The Boondocks HBO Max Reboot Delayed to Later This Year

HBO Max's planned reboot of the animated series The Boondocks is the latest project to be delayed until later in 2021, as content providers struggle to reimagine their release slates following a year of pandemic-related delays and cancellations. The project, based on Aaron McGruder's comic strip of the same name, ran for four seasons and 55 episodes, which aired between 2005 and 2014 on Adult Swim. In June 2019, HBO Max ordered an additional 24 episodes over two seasons, which were set to begin releasing in Fall 2020. A 50-minute special is also in the works. It is not immediately clear whether the delay in the series' release date is due to production delays or whether the show is simply being reshuffled as HBO Max's schedule changes.

The confirmation that the project is still on track for a 2021 release comes from a column at TVLine, where a viewer asked what had ever happened to the 2020 release date. The release date remains non-specific ("later in 2021" could be any one of 11 months, after all) and tentative, so watch this space for more as it develops.

McGruder developed the comic strip in college, then later sold it to the music website Hitlist and the hip hop magazine The Source. That led to developing it as a daily, syndicated strip, which ran from 1996 until 2006, and the animated series.

McGruder left the strip in 2003, with Jennifer Seng and Carl Jones serving to carry it through the rest of its existence. He also left the TV series between its third and fourth seasons, with fans and critics assuming that he had lost interest in the characters. That appears not to be the case, as McGruder will be returning for the revival on HBO Max.

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The Boondocks centers on a Black family, the Freemans, moving into the mostly-white suburb of Woodcrest. Huey, the point-of-view character, is a cynical and deeply political kid who helps deliver much of the series' trenchant satire in a digestible way for casual TV audiences. Riley, his wannabe-tough guy little brother, provides a lot of the comic relief, with a lot of the comedy coming from his inability to understand that he can't back up most of his own talk. They live with their grandfather ("Granddad"), who is doing his best to raise his grandsons in relative comfort, even if the culture shock of moving from the city to Woodcrest makes them appreciate it less than he might like. For Granddad, settling into a quiet neighborhood far from the action of the city is a reward for a lifetime spent working his ass off for his family, and for the civil rights movement.

The original series starred Regina King (Watchmen) as the two boys and the late John Witherspoon as Granddad. Little has been released in the way of details for the revival, although King is expected to return. Witherspoon's son has claimed that he angled to replace his father, but was passed over in favor of another actor, and that the studio plans to use voice modulation software to match Witherspoon as closely as possible.