Archer Gets a Fresh Start, But You’ll Never Guess What Season 11 Holds

It’s a tough time to be a fan of TV shows. So much is up in the air because of the COVID-19 pandemic that many viewers are left wondering when (or if) their favorite shows will make it back to the screen at all.

The most immediate effects were felt by fans of daytime soap operas that film on a much faster-paced schedule than many other series. The shows coped by first going to truncated schedules and then — when it became clear that the crisis would not be passing quickly — showing re-runs when they ran out of new material.

As the impacts of the virus have continued to unfold, now films and television shows on a much longer schedule are seeing some serious consequences. Fans are left worried about the state of their favorite characters. 

Those who have been wondering what will happen to Archer can breathe a sigh of relief. The series is on its way back, but Season 11 may hold some real surprises. 

The fate of ‘Archer’ has been up in the air

Executive producer Matt Thompson, producer Casey Willis, actors H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Chris Parnell, Judy Greer, Amber Nash and Lucky Yates
Executive producer Matt Thompson, producer Casey Willis, actors H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Chris Parnell, Judy Greer, Amber Nash and Lucky Yates | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Archer is a long-running comedy from FX that has long been heralded as one of the funniest (and edgiest) animated series aimed at adults. The show centers around master spy Sterling Archer and the orbiting set of surrounding characters at an international espionage agency. While the show has received much critical acclaim — including an Emmy win — there was some serious question of whether Archer would end with Season 10. 

The last three seasons of the series had been very experimental as the main protagonist was dormant in a coma. The time away from the primary timeline had been spent hopping through genres in Archer’s dream sequences, and it definitely had a different feel from the earlier show. Once it was announced that Season 11 was happening, fans were intrigued to hear that it would come with some big changes.

In an EW interview with executive producers Casey Willis and Matt Thompson, more details about the upcoming eleventh season were revealed. 

Willis explained, “we started thinking about how interesting it would be if Archer were to wake up to a world that’s had to move on without him. We thought it was so interesting that we wanted to do another season and explore that dynamic. In his coma we found out what’s important to Archer, and we want to see how he’s going to react when he’s back in the real world.” 

The pandemic delayed the Season 11 debut

RELATED: ‘Rick and Morty’ Season 5: Dan Harmon Teases Clone Beth, But Don’t Expect Much Until Season 6

Fans were excited to see this return to the main storyline of the show and see Archer finally awaken from his long coma, but their hopes were dashed by the pandemic. As Variety reported, the new season was supposed to premiere in May but was delayed when COVID-19 halted production.  The official statement from FX said only that the premiere date had been shifted to “later this year,” giving viewers little concrete to go on. 

Matt Thompson told IndieWire that production was still well underway.

“One of the things that I’m most proud of is that every single person that has been working, is still working. It’s been quite a logistical challenge for Casey and his team to carry off, but during a pandemic [causing] mass unemployment, I’m so happy and thankful for all these employees who are kicking ass at home and getting this season out. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.”

Season 11 holds surprises for ‘Archer’ fans

Now that fans can rest assured knowing that Season 11 is truly happening, all that’s left is to wait and wonder what it holds. One thing that fans can be sure of is that the team is not cutting corners when it comes to holding the new work up to their high standards.

The previous three seasons represented some real advancements from a technical and artistic perspective. 

As the creators return to the show’s roots and awaken Archer from his slumber, they are determined to bring that newly elevated style and beauty right along with them.

“Since those last three seasons were so beautiful looking, we wanted to beautify those existing drawings and redo them so that they live up to our standards that we had developed over the past three seasons,” Willis explained.

Fans can expect a meaningful mix of a return to previous times, a reflection on what Archer learned about himself during his coma, and the technical skills they’ve built along the way.