There are 104 days of summer vacation, but Disney Channel's Phineas and Ferb has already been on many more adventures than that — nearly 175, and counting. The hit animated series' latest episode ("This is Your Backstory"), which premieres this Friday at 9/8c, explores the life of evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz via an odd reality show hosted by his giant human robot, Norm.
Phineas and Ferb has become a major franchise for Disney, spawning merchandise, theme park attractions, a TV-movie, soundtracks and soon (in 2014), a feature film. The brainchild of Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, Phineas and Ferb balances the story of two young stepbrothers who go on adventures via their fantastical inventions with the tale of their pet platypus Perry, a secret agent who fights the bumbling Doofenshmirtz. The show's rich backstory, pop culture parodies and recurring irreverent gags have made Phineas and Ferb a hit with adults as well as kids. Povenmire and Marsh filled out our TV Guide Magazine showrunner survey to explain why watching Phineas and Ferb should be what we do today.
TV Guide Magazine: I've got room in my life for just one show starring an animated platypus. Tell me why it should be yours.Dan Povenmire: Because all the others are made with high fructose corn syrup. Jeff "Swampy" Marsh: And ours is high in fiber.
TV Guide Magazine: Who should be watching?
Povenmire: We're shooting for that all important demographic of "people with TVs."
Marsh: So if you're a person and you own a TV, then this show is tailor-made for you.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Marsh: You really don't want to find that out.
Povenmire: It's not pretty.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for your show.
Povenmire: Phineas and Ferb + the square root of Game of Thrones divided by The West Wing = 612.
Marsh: It's true, we checked the math.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about your show?
Marsh: That it is the one show their whole family can watch together.
TV Guide Magazine: What was the worst thing?
Povenmire: One guy wrote that it was derivative of a bunch of shows we've never seen.
TV Guide Magazine: Why were they wrong?
Povenmire: We don't know if they were.
Marsh: We haven't seen those shows.
TV Guide Magazine: Come up with a premise for the spin-off.
Marsh: The Giant Floating Baby Head Takes Manhattan.
Povenmire: Unfortunately the Muppets had already taken it, so when he gets there...
Marsh: It's gone.
Povenmire: It would be a very short series.
TV Guide Magazine: If you weren't on this show, what series would you most like to work on?
Povenmire: Is there a show where a Talking Grizzly Bear solves crimes using algebra?
Marsh: I don't think so.
Povenmire: Well, I'm waiting for that one.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare Disney. Tell us an idea that didn't make it out of the writers' room.
Marsh: Sorry, Disney hits us with one of those Men In Black mind-wipe things whenever we think of inappropriate jokes.
TV Guide Magazine: Finish this sentence: "If you like _______, you'll love our show."
TV Guide Magazine: The animated world is a tight-knit group. Pick a rival show, any show, and start a fight with it.
Marsh: Man, we could so totally take that crew from Fish Hooks ... in a '70s trivia contest, because those guys are so young.
TV Guide Magazine: What other show would you like to do a cross-over episode with, and how would it go?
Povenmire: The Sopranos.
Marsh: Yeah, and we'd just go to black for like four minutes at the end.
Povenmire: Think of all the drawing time we'd save!
TV Guide Magazine: Where's Perry?
Povenmire: He's right over there.
TV Guide Magazine: What's something you've done on the show that, looking back, you now can't even believe you did?
Povenmire: We wrote a song with Slash.
Marsh: That was as cool as we will ever be for the rest of our lives.
TV Guide Magazine: How has your show changed the world as we know it?
Povenmire: A whole generation of kids actually know what an "aglet" is.
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
Marsh: Ferb and Phineas.
TV Guide Magazine: Where is the Tri-State Area?
Povenmire: It surrounds Danville.
Marsh: I thought you were going to say, "It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together."
Povenmire: Ooh, that's better, can I change my answer?
Here's a first look at Friday's Phineas and Ferb episode, "This Is Your Backstory":