real answer, an adventure that had a real climax, and an ending that had a real conclusion for the characters I care so much about,” the 30-year-old CalArts graduate wrote. “This is very unusual in television and a pretty big experiment, and Disney for their part has been enormously supportive. I know that hits are rare in this business, and its hard to let one of them go, so I’m so grateful that this company has had the vision to let me start (and end) the show the way I always wanted to.”

Disney XD released its own statement saying, “Alex Hirsch had a masterful plan for the stories and characters of Gravity Falls and, through 40 episodes and 17 shorts, he and a team of outstanding writers, artists and actors consistently delivered an inspired and unique story. Alex made the decision to conclude the story at this time, and while we’re disappointed we all won’t have the opportunity to explore more of the Gravity Falls world, we respect his creative vision.”

Hirsch has left the door open for future Gravity Falls revivals, writing, “[J]ust because I’ve finished the story I wanted to tell doesn’t necessarily mean we will never see Dipper, Mabel, & Stan again. It means that this chapter is closed, and that I, at least for now, am personally done telling their story.”

He has not announced a new project, but encourages his fans to follow him on Twitter for future news.

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  • Guest

    What times we live in when people are shocked that a show can end after only a second season. I guess some thought that a summer vacation would last for 10 years.

    • Hey, anime has been doing that since the start of the century! (granted, this is usually a case when a show was budgeted for a set number of episodes and if it was based on a manga or light novel, they usually have to end at a certain point and expect the viewers to go read the book)

      • StumbleReel

        endings in 26-episode anime are pretty finite, It’s the 12-episoders like Tokyo Ghoul or Yamada & The Seven Witches that are straight-up commercials for the stuff thier based on

        • Prior to this century, this sort of thing was reserved for OVA’s (direct-to-video animated videos) but has since crept onto broadcast/satellite TV in Japan.

    • Gray Stanback

      Hey, it worked that way for Phineas and Ferb!

      • Mesterius

        And maybe it shouldn’t have.

    • Funkybat

      And when it comes to live-action, Britain seems to be much more inclined to have limited-run series that definitely end than the U.S. does. Gravity Falls’ lifespan reminds me of how many of the best British shows were “short and sweet” by American standards, though GF’s run is hardly “short” by today’s TV animation standards, where you’ll see three different iterations of Batman, Spider-Man or Ninja Turtles come and go within less than a decade.

  • Jason

    I love Gravity Falls. It’s the best animated series Disney has ever produced. I would like to thank Alex Hirsch and everyone else involved for making such a great and phenomenal series. It will be missed.

    • Carey Adams

      It’s a fantastic show, no doubt, but Phineas & Ferb would like a word with you.

      • Jason

        Phineas & Ferb is okay, but it’s repetitious, and it was on for way too long. It should have ended with “Roller Coaster: The Musical”, and then the movie.

      • Funkybat

        I’m sorry, but Gravity Falls is at an entirely different level than anything else to come from Disney TV Animation in years. The storytelling and dialogue is probably the best ever, and the sheer feeling of adventure and depth of characters hasn’t been attained since the height of The Disney Afternoon.

        There are several other great shows coming out of TVA these days, Phineas and Ferb was really just the start of this roll. I’d view P&F in relation to the more recent shows the same way most people view “The Great Mouse Detective” when it comes to Disney Features – the glimmer of reawakening before a coming creative explosion.

      • Paul N

        And Gargoyles would like a word with Phineas & Ferb… :)

  • Alex Hirsch ran with the opportunity given to him to make one of the best animated series we’ve seen on Disney channel. And he did it his way. Whether he comes back with the Pine family, or another project with a whole set of new characters, I know it will be awesome. I look forward to his return after a nice deserved break. Godspeed Alex!

    • It would be nice to see this sort of pattern rub off on future creators if given the same atmopshere and freedom to make the discisions that Alex had done. This sort of thing is rather very unique and I can’t think of anyone that have done the same before (at least in a animated TV series).

