Archer creator Adam Reed and executive producer Matt Thompson explain why they decided to erase ‘ISIS’ from the show, whose sixth season returns in January.
It seems, on the surface, like a throwaway shot. During the premiere episode of the sixth season of Archer, FX’s outrageously funny animated spy series, spy matriarch Malory Archer (Jessica Walter) is seen speaking on the phone with her juvenile, coddled son. In the background, you can see two movers rolling out a large, circular blue ISIS sign.
You see, for the past five seasons, ISIS (International Secret Intelligence Service) has been the name for the underground, non-government approved, New York City-based spy organization at the heart of the show. In light of recent events, however, the creative team behind the Emmy nominated series—creator Adam Reed along with executive producers Matt Thompson and Casey Willis—made a decision to quietly eliminate the acronym from their show.
“We quietly did,” Reed told The Daily Beast. “We were waiting for it to go away—at least I was. Back in Season 5, FX said, ‘This might be a thing,’ and I thought, ‘Maybe it won’t be? Maybe it’ll be the mole that I’m gonna ignore and nothing will happen.’ We got sort of lucky and could organically make a merger with the CIA, so we went back and retroactively painted out the ISIS logos in parts of the show, and we just don’t talk about it in dialogue.”
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