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Archer’s final season

Archer’s final season

Via The Hollywood Reporter

‘Archer’ to End With Season 14 on FXX

The animated comedy’s final season will kick off Aug. 30.

It’s official: Archer is coming to an end.

FX on Monday unveiled its summer premiere dates, including an Aug. 30 return for what will be the animated comedy’s 14th and final season on FXX. The series will begin its farewell with two episodes starting at 10 p.m., with both available the following day on Hulu.

Created by Adam Reed and exec produced by Reed, Matt Thompson and Casey Willis at Floyd County Productions, Archer is fully owned by FX parent Disney and produced by FX Productions. The animated spy comedy features a voice cast that includes H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Judy Greer, Chris Parnell, Amber Nash, Reed and Lucky Yates. Archer bid farewell to its late star Jessica Walter in its season 12 finale.

Production is already under way on the 14th and final season.

Archer’s final season

Archer is an American adult animated sitcom created by Adam Reed for FX which premiered on September 17, 2009. The show follows the exploits of a dysfunctional intelligence agency, centered on Sterling Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) and seven of his colleagues—his mother/boss Malory Archer (Jessica Walter), Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler), Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell), Cheryl Tunt (Judy Greer), Pam Poovey (Amber Nash), Ray Gillette (Adam Reed) and Dr. Algernop Krieger (Lucky Yates). The show is set in an anachronistic, Cold War-esque universe and parodies espionage, culture and society, and the human condition. Archer is distinguished by artistic reinvention in contemporary episodes, foregoing the standard setup of a workplace sitcom for self-contained anthologies. It returned to its spy parody roots post-tenth season.

Reed conceived Archer shortly after the cancellation of his Adult Swim comedy Frisky Dingo. His experience vacationing in Spain with the influence of media franchises such as the James Bond series shaped his vision of the show. Some of the hallmarks include pop culture reference-heavy humor, rapid-fire dialogue, and meta-comedy. Archer is produced in a limited animation style that draws visually from mid-twentieth century comic art. Actors record their lines individually, and the show regularly employs a recurring cast for supporting roles. Archer moved to FX's sibling network FXX in 2017, and the thirteenth season premiered on August 24, 2022. The fourteenth season, which will also be its final season, will premiere on August 30, 2023.

Archer has received positive reviews from critics and won awards, including four Primetime Emmy Awards and four Critics Choice Awards. It has also received 15 Annie Award nominations, among others, for outstanding achievement in animation, writing, direction, and voice acting. Various forms of licensed media have been spawned or proposed as a result of the show's sustained success.

Archer follows the exploits of eight dysfunctional secret agents and supporting staff of the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS), a fictional New York–based intelligence agency. The group consists of Sterling Archer, the show's narcissistic, womanizing protagonist; Malory Archer, the retired agent-turned-ISIS director and Sterling's snarky, emotionally distant mother; Lana Kane, Sterling's love interest and mother of his daughter, and by far the most professional field agent at ISIS; Ray Gillette, the agency's openly gay bomb specialist; Pam Poovey, the head of the agency's Human Resources department who is often ridiculed by her peers; Cyril Figgis, a mild-mannered accountant-turned-agent; Cheryl Tunt, Malory's delusional, psychotic personal assistant; and Dr. Algernop Krieger, a bizarre, morally bankrupt scientist with little regard for the well-being of his test subjects.

The show features an array of supporting characters, several of whom gained expanded roles in subsequent episodes. Major supporting roles in Archer include Slater, an arms dealer and agent for the CIA; Katya Kazanova, head of the KGB and Sterling's former love interest; and Barry Dylan, Sterling's nemesis who, after seeking redemption, becomes his friend.

Events in Archer's early seasons transpire in an anachronistic, Cold War-esque universe. By proxy, the real time history is frequently referenced, though the comedy's timeline is intentionally vague. This method allowed producers the discretion to source elements they felt best fit the in-canon universe. In the show's more contemporary episodes, Archer eschews its spy comedy roots to advance Sterling's character arc. Each season has a unique mythology of events that highlights the group's incompetence, where they are forced to undertake a series of strange tasks in highly unusual circumstances. The main storyline climaxes when Sterling falls into a coma. From seasons eight to ten, Archer is reimagined in three self-contained universes, coinciding with a deeper exploration of Sterling's psyche.