      • Like you said Chris, it is very rare and unique. The only series I could think of as an animated series would be Avatar: the Last Airbender (not including Korra). I felt the creators had a beginning, middle, and end for that show, and it really did a phenomenal job with the vision they had.

  • Tony

    I figured it would end now, considering the events in recent episodes. While I’m sad to see it go, I admire Hirsch’s decision to stop the show while it’s still in it’s prime and not drag it out. It’s been a wild ride, and I’m looking forward to what’s next for Hirsch and his team.

  • dang. I need to catch up on season 2. I have enjoyed the show immensely. I can accept it ending after it’s second season. Better for the creator to end it when they see fit then let it drag on on season after season till it gets stale. I’ve seen that happen to some of my other all-time faorite cartoons like Spongebob, Ren and Stimpy….

    Then there are other series I totally lost interest in that have so many seasons in like Adventure Time. How many seasons are there now? Is the show even good anymore? Although, unpopular opinion time: I never was able to get as emotionally invested into Adventure Time as other people did. Gravity Falls and Steven Universe however, have been my most favorite cartoons in the past year. I have far more enjoyed those two cartoons than I ever did watching AT. I reallyyy hope SU doesn’t get cancelled, I know it’s been renewed for a third season, and I don’t see by CN would cancel it, but yeah, that would totally suck.

    Hopefully it won’t be too long before we get another cartoon from Hirsch. We need more people out there making quality cartoons like GF. Speaking on which, I need to start watching Gumball again, love that cartoon. I ought to give We Bear Bears another shot. Saw a couple eps and wasn’t that into it

    • ToXiX

      I was truly surprised at how much I liked We Bare Bears. I really had zero expectations going in so that might have helped but it is my favorite cartoon series on CN at the moment. Never been a fan of Adventure Time but I like Regular Show.

  • StumbleReel

    I hate it when a good cartoon goes on until it inevitably sucks hard enough to get cancelled for low ratings.

    I hate how that’s the usual intent for shows in this country.

    I love Hirsch for fighting the system.

    • Andrew Alderson

      “It is 100% my choice, not canceled” he said

    • white vader

      And in this case you’ve gotta give “the system” props that he actually didn’t have to fight/Disney supported him!

  • Gray Stanback

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, as a fan of Gravity Falls, but I like this idea.
    A show like Gravity Falls, one with an ongoing storyline building toward a designated finale, isn’t meant to go on and on forever. In fact, I think Western animation needs more of this– more limited-format series that tell in-depth stories.

    • That is something I’m sure some of us had been waiting a LONG time to see, namely a show with a serialized sequential storyline we need to follow from beginning to end than to see it as self-contained episodes.

      • Self-contained episodes still work really well (Craig McCracken’s “Wander Over Yonder” is a good example with the different experiments they take in each episode).

    • Funkybat

      Indeed, it is probably for the best narratively and creatively, and a far better outcome than many other great or once-great series. The upside of all this is of course that after a well-deserved rest, Alex Hirsch will most likely being working on some entirely new animated project that may be as great or greater than Gravity Falls, though “greater” would be quite a challenge indeed. It also means the many other fantastic people who worked to make the series will go on to work on other new shows as well, further strengthening Disney TV Animation’s return to greatness.

  • Fluffydips

    Well there goes one of the last major life supports for modern animation. What’s next guys, Teen Titans GO GO GO? Or twerking fruits?

  • Inkan1969

    Wasn’t “Gravity Falls” supposed to be three seasons (one per summer month) instead of two? And why are new eps spaced out by months? That doesn’t seem supportive at all.

    • Josh Moore

      Based on stuff by Alex Hirsch, the story he wanted to tell couldn’t support 3 seasons so he decided to combine plot elements from the planned 3rd season into Season 2.

    • HarmonicaCave

      I was saying that, too! Do you remember where you heard that it was three seasons originally? I can’t find the interview with him I was trying to reference.

      • Inkan1969

        Actually, I heard it just a couple of weeks ago on /co/.

