Adult Swim news

The Aqua Teens are back: A movie and a Boston bomb scare later, the trio is back with more wild irrelevant adventures. Aqua Teen Hunger Force returns to Adult Swim to begin its sixth season on January 20. The last new episode aired on December 20, 2006 (not on March 25, 2007 as the linked article states).

While Aqua Teen is one of Adult Swim’s constantly highest-rated programs, the movie that was released last spring did mediocre business at the box office (mainly because it was limited release), while The Simpsons Movie grossed more than $100 million last summer.

Yours truly saw The Aqua Teen Movie in a Chicago Heights theater (it wasn’t playing anywhere else in the Southland) and yes, I was the only one there. Love the show, but please Aqua Teen guys – do what South Park did – don’t do any more movies.

– Meanwhile, a Futurama goodbye marathon airing on Adult Swim last week – all 72 episodes of the Matt Groening-created series – gave the network its highest ratings all year among key young demos.

Futurama’s rights were acquired by Comedy Central, outbidding Adult Swim in the process. Futurama aired on Adult Swim for the final time Monday night.

Observation: For those of you wondering why Adult Swim ran a Futurama marathon when it was clearly a lame duck show, the answer is simple: Futurama was one of Adult Swim’s best-performing shows, and the network thought it would squeeze every ratings point it had left in the show. On the other hand, it may have served inadvertently as a promotion for upcoming airings on Comedy Central – a competitor.

WGN (locally in Chicago) and a few other stations recently lost the rights to Everybody Loves Raymond, and has buried the show at 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. (Don’t look for a goodbye marathon there.) In a few weeks, Raymond moves to Fox-owned WFLD-TV and WPWR-TV to begin its second cycle in syndication. Ratings for Raymond on WGN had been decent, but the lame-duck show had to move to make room for new off-network acquisitions.

If Futurama hadn’t been performing well for Adult Swim, then all of this would be moot – the show would’ve ended up buried at 3 a.m. instead.