The series originated from an animated short parody film of Back to the Future, titled The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti and created by Roiland for the short film festival Channel 101, which happened to be co-founded by Harmon. When Adult Swim approached Harmon for television show ideas, he and Roiland decided to develop a program based on the short, while making a few alterations.
In January 2014, the series was renewed for a second season which premiered on July 26, 2015. In August 2015, Adult Swim renewed the series for a third season, which will consist of 10 episodes. It premiered unannounced on April 1, 2017, with the rest of the season beginning on July 30, 2017. The show has received universal critical acclaim for its originality, creativity, and humor.