    • The Undead

      It was supposed to last three season but like Josh Moore points out the creator realized here wasn’t enough content to support a third season. It was supposed to be Gideon is the villain of the first season, the second season would have been about Stan trying to get his brother back, and the third season was supposed to be Bill being the villain. When he realized there wasn’t going to be enough content, unless he did a lot of filler, he just combined Season 2 and 3 into one.

      • Inkan1969

        That’s a little surprising to hear. I would’ve thought that such an elaborate mystery would’ve provided novels worth of content. Though I did hear that most people were guessing the identity of books’ author too soon.

  • Derik

    The only thing that ever bothered me about Gravity Falls was the little asian girl’s accent. Why do many cartoons give the asian kids thick accents? Isn’t this dated and racist? None of my asian friends sound like that.

    • Nate

      I think it mostly because her voice actress (who’s Korean) has the same accent.
      Her VA has voice other characters from other shows (BMO, Rainacorn from Adventure Time, Clore’s mom from We Bare Bears) that also has her accent.

    • Andy Bates

      Having an accent is not something that is dated or racist. Sure, there are plenty of Asians living in the U.S. who do not have thick accents, but there are also many who do. It’s all a matter of where they grew up and how long they’ve been in America. Unless the character is being portrayed as a racist stereotype in other ways, just having an accent isn’t racist in any way.

  • Josh Moore

    It’s really sad Gravity Falls is ending soon, but I saw it coming. The characters were so great and so was the plot, animation, and jokes. While I’m sad this is the end of the show for now, I hope this will be a show that will be still be fondly remembered for future generations and I give hope for Alex he’ll do some more great projects.

  • Paul M

    Nothing rouses my ire more than a great cartoon ceasing production after a mere season or two – unless of course it was what the creator intended all along. Kudos to Alex Hirsch for being able to plan and execute a highly satisfying conclusion to an extremely impressive series. Weirdmageddon promises to irrevocably change the quaint little town of Gravity Falls and it’s citizens.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they renamed the place…

  • Jon

    Gravity falls is one of my favorite shows. It’s too bad I didn’t discover it earlier. (I started watching this past September, and I’m caught up) but I agree with his decision, it makes sense. But please, put it on Netflix or something, and maybe we could have a revival mini series in a year. Goodbye gravity falls, you will be missed

  • James VanDam

    I kind of wish that they would have given us at least one more season. But I am happy that the show is ending on a high note and not sticking around until its becomes a shadow of it’s former self. I am looking forward to Alex Hirsch’s next project.

  • mazi

    it’s refreshing to hear a show creator say these things! stories seem to function better when the creators have a beginning, middle, and ending planned out from the get-go; otherwise… it’s a constant stream of design-by-committee episodes where marketers, board members, ad execs, and yes men desperately try to retool each new episode to meet their needs (selling more crap to us).

  • John Basta

    This is how the UK does its television series. Much better storytelling.

    • Carmen

      *cough cough* Doctor Who *cough cough*

  • Slim Cognito

    RIP

  • Mauricio A. Grinspun

    All along, this is the way GF was supposed to end. No point in stretching, let the story end for the better. Nonetheless, I’ll be missing these characters. Alex and his team gave their all to provide us with one of the best animated series of the decade (In my opinion, Gravity Falls is a crucial step towards changing the western world view regarding animation as a child-focused art, moreover due to being aired in Disney Channel)

    It was a wild ride, one which I’m grateful for. Thank you Alex Hirsch and the Gravity Falls team, looking forward to whatever it is you’ll give us next.

    Stay Weird,

    An argentinian fan (that said, excuse my english)

  • Bears

    I love Gravity Falls but ending it with a bang will be good for all of us! Alex Hisch has made his money and he has made us all happy but if he kept on making the Gravity Falls episodes it would lose its spark and lose its personality. If the crew of Gravity Falls is reading this I would like to say thanks for making this show. 😀

  • Robert Lunney

    Yet ANOTHER amazing cartoon series gone…

    I know, it’s actually an amazing thing that Disney is giving it’s shows creators a bit more say in their creations development & storylines, but, like PHINEAS AND FERB, GRAVITY FALLS has been a breath of fresh air in the cartoon world.

