"The Boondocks," the edgy animated series based on Aaron McGruder's comic strip about 10-year-old black militant Huey Freeman and his gangsta-wanna-be younger brother Riley living in the suburbs with their grandfather, is returning April 21 for a fourth and final season on Adult Swim.
However, there's a catch. McGruder, who created the series and was its key creative force, is not along for the ride.
A press release from Sony Pictures Television, which produces the series, noted that the new season "was produced without the involvement of Aaron McGruder, when a mutually agreeable production schedule could not be determined."
Representatives for McGruder could not be reached for comment.
The announcement comes as a surprise: Since launching the strip in 1999, McGruder, who is developing a live-action comedy "Black Jesus" for Adult Swim, has been extremely protective of the property and the Boondocks characters.
The Peabody Award-winning series has been a hot button for Adult Swim since its premiere. The Rev. Al Sharpton and others lashed out at the relentless use of the "N-word" in episodes.
McGruder has taken on several iconic African American figures in the show and angered Tyler Perry when he made fun of the filmmaker in an episode that portrayed a Perry-like figure as a closeted cross-dresser who used religion to hide his lifestyle.
The series last aired in 2010.