'Futurama' is the present that refuses to die

Cease us for those who’ve heard this one earlier than: “Futurama” is again.

The beloved animated collection has as soon as once more returned, this time on Hulu, regardless of airing its supposedly closing episode in 2013. However “Futurama,” during which a pizza supply boy is unintentionally cryogenically frozen and wakes up 1,000 years sooner or later, is not any stranger to dishonest demise. Earlier than this newest resurrection, the present was canceled by a number of networks and seemingly wrapped up not as soon as, however 4 separate instances. 

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Created by Matt Groening, “Futurama” premiered on Fox on March 28, 1999, whereas Groening’s different animated collection, a little bit present referred to as “The Simpsons,” was in the course of its tenth season. The community had “been begging me for years for an additional present,” Groening instructed Mom Jones. He developed the thought for “Futurama” with David X. Cohen, a “Simpsons” author with whom he shared a ardour for science fiction. The 2 got here to their pitch assembly geared up with a thick “binder” of concepts, Cohen recalled in 2013. 

“They had been so excited, they stated, ‘We will order this collection on the spot,'” Cohen stated. “And as we have stated many instances, that was the final good assembly we had.” 

For one, Groening instructed Mom Jones that Fox nearly instantly “freaked out and had been afraid the present was too darkish and mean-spirited,” resulting in many “pointless battles.” The community “thought it was going to be bland and peppy like ‘The Jetsons,'” he instructed the Los Angeles Occasions. All through the collection’ run on Fox, its time slot additionally modified quite a few instances, and Groening felt the community by no means really supported it. “It was irritating to have a present on Fox at 7 on Sunday night time when Fox’s slogan was ‘The enjoyable begins at 8!'” Groening instructed Leisure Weekly in 2004. “I received the sensation that they did not even notice we had been on the schedule.” 

After 4 seasons, Fox opted to not choose up “Futurama” for added episodes, so on Aug. 10, 2003, it aired an obvious collection finale, “The Satan’s Fingers Are Idle Playthings.” Within the subsequent years, there have been many calls from followers to carry the present again, although, and it carried out nicely in reruns. 

“The community head actively banished us to reruns on cable TV and Grownup Swim on Cartoon Community in the course of the night time, again within the mid-2000s,” Cohen instructed Lightspeed Journal. “Then the rankings began going up and had been beating the late-night speak reveals, and Fox was very shocked.” 

After Comedy Central subsequently expressed curiosity in airing the present, 4 straight-to-DVD movies had been ordered, which had been cut up into 16 episodes to air on the community. Nevertheless it wasn’t clear on the time whether or not these films can be it for the collection, so the ultimate installment, “Into the Wild Inexperienced Yonder,” was handled as one other collection finale. 

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This time, although, the present’s hibernation did not final lengthy. “Into the Wild Inexperienced Yonder” hit DVD in February 2009, and by June of that yr, Comedy Central introduced it could revive “Futurama” correctly for 2 extra seasons. 

By 2011, the episode “Overclockwise” was written as yet one more potential collection finale, because the present had not but been renewed at that time. “Futurama” did proceed after that, however not for lengthy, as in 2013, Comedy Central turned the newest community to tug the plug. “‘Futurama’ Canceled for Third Time,” The Hollywood Reporter’s headline learn, and the publication famous the present had “not been the rankings performer it as soon as was.” 

So “Futurama” aired its fourth collection finale, “In the meantime,” on Sept. 4, 2013, and this was arguably essentially the most conclusive but. “We have been on this scenario earlier than,” Groening stated in a reside particular earlier than the finale aired. “It is in all probability over, however we have stated that earlier than, too.” 

Reader, it was not over. It took practically a decade, however in February 2022, “Futurama” was as soon as once more revived, as Hulu ordered 20 new episodes with Groening and Cohen each returning. “It is a true honor to announce the triumphant return of ‘Futurama’ yet one more time earlier than we get canceled abruptly once more,” Groening joked.

However this being “Futurama,” it was solely acceptable that there can be yet one more roadblock, as John DiMaggio, the voice of Bender, was initially not concerned within the revival on account of a wage dispute. The present appeared set to recast his character, however on the final minute, DiMaggio signed on. “Attempting to get cash out of Disney is like making an attempt to get blood from a stone — you ain’t gonna get it!” he stated, per Slashfilm. 

The collection’ return to Hulu on July 24 additionally signifies that sooner or later sooner or later, “Futurama” will air a fifth collection finale. However by no means rely out a comeback, as that is the sort of present that is by no means really canceled. It is merely cryogenically frozen.