Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media

Concerning The Cancellation of Futurama 684

Posted by timothy
from the why-can't-the-bastards-just-kill-kenny-instead dept.
Andie Similon of gotfuturama.com writes: "We have recently heard from 4 reliable sources that fox did not pick up the 5th season of futurama. So it's going to get cancelled. We (the fans and webmasters of cgef and other websites) have set up a letter campaign to Fox,' but we need some big sites to spread the word. There are two possibilities of saving futurama A) some other network picking it up B) Fox realizing its mistake (I don't count on it), but the only way we can realise this is that we can get a very big amount of written letters to Fox." Go read the online petition and/or sign it. They've temporarily removed other content on anything else from the site -- there are priorities, after all. Futurama is one of the few shows that make me glad for the invention of television.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Concerning The Cancellation of Futurama

Comments Filter:
  • by bartyboy (99076) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:09PM (#2996937)
    Many good shows have been cancelled before. And maybe it's better that way. Once they reach their peak, they start to degenerate rather fast - just look at the Simpsons, which should have been dropped after season 7.

    Many other excellent shows have been cancelled before hitting their prime, (My So-called Life and Freaks And Geeks come to mind), but this isn't the case here - Futurama is terrific, and I don't think it can get any better, only worst.
  • Experiment (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Platinum Dragon (34829) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:11PM (#2996949) Journal
    Perhaps FOX should switch the timeslots of Futurama and Malcolm in the Middle for, say, a month.

    FOX seems to have a history of trying to prop up weaker timeslots by relegating popular shows to crap times when no one is watching (or when everyone is watching other channels). Even the Simpsons got this treatment for a season or so, back when FOX didn't have as much strong programming to fall back on. The lack of good content to replace it on Sunday night at that time may be what saved the show from being cancelled; FOX just moved it back to the original 8 pm timeslot.

    If all else fails, perhaps the creators could see about getting the Comedy Channel or the Cartoon Network to fund and pick it up, something not unheard of for cult hits that get chopped by their original network.
  • I blame sports (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EddydaSquige (552178) <jmb.gocougs@wsu@edu> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:11PM (#2996951) Homepage
    If Fox didn't prempt it every other week for some game or another maybe it could get itto a groove that would make people watch all the time. How can you expect to develop a following if you only air the show once every other month. Constantly prempting a show is as bad as changeing its time slot 6 times over the season, and then blame a lack of rateings for the cancelation.
  • my fox affiliate (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hyperstation (185147) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:13PM (#2996966)
    doesn't carry Futurama unfortunately (i have no idea why, the simpsons and m in the middle are on every sunday)....so i've been missing out anyhow

  • by Murdock037 (469526) <tristranthorn.hotmail@com> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:14PM (#2996974)
    ...Does anybody know how this would affect the planned upcoming DVD sets?

    Fox did pretty well for themselves by the Season 1 DVDs of "The Simpsons," and I remember rumblings that "Futurama" would follow not too far behind.

    It'd be a shame if these disappear, too; the commentaries on the Simpsons discs were as amusing as the shows themselves, and the Futurama crew has always struck me as being a bit sharper in their wit.

    At least Fox is still putting out quality programming like "That 80s Show" and "Temptation Island 2," right? I mean, right? Who's with me?
  • by haedesch (247543) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:17PM (#2996997) Homepage
    over here in belgium, ka2 is airing a futurama ep every day, starting from season 1 and its really gaining popularity... Too bad its over now :-(
  • by Platinum Dragon (34829) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:20PM (#2997018) Journal
    Well, I watched about ten minutes of the Chamber, once.

    Somehow, the thought of torture becoming a game show disturbed me. That feeling probably hasn't been helped by the intermittent discussions of how to make torture in the interrogation of suspected terrorists palatable to Americans.

    I'll miss the X-Files, though things kinda started to tank once Duchovny started throwing his weight around - getting the show moved from nice digs in Vancouver, then leaving, then not, then leaving, then not, forcing Carter and the writers to dance around this... just a mess. A part of me wishes Mulder had just been McLeaned at the end of the seventh season, instead of letting him play these games and drag the death out so much longer.

