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Archer Renewed For Season 11 With Big Changes In Store

In a decision decidedly not an idiot thing done by idiots, FX has renewed Archer for season 11 — which will be different in many, many ways. 

The network made the announcement during (what else?) San Diego Comic-Con 2019 on Friday, July 19. 

It came as somewhat of a shock considering what creator Adam Reed had previously said about the future of the animated series — which follows the eponymous secret agent (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) and his dysfunctional band of colleagues that includes Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler), Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell), Cheryl Tunt (Judy Greer), Malory Archer (Jessica Walter), Ray Gillette (Adam Reed), Pam Poovey (Amber Nash), and the mysterious Dr. Algernop Krieger (Lucky Yates). 

Reed told Entertainment Weekly in September of 2016 that "the plan" was to wrap up Archer with season 10. (At that time, Archer was in its seventh season.) The creator divulged, "I don't know that anybody has talked about that, but that is definitely my plan — to do 8, 9, and 10, and they're gonna be each shorter seasons of just eight episodes — and then wind it up ... I was gonna end it after 8, but then I had sort of a brain explosion of a way that I could do three more seasons and really keep my interest up. So the three seasons that are coming up are gonna be pretty different from what has come before, and they're gonna be different from each other."

This is sort of how things ended up playing out, as Archer continued reinventing itself through the eighth, ninth, and tenth seasons. However, as we now know, Reed's plan to conclude the show after season 10 didn't pan out. The reason? Well, Archer executive producers Matt Thompson and Casey Willis revealed that the series now "feels re-energized by the stories" the team has been working on — and are excited about where the show is headed for season 11. 

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Thompson and Willis opened up about the season 10 finale that will see Archer – gasp! – finally waking up from his three-year coma that will set the characters up to return to their roots on season 11. 

Willis said of the big change ahead, "As we were doing these seasons of genre-hopping, 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."

Thompson also noted, "They say you can never go home again. Archer goes home again and finds that everything's changed. One reason Adam, Casey, and I started genre-hopping is we got bored telling a mission-of-the-week story ... Now [that] we've been gone [for] so long from that, it's going to feel brand-new again. Because everything's changed. It's not a small matter. We want this to feel closer to season 2 and season 3, but at the same time Archer's lost, and that's interesting to us."

Before anyone starts to freak out that Archer is about to re-tread old territory, Thompson explained that season 11 will feature more spy missions, but things are fresh this time around — for a few reasons. 

"The roles and people's personalities have changed," he said. "What's also different is Archer is physically and mentally not what he was. He's been in a bed for three years. His muscles have atrophied to the point where he can't even walk that well." 

Thompson also teased that the "main thing" about Archer season 11 is how lost the title character is. As Thompson put it, "He feels everyone has left him behind. The only person who seems to give a f*** is Pam, and she's like, 'Hey, buddy, let's go get a drink, I still love you.' But everybody else treats him like an afterthought, he's not what he was, and he's actually making them worse at their jobs. He's in the way. And that exploration of truly something different for Archer as a character is exciting for us. So it's about him, and how having him back in the group forces change upon all of them."

Willis promised that Archer will undergo a personal transformation with each passing episode, but wouldn't say one way or the other whether Lana is now married (which probably means that she is).

The upcoming changes on Archer season 11 will be amazing to watch unfold — and if response to the new episodes is positive, the series team isn't ruling out the possibility of even more seasons. 

"It feels brand-new again to me. And if that feeling stays and we see a way to make season 12 and continue that interest, I don't see why not. I know all the cast is signed and extremely happy to be here," said Thompson. "There are fans out there we've lost along the way. And I understand that — I don't watch shows in their 11th season. There's fatigue there. And what I want to say to those people is that we were fatigued too but now we're not, and to c'mon back, y'all."

Archer season 11 is currently without a release date.