'The Venture Bros.' Has Been Canceled at Adult Swim After 17 Years and 7 Seasons

It’s been 17 years since Adult Swim debuted The Venture Bros., an animated series that began as a send-up of the classic cartoon Jonny Quest but quickly became its own hilarious action adventure series with a deep mythology and roster of characters that would rival that of the biggest fictional universes. Unfortunately, the adventures of The Venture Bros. are coming to an end as the show has been canceled after seven seasons.

News of The Venture Bros being canceled came director from series creator Christopher McCulloch (AKA Jackson Publick):

For those not familiar with The Venture Bros., it followed the two adventure-craving Venture brothers Hank and Dean, their cranky, self-loathing father Dr. Rusty Venture, and their intrepid bodyguard Brock Samson as they squared off with a wide array of villains.

If you’re wondering how the series only reached season 7 after being on the air for 17 years, that’s because co-creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer and their animation company Astro-Base Go were responsible for writing, directing, producing and editing the show themselves along with a very small crew to support them. Hammer and Publick even voiced several characters on the show himself.

Voice actor James Urbaniak also lamented the cancellation of The Venture Bros. on Twitter:

So how does a show with a strong but niche following stick around for so long? Well, they probably had someone up high who believed in the series and knew it had a loyal fanbase. The rumors circling the internet suggest that corporate restructuring at WarnerMedia (which is the banner AT&T gave to Warner Bros., Turner, and HBO) resulted in some changes behind the scenes that resulted in the protector of The Venture Bros. being removed from their post.

That’s just speculation on our part, but earlier this year, Kevin Tsujihara, the chairman and CEO of Warner Bros., was given oversight over Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Before now, they were allowed to operate fairly independently without much interference. In these harsh economic times, WarnerMedia is probably trimming the fat across the board, and that’s bad news for a niche animated series without much profitability.

Not all hope is lost though, because Adult Swim posted this to Twitter after news of cancelation spread:

What does this mean? Well, some have suggested the possibility of The Venture Bros. heading to HBO Max, which also falls under the Warner Media banner. However, it would be rather odd if WarnerMedia canceled the series at Adult Swim only to shift it over to their own streaming service. If they don’t see it as a valuable commodity to keep alive at Adult Swim, I don’t know why they’d want it over at HBO Max. But maybe it has to do something with the corporate restructuring and the budget available at each outlet. It wouldn’t be a bad move for HBO Max since they recently picked up other niche programming from Comedy Central that otherwise might have been canceled.

As for being revived somewhere like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon, that could be more difficult since it would likely require the purchase of the rights to all the rest of the seasons to make it worth their while. But plenty of shows have been rescued from the chopping block this way, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Besides sticking to the small screen, there’s also the possibility that the story could continue in another medium, such as comic books. Shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, Charmed, and more have come back from the dead with comic book stories, and since The Venture Bros. is animated, it wouldn’t be a hard transition to that format.

This is a crushing blow for The Venture Bros. fans, especially since season 8 was already in the works. But here’s hoping the show finds a way to live on so fans can either get the conclusion they deserve or see the adventure continue for many more years.

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