It was pretty obvious while season 3 of Rick and Morty was underway that the show had managed to expand its viewership to all new heights, but even as mega-fans of the Adult Swim program ourselves, we couldn’t have predicted how high. As it turns out, Rick and Morty has basically conquered pop culture in any way that you could measure for a millennial audience. According to the numbers from Nielsen, the show isn’t just “popular”—it was the #1 comedy on all of television for adults 18-34 during the 2017 calendar year. (“Premieres only, based on delivery, English Broadcast and Ad-Supported Cable, >1 Telecasts,” to use the full Nielsen jargon.)
The numbers represent the highest ratings in the history of Adult Swim, as the show has built a massive, rabid fanbase of geeks and young people across multiple platforms, including gaming and livestreaming as well.
“Rick and Morty is truly what a modern day hit looks like across multiple screens and multiple touchpoints,” said Christina Miller, President Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. “Dan [Harmon] and Justin [Roiland] have created a world, not just a show, and fans are completely engaged.”
The season kicked off back on April Fools Day, April 1, with a surprise streaming of the first episode of season 3, which registered more than 3 million unique visitors to AdultSwim.com alone. It was so clear that a phenomenon was taking place that Adult Swim then sent a mobile “Rickmobile” across the country to sell merchandise and hype the crowd up even further. Even the show’s companion mobile game, Pocket Mortys, has gone on to garner more than 14 million downloads.
All of this only makes the fact that season 3 is now over more painful. Who knows how long we’ll have to wait before learning any new information about the next season of Rick and Morty? In the meantime, check out our complete ranking of every season 3 episode, as well as our detailed reviews of every episode from season 3.