    We’ve been given some great, hard-hitting shows that have been amazing, pushing the boundaries of entertainment in kids programing. They’ve given us fun characters, great plots & fabulous humor.

    I hope whatever project Hirsch is working on next will blow us away as much as GRAVITY FALLS has!

  • AnimatedMadness

    One of the best? No. “Gravity Falls” is THE best show the animation company has ever produced. A finite and compelling story, quality animation, humor, heart. It has everything. I eagerly wait for these amazing episodes to get a blu-ray release. They will have my money waiting when it happens.

    • Funkybat

      It was going to take an act of God (or Bill) for Disney TV to ever produce a series that matched or exceeded the sheer level of artistic and emotional meaningfulness of shows like DuckTales, Darkwing Duck or Tale Spin, but by golly, Alex and his crew pulled it off, as far as I’m concerned.

    • Ronnie

      One word refutation of your premise: GARGOYLES.

      • AnimatedMadness

        Gargoyles was good, but it went off the rails in the later seasons.

  • Steven Bowser

    That’s awesome! I wish Genndy Tartakovsky had been given this chance with Samurai Jack and Sym-Bionic Titan. :(

    • Crystal

      Seconded.

  • mechasus

    I very highly respect his decision and reasoning. I think many fans would find it hard to let the show go so soon, but I’m glad the man is sticking to his vision and doing what he sees the most fit for the show and that Disney supports it. I wish all of this crew the best for the future.

  • Alexandria Lynn

    …And no one here mentions Penn Zero or Star vs. the Forces of Evil…

  • Paul Jones

    Thank goodness at least someone isn’t overstaying his welcome. While I wouldn’t say no to seeing these characters some place else, it can’t possibly be where they are now.

  • IMABIRD

    After Gravity Falls’s finale, Hirsch should create a movie/ miniseries about every character’s life BEFORE Gravity Falls, like Dipper and Mabel back at home with their mom and dad, how Wendy goes about her life before she meets Dipper and Mabel, etc.

  • DB

    Guys, let’s be frank. The creators of Gravity Falls is trolling its fans. Obsessive fans that put hours looking for small clues and longer stories and art about this cartoon. I would not have the guts to piss these fans off.

  • Kramer Lindsay

    they need to have one more season! just when you start to love all the characters they end the show! this is the best cartoon on tv they need to make one more season have another network pick it up!! :( its like all the charcters are dying at the same time just when you really start to get to know them. :(

  • GalliantCat

    I mean we don’t want phineas and ferb again …

  • Jonboy

    The first time I saw this show I was wondering how they would pull off so many seasons when they are only staying there for the summer. I have not started watching Season 2 yet. I am planning on watching them at a stretch. But I am glad I can brace myself for a conclusion rather than waiting another year for more story. The shorts help you get more than enough of the show plus I think it holds itself as art more when it is finite. Over the Garden Wall was a mini series that just worked because, as much as you liked the world they created, you want to see them get home and the ending has awesome rewards..

  • buzz86us

    I think this is a great idea! After being a fan of Phineas and Ferb which stretched the summer over 4 seasons and made numerous references to the fact… I have to say I fully support this and I look forward to a possible second series. Maybe Alex Hirsch could work on the planned Twin Peaks revival!

  • buzz86us

    I think this is a great idea! After being a fan of Phineas and Ferb which stretched the summer over 4 seasons and made numerous references to the fact… I have to say I fully support this and I look forward to a possible second series. Maybe Alex Hirsch could work on the planned Twin Peaks revival!

  • Mister Twister

    Finally, someone said it. All good things must end.

  • isabela

    don’t end gravity falls I have watched every episode and I love it I really don’t want it to end. #season 3