Bob’s Burgers Season 2 was only nine episodes long, but Fox’s scheduling shakeup in the 2011-2012 season didn’t deter viewers from tuning in.
Fox’s irreverent animated comedy Bob’s Burgers premiered midseason in January 2011 and enjoyed an early pickup, but season 2 was eventually cut short. The bright impression the Belcher family made on the network and fans alike wasn’t initially rewarded with a fall premiere. Fox’s decision to limit Bob’s Burgers season 2 actually rested on their network’s overextended Animation Domination block.
Bob’s Burgers season 12 will wrap this spring, but the show’s longevity owes a debt of gratitude to many of the colorful characters introduced back in season 2. Episode 2 “Bob Day Afternoon” introduces Mickey, a self-conscious bank robber (voiced by Bill Hader) as well as Sergeant Bosco (Gary Cole). Videogame enthusiast Darryl (Master of None’s Aziz Ansari) meets the Belchers in episode 4, “Burgerboss.” Dr. Yap (Ken Jeong) is injected into the Bob’s Burgers universe during episode 6, while Tina’s frenemy Tammy (Jenny Slate) debuted in episode 8, and has gone on to appear in more than 50 episodes.
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Bob’s Burgers season 2 premiered in March 2012 and aired only 9 episodes. The late-season debut is attributed to overscheduling by Fox as the channel crammed too many shows into its Sunday night lineup in the 2011-2012 season. Short-lived series Allen Gregory and Napoleon Dynamite—the cartoon version, which saw many of the film’s original cast return—were juggled alongside Animation Domination staples The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show. Bob’s Burgers’ raunchier season 2 joined the lineup later on, after American Dad aired its finale, freeing up a timeslot.
Bob’s Burgers season 2 was well-received by fans and critics despite its limited run, introducing reoccurring characters and maintaining ratings. The limited season, while abnormal, didn’t hurt Bob’s Burgers’ reception. And, as it turns out, fans didn’t miss out on any of the ideas cut from the season’s short length. Fox greenlit Bob’s Burgers season 3 in May 2012, taking 13 unaired episodes originally planned for season 2 and running them the following year.
Though Bob’s Burgers season 2 was dissected into two seasons, this didn’t greatly impact the show’s performance. Nielsen ratings recorded season 1 as having delivered an average of 5.07 million viewers. Season 2’s viewership decreased by 0.89 million, however, season 1’s numbers factored in a solid series premiere of over 9 million viewers. This showing backs the decision to forgo the original pilot’s change to Tina’s character. Season 3 was the first to see a fall premiere and the 23-episode season delivered a respectable 4.45 total million viewers. Bob’s Burgers maintained its early appeal through its tumultuous sophomore scheduling.
Bob’s Burgers has grown into a polished and confident comedy machine and the series will soon make its film debut. The Disney animated movie is slated for release May 27th. Originally announced in October 2017, the movie was suspended thanks to theater closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though it seems delays are just the Belcher family’s luck, season 2 is proof that once the final product premieres, Bob’s Burgers delivers for its audience.
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About The Author
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Melissa Horacek is a freelance writer and marketing associate with a Bachelor’s in Mass Communications and Media Studies from Arizona State University. She loves a good irreverent comedy, record collecting, and snuggles (when granted) from her orange tabby, Lila.
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