    Never watched The Tick. Live-action versions of animated shows just don't resonate with me for some reason. Probably something about the inherent absurdity of cartoons, combined with the ability to depict events and places far cheaper than showing the same things in live-action.

    That 80's Show should make like the decade and be over. I'd like to forget the greed-is-good, disco-hangover 1980's, thanks. If anyone tells you the 1970's lived off pretension, please see "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and glam rock, then slap the person who tells you that.

  • by Gulthek (12570) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:29PM (#2997095) Homepage Journal
    Malcom in the Middle is pretty hilarious, but one show isn't enough to run a network on...just look at UPN.
  • Re:Synchronicity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RollingThunder (88952) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:01PM (#2997333)
    Reservoir Dogs.

    I still get the shivers from the song they played during it, "Stuck in the Middle With You".

    An interesting analysis on that I found when doublechecking the song title:
    http://www.redstone-tech.com/gerry/res_dogs.htm
  • by ArnoldYabenson (551283) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:07PM (#2997383) Homepage
    There was very little crime-fighting in the issues of Tick that I've read. Perhaps you need to refresh your memory on this.

    The TV series was more like the comic in this respect than the kiddie-oriented, conventionally-structured cartoon.

  • CF Roswell? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by horsell (557981) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:15PM (#2997439)

    Maybe we should all agree the day to send the letters to fox? That's what the Roswell [crashdown.com] guys did, we'll have to see if that works. But, the idea of having all the letters arrive all at once so they look all the more impressive strikes me as quite a nifty one :)

  • by Platinum Dragon (34829) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:18PM (#2997456) Journal
    I love the Simpsons, but never got into Futurama because there was never enough promotion of the show to make me remember to turn it on.

    I don't watch much TV outside of certain shows I consistently switch on. I was never able to find Futurama after it was initially shuffled away from post-Simpsons Sunday nights, and I saw maybe one promo for the show on Fox after it premiered, ever. Once it moved, I was never able to find it again. Meanwhile, crap like Malcolm in the Middle and Boston Public eats up numerous promo slots. Fox just had no interest in cultivating a post-football, pre-Simpsons audience.

    To some extent, the numerous advertising breaks during football games help push the broadcasts outside of three-hour blocks. It's as boring for people in the arena as it is for viewers at home, and while I'm sure the offense enjoys an extra minute or so to talk strategy, it just messes with the flow of the game. Long post-game wrapups don't help, either; does Fox really need to run ten, fifteen minutes of JB and the boys cracking jokes at each other? Does it boost advertising revenue that much? You'd figure Fox would want to cultivate post-football viewing by preserving the show in the next half-hour slot, instead of running over it all the time. It would especially help those slow periods between football and the next sports season, when a show has to live on its own popularity instead of getting a boost from football.

    But then, I'm not a network executive, nor would I want to be.

    Luckily, Global up here occasionally runs it as filler during dark hours, so I enjoyed a Futurama marathon two nights ago:)
  • by Da Masta (238687) <.dmu_net. .at. .hotmail.com.> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:19PM (#2997464)
    Agreed. After the "Who Shot Mr.Burns?" season, the Simpsons really began to suck, especially compared to other cartoons that began to show up, King of the Hill, Family Guy, Futurama, etc. It's time for FOX to kill the Simpsons, bring back Futurama and/or Family Guy, and make Malcolm in the Middle funny again.
  • by Fweeky (41046) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:32PM (#2997535) Homepage
    Unfortunately, being among the majority of people in the known Universe, I don't get 1000 channels to choose from, so unless it's going to be on terrestrial or Sky One (which already has constant reruns of The Simpsons, 3-4/day ffs) or so, the closest me and 10 million other Brits are going to get to seeing it is a dodgy DivX :(

    So far I've seen the first series cut very badly on Channel 4, the first two in crappy .rm format, and about 3 DivXed episodes after that.
  • by JPawloski (546146) <jpawloski@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @08:34PM (#2997795)
    I heard an interview with a man that worked for a valley (Phoenix) radio station, and he was talking about public feedback. The most surprisingly thing he said was that, in general, stations tend to ignore mass-petitions like the one in the article. The logic behind this was that the people who set forth the petition are making a significant effort to save a show, and this may sway people's opinions. On the other hand, viewers or listeners who take it upon themselves to write into a station are given a significant weight. The amount of weight depends on the number of overall listeners and probably some deep statistical reasoning, but I do know from the anecdote he gave that for 910 KFYI (now 550 KFYI) one individual writing a letter is considered to represent 8,800 people.

