Final Space is an American animated space opera comedy television series created by Olan Rogers for TBS and Cartoon Network's late night programming block Adult Swim. The series involves an astronaut named Gary Goodspeed and his alien friend, Mooncake, and focuses on their intergalactic adventures as they try to solve the mystery of the titular "Final Space". The series premiered on TBS on February 26, 2018 and was renewed for a second season on May 7, 2018 with this season having 13 episodes instead of 10. Season 2 premiered on June 24, 2019, airing on Adult Swim first, with TBS airing each episode the following week. The show was renewed for a third season a week after the second finished airing.
Final Space follows the adventures of Gary Goodspeed, a boisterous yet inept astronaut and his friend Mooncake, an alien with the ability to destroy planets. Shortly after Gary discovers him, he learns that he is wanted by the forces of the Lord Commander to open a fault towards Final Space and thus bring monsters from another dimension, called the Titans.
Olan Rogers – Gary Goodspeed, Mooncake, Tribore Menendez, David Dewinter, Jeff, Fraskenhaur, Digital Gary, Additional voices
Fred Armisen – KVN, Eduardo, Overlord, Groom, Evil KVNs, Mega KVN, Queen, Key Guardian, Additional voices
Tobias Conan Trost – Order of the Twelve Announcers, Eric, Nightfall's Ship AI, Infinity Guard Base Announcer, Warthrent, Richard, Catoloupe, Henry
The idea for the show originated in mid-2010. Olan Rogers uploaded the first episode of a planned ten-part animated web-series titled Gary Space to his personal YouTube channel. The project went on hiatus three episodes in, and Rogers eventually explained on Facebook that both he and the series' artist, Dan Brown, were tending to separate projects at the time, but were in talks of continuing. On April 30, 2013, Rogers confirmed that he was rebooting and producing a season of Gary Space episodes to release at once. Over two years later, Rogers revealed that a new short for the reboot for Gary Space was planned to be pitched to Cartoon Network, in addition to premiering the episode at Buffer Festival if nothing came from the pitch.
In early 2016, Rogers announced that his project had been retitled Final Space, and revealed screenshots of the short via a vlog on his YouTube channel. The pilot for Final Space was posted on Rogers' YouTube channel. The video caught the attention of Conan O'Brien, who invited him to Los Angeles to pitch Final Space to TBS as a full series and also joined production as an executive producer alongside Rogers and 3rd Rock from the Sun writer and producer David Sacks. Other members of O'Brien's company, Conaco (David Kissinger, Larry Sullivan and Jeff Ross), and members of New Form who executive produced the pilot short (Kathleen Grace, Melissa Schneider and Matt Hoklotubbe) joined as executive producers as well. To balance out Rogers' inexperience in the industry, Conaco brought in Sacks to also serve as the showrunner for the series. After two weeks of working with Sacks and Jake Sidwell (co-composer of the series alongside Shelby Merry) on the pitch, Rogers and Sacks pitched the show to TBS; as well as Comedy Central, Fox, FX, YouTube, and Fullscreen; all six companies wanted the series and resulted in a bidding war between the studios over the series, with TBS acquiring the series.
Olan Rogers announced in December 2016 that he voices the main characters, Gary and Mooncake. In July 2017, an additional cast list of Fred Armisen, Conan O'Brien, Keith David, Coty Galloway, Tom Kenny, Caleb McLaughlin, John DiMaggio, Ron Perlman, Shannon Purser, Andy Richter, David Tennant, and Steven Yeun was revealed.
The animation is produced in Los Angeles at ShadowMachine and outsourced in Canada at Ottawa's Jam Filled studio using the Toon Boom Harmony software. The show uses NASA space imagery for the space backgrounds.
When responding to a question on Twitter, Olan Rogers revealed that Final Space would be showcased by TBS at San Diego Comic-Con and VidCon in 2017.
Final Space premiered on Reddit on February 15, 2018, followed by an AMA with Rogers. This would mark a first for a TV network to premiere a series on the site. Later that day, the first two episodes became available on TBS's website and app. TBS's sister network TNT aired a sneak peek premiere of the show on February 17, 2018, after the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend. After airing on TBS, the pilot aired two hours later on TBS' sister channel Cartoon Network under its adult-oriented programming block Adult Swim; the rest of the season also aired on the channel in a similar fashion. On February 20, 2018, the first two episodes were released on iTunes. Netflix handles the international distribution to the show and released it on its platform on July 20.
On May 7, 2018, Final Space was renewed for a second season, which was later confirmed by Rogers to consist of 13 episodes and for a third season on September 30, 2019. The potential release date is currently unknown. However, it has been confirmed that, like Season 2, Season 3 will also consist of 13 episodes.
On April 7, 2019, Rogers revealed that the show would move first-run airings to Adult Swim, while being simulcast on TBS, a reversal of the airing pattern from the first season.
The Complete First Season was released on April 3, 2019 in Region 1, exclusively through the Warner Archive Collection. The Complete Second Season will be released on May 1, 2020 in Region 1, exclusively through the Warner Archive Collection. Madman Entertainment releases The Complete First Season in Region 4, and The Complete Second Season will also released in Region 4. Final Space and Friends will be released on DVD on July 22, 2020 in Region 1, exclusively through the Warner Archive Collection, This will included 16 episodes, The first six episodes from Season 1 and the first six episodes in Season 2.
The first season of Final Space received mixed or average reviews, with critics praising the show's cast (especially David Tennant's voice performance as the Lord Commander). On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the first season currently holds an approval rating of 70% based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's critics' consensus reads: "Final Space doesn't always hit its mark, but for those looking for a bite-sized intergalactic comedy it may prove an amusing diversion." The show also holds a score of 60 of 100 based on 5 critics on Metacritic, indicating mixed or average reviews.
Impressions about the first episodes were mixed, with criticism focused on Gary's humor. Collider's Dave Trumbore gave the series four out of five stars, praising the cast, the series' uniqueness and its originality. The Hollywood Reporter said "the new animated series from TBS misses the mark, and will likely will float off into space". The A.V. Club gave the series a C+ grade. Reviewing the first two episodes, Den of Geek gave them a score of 3.5 out of 5 stars. IndieWire gave a B+ grade. The Daily Beast received the series favorably, comparing its potential with Adventure Time and BoJack Horseman. Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times praised the show for the space backgrounds and Gary's relationship with Mooncake, but criticized for being "not as clever as Futurama or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or Galaxy Quest, series with which it shares certain features" and for the comedy which "leans toward things adolescent boys find funny." Screen Rant was favorable for the series, praising TBS' decision to release the first two episodes 11 days before the series premiere, and describing it as a "very silly comedy," comparing protagonist Gary to Homer Simpson and Philip J. Fry.
When asked on Twitter about the series' longevity, Olan Rogers had stated that he had at least six seasons worth of material thought up for the show including an ending for Final Space in case the series gets cancelled in the future.