J.G. Quintel created one of the most successful cartoons of the 2010s with Regular Show. Since Regular Show ended in 2017, however, his follow-up project Close Enough has been beset with constant delays that've kept it from hitting the airwaves.
Now, CBR is taking a look back at Quintel's body of work, from his early beginnings to Regular Show, taking a deep dive into what's going on with Close Enough.
J.G. Quintel's EARLY WORK
J.G. Quintel attended CalArts from 2002 to 2006. As a student, he found early success with his irreverent animated shorts, which introduced characters he'd later include in Regular Show.
The Naive Man from Lolliland, which introduced Pops, won two awards from the 2005 Nicktoons Film Festival. 2 in the AM PM, a raunchier short which included early versions of Benson and Mordecai, was accepted into the 2007 Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation Festival.
While at CalArts, Quintel got an internship as an apprentice storyboard revisionist on Star Wars: Clone Wars, which led to a full-time storyboard revision job on Camp Lazlo following his graduation.
His career really took off when he became the creative director of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, the wacky series which developed much of the talent that would shape Cartoon Network's future over the next decade. He also story-boarded an episode of Phineas and Ferb, titled "Jerk De Soleil," for Disney.
Regular Show began life as a short for Cartoon Network's short-lived "Cartoonstitute" program. Only 14 of a planned 39 shorts in the artist-driven program were completed before the network pulled the plug, but thankfully Quintel's was one of them. Quintel pitched the short with a full storyboard, saying he knew that verbally describing the idea ("a show about a blue jay and a raccoon that work at the city park with a gumball machine, a yeti, and a dude with a lollipop for head") would be a tough sell, to say the least.
That pilot led to a series that lasted seven seasons on Cartoon Network, an impressive run for a show that often pushed boundaries for a children's network. Even overlooking the mildly edgy content, Regular Show's slacker 20-something repeatability and nostalgic 1980s references often made it feel like it was aiming at the older Adult Swim audience rather than the theoretically young Cartoon Network one.
The show's silliness and surrealism, however, lent it a wide appeal across multiple age ranges. Over three million people watched the series at the height of its popularity. The series won one Emmy (for the episode "Eggscelent") and earned six nominations, and the TV movie even got a limited theatrical run in Los Angeles.
Shortly after the series finale of Regular Show aired in 2017, TBS announced it had greenlit a new animated series from J.G. Quintel. Titled Close Enough, the show promised a similar mix of mundane problems and absurd adventures to Regular Show's hit formula for a slightly older age group. The show is about 30-something problems rather than 20-something problems, and it wouldn't have to rely on subtler innuendo instead more explicitly adult humor since it's planned for on TBS.
Although a trailer was released in 2017, no new updates about the series have been given in two years, and there have only been occasional reminders that the series exists and hasn't been canceled.
According to those who've worked on the show, Close Enough's first season of 13 episodes is complete and a second season has been written. While it's unclear why it hasn't yet aired, it's worth noting that it's hardly the only proposed TBS cartoon that's had an unlikely journey.
One of the other TBS cartoons announced around the same time as Close Enough was The Cops, which was canceled after revelations about its producer Louis C.K. came to light. Another animated series, Tarantula, aired on the network's streaming service.
Final Space did air its first season on TBS, but its second season is now set to be an Adult Swim exclusive.With WarnerMedia shuffling the programming schedule among its networks and planning for the launch of a streaming service, this Cartoon Network Studios series could very well follow Final Space's path by making the leap to Adult Swim.