    Remember, an unsolicited opinion is always better than a solicited opinion. This is the same principle.

    So instead of signing the petition, WRITE A LETTER (not e-mail, the old kind of letter where you put a stamp on). If everyone who had signed the petition had written a letter, I can almost guarantee you Fox would put FR back on TV.
  • by Theodore Logan (139352) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @08:56PM (#2997917)
    Note: this is not a flamebait. I'm a huge fan of both the Simpsons and Futurama. In my opinion, Futurama is the better show.

    But the truth is that Futurama really is extremely similar to the Simpsons. The type of animation is exactly the same. The music's very similar. The voices are similar. The jokes are similar. The whole style, soul and idea of the show is the same. The only thing that's different is the period in time they're supposed to take place. Don't agree? Consider a hypothetical show by the name "Simpsons 3000". Can you imagine such a show not being very very similar to Futurama?

    You can argue all you want that Futurama is a great show that should be kept on the air - and I'm all with you - but don't tell me it's not a Simpsons knockoff. Believe me, it is, and it's worth saving anyway.

  • by cybermage (112274) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @11:10PM (#2998409) Homepage Journal
    My suggestion is that fox never even try to have an original program at 6:00 central on a Sunday night.

    Agreed.

    I think they'd do better to have Futurama share a time slot with Family Guy. The two shows combined could fill a whole season with programming where neither manages, or is allowed to, now.

    They could go one better and commit one whole hour a week for short seasons of niche shows. One week, show Family Guy and The Tick; Next week, show Futurama and _________. Next week back to Family Guy. Etc.

    Just put the hour somewhere in the schedule that isn't prone to being pre-empted. The current Thursday 8pm slot seems appropriate since their only chance is to couter-program the NBC sitcoms.
  • Re:FOX... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wntrmute (18056) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @11:40PM (#2998535)
    I'm convinced that the Fox network execs are completely incompetant. Let's take a look:

    Futurama: About to go.
    Family Guy: About to go.
    The Tick: Gone, and never given a chance, with one of the worst timeslots on TV, opposite "Friends" and "Survivor".
    24: Possibly one of the best TV dramas *ever*, and was in danger of being pulled until it had great success with the critics and at the Golden Globes.
    Titus: One of the funnier sitcoms on TV, had it's episodes cut.
    Undeclared: Another decently funny show, which also had it's episodes cut. Note that the creator of this show is pissed, as Fox already screwed around with him on "Freaks and Geeks."
    Grounded for Life: Another decently funny show, had it episodes cut.
    Dark Angel: A show that developed a cult following in it's first season, then was moved to Friday, a night during which it's target demographic *isn't home*.

    These are just off the top of my head, this season alone. I'm sure if I thought back to seasons past, I could come up with more. With how abysmal ABC's lineup is right now, you'd think they'd take advantage of it. (Yeah, I pay *way* too much attention to pop culture, so sue me. :-)
  • by Civil_Disobedient (261825) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @03:10AM (#2999010)
    Slightly off-topic, but since the subject has come to the Simpsons, I must say this.

    HOMR is from last season, probably the last half-decent season the Simpsons will ever see. While Season 12 had more than the normal share of not-very-good episodes, this season has been truly awful. The reason is simple, and his name is Dana Gould.

    For those of you who don't know, Dana Gould is a failed stand-up comic who is now taking his lowest common denominator humor to the Simpsons and is singularly responsible for it's current lackluster -- hell, let's just be honest, god-awful humor. Homer getting raped by a panda? Homer finding a corpse as a child? The constant rehashing of previous plot-lines and characters? Say thank you to Dana.

    I now find myself tuning in every Sunday night with my fingers crossed, repeating a mantra of "Please don't suck... please don't suck" and for this entire season I have been disapointed. Certainly there were funny jokes. But the Simpsons has turned into stringing forced "big-laughs" into loosely-woven plotlines than generally tend to revolve around celebrities or Homer being an idiot. If you check the 2/10/02 episode, you'll count almost twenty-five producers. 25 producers. Management is strangling the life out of this wonderful series while Dana Gould stomps on its putrifying corpse with his steel-toed jack-boots.