Before the creation of Archer, Adam Reed worked on animated comedies with executive producer and longtime collaborator Matt Thompson. The pair later became renowned for their work on a number of Adult Swim television projects, chiefly Sealab 2021 and their follow-up Frisky Dingo, which aired for several years. After the cancellation of Frisky Dingo in 2008, Reed took a vacation to Spain to brainstorm ideas for a new project. His experience traversing the Vía de la Plata, and people-watching in Plaza Mayor in nearby Salamanca, enabled him to conceptualize his vision of Archer. Reed recalled in an interview, "So I sat on the Plaza Mayor for three days—drinking either coffee or beer or gin, depending on the time of day—surrounded by these Spanish women who seemed both unaware and completely aware of their beauty. Occasionally they would glance over—and catch me gaping at them—and just smile at me like, 'I know, right?' And for three days, I couldn't even splutter 'Buenos dias' to any of them—not once. And thus was Sterling Archer born—he would've absolutely sauntered over to a table full of those women and sat down and ordered an entire case of cava or whatever." Nevertheless, he believed developing a sitcom with the theme of global espionage was inevitable given his proclivity for adventure-driven comedy. The James Bond franchise, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006), and The Pink Panther franchise were Reed's inspiration as the series, then under the working title Duchess, began taking definite form.

By August 18, 2009, following Reed's pitch to FX, the network commissioned six episodes for Archer. FX initially commissioned the project as a companion series for their situational comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but the network ultimately delayed Archer's premiere to the following January because of the demanding production schedule, and The League became Philadelphia's companion show instead. Despite this, the pilot, "Mole Hunt", aired as a test screening on September 17, 2009, following the season five premiere of Philadelphia. The pilot was not featured in program listings or otherwise promoted by FX; rather the network merely informed select television critics of the broadcast.

FX moved Archer to FXX's broadcast lineup in 2017 as part of an aggressive strategy to increase the network's output of animated programming. FX had planned the move before the show's seventh season, in conjunction with the debut of Cassius and Clay, but momentarily dropped their endeavor after Clay's abrupt cancellation. FXX renewed Archer for a twelfth season, which premiered on August 25, 2021. On September 28, 2021, FXX renewed the series for a thirteenth season, which premiered on August 24, 2022.. The 14th and final season of Archer is scheduled to premiere on August 30, 2023.

Scriptwriting an episode consumes three weeks of the production schedule. As the comedy's main writer, Reed typically creates the first draft during pre-production, which he submits to his team of producers and art directors. From there, they analyze the script for each character, cast guest stars, and create basic concept designs, before Reed develops a final script to submit to FXX. The extent of Reed's oversight diminished when FXX expanded Thompson and executive producer Casey Willis' creative responsibilities for new episodes. Starting in season 11, Reed no longer writes the episodes. A typical Archer episode goes through 2 pages of dialogue per minute, doubling a typical sitcom.

Early Archer episodes are framed with the standard setup of a workplace comedy, defined by raunchy, reference-heavy humor, rapid-fire dialogue, and interaction-based drama. They parody spy film and routinely mock clichés of the genre. By the end of the fourth season, however, Reed questioned the longevity of the comedy's spy premise and began contemplating a new direction for Archer, impelled by the then-growing associations of ISIS with the identically initialed jihadist group. Late season episodes experiment with the standard format of an anthology, each with self-contained mythologies of arcs, settings, humor, and personas. Reed said, "Once we started making them, and having a good time making them, [we thought] 'what are some other things we can do now that the boundaries have sort of been passed?'"

Cultural references on Archer cover a wide spectrum of society and the human condition, in film, literature and music for example. Some, chiefly references to literature, are obscure, and the audience often may not notice them in a single viewing. Reed cites his time as a university English major as the primary forebear for the show's literary references. Archer also develops a unique self-referentiality through character-based jokes, catchphrases, and running gags that evolve over multiple episodes. For example, Sterling or another character may yell "phrasing" in response to any sexually suggestive remark. Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times argues that Archer uses "a caustic brand of humor that isn't for everybody but that has brought the show a dedicated fan base."

Holman cited Catch Me If You Can (2002), The Incredibles (2004), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), and the work of Saul Bass as strong stylistic influences in the creation of Archer's title sequence. When he was developing the original sequence, the rough draft version consisted of style frames with roiling flame silhouettes of the characters coalesced on a charred, black background. The crew initially struggled to develop an opening theme they believed was compatible with the premise of Archer, but once the show's eponymous theme song had been completed, Holman felt his idea was too melodramatic and went in a different direction. He created the finalized version of the sequence from several segments, each reviewed by the producers, because of the demanding production schedule. The standard opening of Archer has gone through six iterations—a replacement of shots at the start of the show's sixth season, and brand new sequences for its fifth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth seasons.

Archer did not employ a composer to develop a soundtrack in its first four seasons, but instead used a compilation of needle drop stock music. By season five, musician JG Thirlwell was hired as the composer for the comedy's jazz-influenced score, brought to the producers' attention for his work on The Venture Bros.

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