The Venture Bros. is an American animated television series that premiered on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim on February 16, 2003. The series mixes action and comedy together while it chronicles the adventures of the Venture family: well-meaning but incompetent teenagers Hank and Dean Venture; their emotionally insecure, ethically challenged super-scientist father Dr. Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture; the family’s bodyguard, originally the ultra-violent and macho secret agent Brock Samson and his later replacement, reformed super villain and “cured” pedophile Sergeant Hatred; and the family’s self-proclaimed arch-nemesis, the Monarch, a butterfly-themed super villain.
Christopher McCulloch, otherwise known as Jackson Publick, announced on March 22, 2011, that the show would be back for 2 more seasons with pre-production to begin in June.
Show creator Jackson Publick (a pseudonym of Christopher McCulloch) was one of the main writers for the Saturday morning animated series The Tick. Ben Edlund, creator of The Tick, has co-written two episodes of The Venture Bros. and written one full episode, “¡Viva los Muertos!”. Patrick Warburton, who played the Tick in the short-lived Fox Broadcasting Tick live-action TV series, provides the voice of Brock Samson.
McCulloch created The Venture Bros. storyline sometime prior to 2000. After working for the television program Sheep in the Big City and the live-action version of The Tick, McCulloch set to turning The Venture Bros. into an animated series. The Venture Bros. was originally conceived as a comic book story for an issue of Monkeysuit. McCulloch realized that his notes were too extensive for a short comics story and proposed that Comedy Central air The Venture Bros. as an animated series, but the network rejected it. Although the first draft of the pilot script was written in the spring of 2000, the premise was not greenlit until around the summer of 2002 by Adult Swim. McCulloch had not previously considered Cartoon Network because he “didn’t want to tone The Venture Bros. down” and was unaware of the existence of the network’s Adult Swim sub-unit. With the revised pilot, production began in autumn of that year and the pilot was first run on February 16, 2003. The first season of the series was completed in 2004 and it was added to the summer schedule in August.
|DVD Name||Release Date||Episodes||Additional Information|
|Season One||May 30, 2006||13||This two disc set includes all 13 episodes of Season 1. The episodes are presented as broadcast, with bleeped profanity. Bonus features include “The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay” (the pilot) and “A Very Venture Christmas”, deleted scenes, behind the scenes mockumentary with the Venture Bros. Cast and creators commentaries on “Mid-Life Chrysalis”, “Eeney, Meeney, Miney… Magic!”, “Tag Sale – You’re It!”, “Ghosts of the Sargasso”, “Return to Spider-Skull Island”, and “The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay”.|
|Season Two||April 17, 2007||13||This two disc set includes all 13 episodes of Season 2. As with the Season 1 DVD release, any nudity has been covered with black bars and the profanity has been censored. Bonus features include commentary on every episode by Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer and, for some episodes, “special guests” such as voice actors James Urbaniak and Michael Sinterniklaas. Features also include deleted scenes and a tour of Astro-base Go!.|
|Season Three||March 24, 2009||13||This two disc set includes all 13 episodes of Season 3. Unlike the previous DVD releases, Season 3 is uncensored, with all profanity and nudity intact. Bonus features include deleted scenes and commentary. The season was also released on Blu-ray, which is packaged with a soundtrack CD that includes 20 tracks comprising the score from the season. The box cover is based on the box covers of many video games on the Atari 2600. Although the Blu-ray is only available in the “Region A” zone, it functions in the “Region B” zone also.|
|Season Four, Volume One||October 26, 2010||8||This one disc DVD set includes the first 8 episodes of Season 4. Similar to the Season 3 set, all episodes are uncensored. Bonus features include deleted scenes and commentary. Both halves of Season 4 were released on the Season 4 Blu-ray.|
|Season Four, Volume Two||March 22, 2011||8||This one disc DVD set includes the final 8 episodes of Season 4. Similar to the Season 3 set, all episodes are uncensored. Bonus features include deleted scenes and commentary. Both halves of Season 4 were released on the Season 4 Blu-ray, released on the same day.|
The first season of The Venture Bros. on DVD was released on May 30, 2006, as officially announced by Warner Home Video. It coincided with the June 25 premiere of the second season. Originally, it was scheduled for March 14, 2006, but was delayed until May 30, 2006. The DVD packaging and interior art was created by comic artist Bill Sienkiewicz. On May 31, 2006, the season one DVD reached #1 on Amazon’s top selling DVDs list.
On March 27, 2010, series creator Jackson Publick revealed on his Livejournal that a standard definition DVD of the first half of season 4 would likely be released some time between July and October 2010, with a DVD of the second half of the season and a Blu-ray box set of the entire season to be released after the full season has aired.
Seasons 1, 2 and 3 are also available in the UK. As of June 2, 2011, there is a single copy of Season 4, Volume 2 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Madman Entertainment have also released all seasons on DVD in Australia with Season 4 Volume 2 to be released in June 2011. As of yet, no blu-ray editions has been released in Australia. It’s also the first Adult Swim series in Australia to be given a restricted R18+ rating.
Amazon.co.uk have announced The Venture Bros. Season Four will be released in Region 2 on June 22nd. The boxset will include all 16 episodes and is BBFC certificate 15.
The “Lost DVD Commentary”
On a June 30, 2006, LiveJournal post, Jackson Publick revealed that he and Doc Hammer had recorded a commentary track for the season one episode “Home Insecurity.” Warner Bros. chose to omit this track from the Season One DVD due to space limitations and some minor sound quality issues. Publick also stated that the commentary can be found and downloaded from Quickstop Entertainment.
For the video release of the Season 3, a soundtrack album was also released, titled The Venture Bros.: The Music of JG Thirlwell. This is the same audio CD included as a bonus with the Blu-ray version of Season 3. While the CD release was originally made available at Adult Swim’s website, it was given a wide release on May 12, 2009; the vinyl LP release came out a month earlier. It can also be downloaded from most major digital retailers. The CD features 20 tracks, while the vinyl LP release is 16 tracks and a download link of the complete release including the songs omitted off the LP.