Why is this happening? Because animated programming continues to thrive on home flat screens, to wit: ...
TV Ratings: Fox's Animation Repeats Top Night
FOX -- 7:30 p.m. -- American Dad -- #3
8:00 p.m. -- The Simpsons -- #1
8:30 p.m. -- Bob's Burgers -- #1
9:00 p.m. -- Family Guy -- #1
9:30 p.m. -- Family Guy -- #1
A staffer on The Simpsons told me last week that when productions stops on original episodes of the Yellow Family, Gracie Films will get a BIG payout for syndication rights. (I have no idea if this is accurate, but it might explain why Fox continues to create new half-hours of The Simpsons two decades on.)
In a larger context, the continuing commercial power of television animation explains why more ... and more ... and more of it gets made. And why our fine, entertainment conglomerates sink significant bucks into the form: There are big profits to be made.
(There is only one game show cable network, but there are multiple outlets for animation. You can sell lots of merchandise for cartoon characters, but live-action thespians? Not so much.)