    I think Lisa's hypothetical question at the end of the 1/6/02 episode says it all: "Is this the end of our series" ... "of events?"


  • I am a young, educated professional with pretty hefty chunk of disposable income. Most of my friends are young, educated professionals with a hefty chunks of disposable income. Most of my friends enjoy the same shows I do (things like futurama, family guy, adult swim, and others). Now, as far as I know, young professionals with disposable income is a pretty choice demographic.

    So why is it good shows that people like me watch always seem to be going off the air just when I start to enjoy them, while shows that seem to appeal to a, er, less desirable demographic seem to succeed? Something like 'Temptation Island' may get a large viewer base, but from what I've experienced (and I don't claim to be an expert), those types of people would be of little interest to advertisers, save places like Wal-mart or used car dealerships with a large inventory of pickup trucks.

    I'm not trying to be elitist, I'm sure at one point I'll get married and the drudgery of work and family will stretch my mind so much I'll take solace in the soothing simplicity of bad TV, while stretching my wallet to the point where sales at Wal-Mart will become interesting. But for the time being, well, I'm not.

    So I've been trying to figure out why Fox has handled Futurama the way they have, and this is what I've come up with.

    1. The ratings system is really, really off base. Somehow, the companies who track ratings are giving incorrect numbers back to the networks, or the advertisers are reading them wrong. In college I was an account executive for a radio station (meaning I sold advertising). I found extensive frustration in the fact that our numbers were always very low while our ads always had such good direct feedback. I remember once a failed pitch I had with the owner of a bicycle shop, who would buy ads from a competitor (a country and western station) that cost 10 times as much as ours. Why? Because their ratings were higher. While I'm sure people who like country buy bicycles, after years of advertising the stores prime clientele appeared to remain the sort of people who preferred rock.

    2. The networks are full of idiots. I don't mean their stupid because the shows are so bad; It's been decades since quality was a priority, only money matters now. (Rupert Murdoch even admitted years ago in an interview that the only show he really enjoys watching on his network was the 'Simpsons'). But even with money a priority, they still manage to muck it up. If you have a show with promise that's starting to catch on, you don't run it in a timeslot opposite a highly popular show on another network, then shrug your shoulders thinking 'oh I wonder why the ratings went down'. They make programming changes that succeed more in alienating viewers then to expose new shows. They seem to over promote the sort of stuff that just won't catch on, and ignore shows that might attract viewers.

    3. The advertisers are idiots. Television is a for-profit business, and in all fairness, they will do whatever it takes to accommodate their revenue stream. On the other hand, it's the job of the people in marketing to get their message out to the largest number of potential customers for the least amount of money. So why then do I see ads for tampons during reruns of 'The A-Team'? Sure, woman watch 'The A-Team', but it seems to me they could have spent the cash for the A-team spot on another show that would reach a larger number of potential customers for the same amount of money. So many times I see an ad on TV and think 'I can't of anyone who would watch this show that would buy this product'.

    For all the money advertisers spend on research and production, they so often forget about actually reaching their target demographic when it's time to buy ad space. A show like Futurama may only get 150,000 viewers (I'm making these numbers up for the sake of example), but if 75% of those viewers are likely to spend more then $1,000 a year on electronic equipment, you have a pretty solid demographic for the electronics based industry. . .at least enough to keep the show running. But instead of looking at those demographics, a company will spend more money to buy a spot on a show that has a viewer base of 1 million (say, a temptation island), despite the fact that only 5% of those viewers are in their demographic. Do a little math, and you realize there are some misplaced resources.

    4. People are idiots. We put up with poor programming. We pay extra for cable so we can receive more channels with more advertising. We holler and scream when our favorite shows are canceled and beg networks to let us make money for them. It could be that all my armchair analysis above is wrong. There is some deep logical reasoning for the seemingly asinine behavior of the networks and advertisers that maximizes profits. It could be this model will continue to be used so as long as we put up with it despite the fact that no viewer is ever really satisfied.

    I'd like to think it's some sort of combination of the first three, but there is this sad, nagging voice that tells me it's all 4.

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340

Working...