'Rick and Morty': Adult Swim Airing 2 Essential Episodes Tonight

Adult Swim is airing two essential episodes of Rick and Morty on Monday night: the Season 4 finale "Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri," followed by the pilot episode. The cable network is likely cycling through episodes of its hit sci-fi series, with Monday marking a new lap on the treadmill. Fans are anxious for new episodes to step in and take their place.

Rick and Morty has four seasons so far, and another one due any minute. At the moment, it is one of the biggest cartoon franchises in the world, and new episodes can't come fast enough as far as fans are concerned. Considering the series' history of surprise drops and publicity stunts, many fans have their eye out for anything that could indicate a new premiere on the way.

Rick and Morty's most famous publicity stunt came in April of 2017, when fans had been waiting for nearly two years for new episodes. Without warning, Adult Swim began airing the Season 3 premiere on a loop for several hours, but fans who missed the broadcast could not stream it anywhere. It was another four months before the season actually hit the airwaves.

After the success of Season 3, Adult Swim ordered 70 more episodes of Rick and Morty, which the creators said would give them more security and allow them to produce the show more quickly. Without having to renegotiate contracts for writers, actors and animators every year, they hoped to get new seasons out more regularly.

It was over two years before Season 4 premiered, and now fans are holding their breath to see if another long wait is in store. Season 4 aired in two parts — five episodes in the fall of 2019 and five more in the spring of 2020. Now, many fans have their fingers cross for a spring or summer premiere.

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As for the creative team, they have told fans that they are way ahead of schedule. Series co-creator Dan Harmon spoke at the virtual Adult Swim Festival 2020, revealing: "I think we're working on Season 7 right now, I can't even keep track. I wouldn't know if I were spoiling Season 5 or Season 6."

The writers pass those scripts on to the actors, followed by the animators, all of which takes considerably more time. Still, fans are hopeful that the process may be streamlined by the longer contracts for all parties involved. Rick and Morty airs on Adult Swim at 10 p.m. ET on Monday night. The whole series is streaming on Hulu and HBO Max.