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Television Media It's funny.  Laugh. Sci-Fi

Futurama to be Resurrected? 508

KingDaveRa writes "Futurama could follow in the footsteps of Family Guy and re-enter production more than two years after it was axed. The animated series, brainchild of Simpsons creator Matt Groening, ended after four produced seasons amid lackluster ratings and broken scheduling on broadcast network Fox." From the Reuters article: "Reps for 20th Century Fox have declined to comment on the news, but Variety says initial negotiations have begun. If revived, it's unclear exactly which network would air the new episodes. While Fox housed the original series, the show found new life once reruns began showing on the Cartoon Network. Comedy Central subsequently snapped up the off-air rights and will exclusively air the repeats beginning in 2008. " A follow-up to Groening and Cohen's recent comments.
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Futurama to be Resurrected?

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  • futurama (Score:5, Funny)

    by ducatier ( 669395 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:14PM (#14401382)
    Good news everybody!
    • Re:futurama (Score:5, Funny)

      by Rei ( 128717 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:30PM (#14401553) Homepage
      (Execubot rolls dice)

      Executive Beta: "Groening Cartoons Are Back!"

      Ahhh, so many memories, so many strange fluids gushing out of patients' bodies....
    • by dfn5 ( 524972 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @02:01PM (#14401892) Journal
      I'm afraid Futurama has just too much geek humor for it to last very long. For instance

      Speaker: And the winner is ... Number 3, in a quantum finish.
      Farnsworth: No fair! You changed the outcome by measuring it!

      I'm sure the masses just don't get this kind of stuff. I'm surprised it made it as long as it did. But here's hoping *Raises glass of Benderbraü*

      • by Traiklin ( 901982 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @02:08PM (#14401969) Homepage
        you forgot their timeslot to.

        Sundays at 7 (6 central), perfect time for a show to fail, seeing as how Football always seems to run over that time.

        Let's not forget fox's wonderfull advertising of the show aswell, I saw all of 2 commercials for the show during it's 4 year run.
      • by Kankraka ( 936176 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @03:02PM (#14402546)
        You've absolutely hit the nail on the head. I used to live (aswel as attend school) in a small town where... erm, the general population was as confused about anything beyond farming as Fry was when he witnessed his first game of Blurnsball. A friend of mine and I used to spend our spares in the "cafeteria" watching Futurama and just talking about whatever. Sometimes a few people would join us in watching Futurama and at every nerdy joke, or technical joke, or anything above and beyond the mainstream there failed to be anything out of them. Not even a snicker. Of course they got the slap stick side of it. If Fry got hit, burned by eating Bender's sterno-nicoise, or if Kif was forced to look up Brannigans, uhh skirt? Or if Kif falls off the roof after an Amazonian pokes at him.. They laugh. There were even people who called us losers for watching Futurama, because it wasn't funny. Regular people couldn't see the true hilarity of it. Part of me wishes new episodes would go straight to DVD instead of being aired on tv. No one can screw around with their timeslots then, those that truly appreciate the series will be able to watch them over and over again with no worry about a football game taking valuable Futurama-Time. I dunno, I'm kinda off on a tangent here. Fact is you've got it completely right, the humour is just too intelligent for the mainstream. Kind of saddening, isn't it.
        • Nonsense! Futurama is like Shakespeare and Ibsen; it works on all levels. Well, not quite like Ibsen, but still, I did read somewhere ( here [appstate.edu], I think) that while they do try to cram in as much "high-brow" jokes as possible, they won't let it detract from the story.
          Most of the humor in Futurama is of the "everybody gets it" variant. I can't immagine Zack Brannigan being anything less than hillarious even if you've never heard of Star Trek. And then you get the "No fair! You changed the outcome by measuring it
    • Re:futurama (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2006 @02:08PM (#14401976)
      Eh, I think you mean "Good news, everyone!"
    • by sgant ( 178166 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @02:58PM (#14402499) Homepage Journal
      I mean, the voice talent alone. You have to get the people that do the voices of Philip J. Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan, Leo Wong, and various other people. I mean that's 5 people right there you have to re-hire!

      Can they find all these guys again? They could be anywhere! They may all have scheduling conflicts or something...

      waiting for someone to state the obvious about this of course
  • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:15PM (#14401398) Homepage
    Futurama could follow in the footsteps of Family Guy and re-enter production more than two years after it was axed.

    Well, i'm waiting... what did they ax it?
    • Very clever, it took me a few reads :)
    • I think it was because of people like me.

      They kept moving it around and putting it in times like after football games. I never knew if it was on or not, and just couldn't keep up with it. I'd set the VCR and it might or might not get it, even if it were on -- or might get the first x minutes of it because the game delayed it. I'd set the VCR for longer time, but that didn't always work because there were other shows I'd tape.

      So, after a while, I couldn't tell if it was on or not and, after one time where
      • by Otto ( 17870 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @02:39PM (#14402279) Homepage Journal
        If Fox had just given that (and Family Guy) a real timeslot where you could see it every week, maybe they'd have made more money off it.

        Absolutely. Fox bungled Futurama like no other show before. Even my Tivo couldn't keep up with the continously changing schedule. The reason it got low ratings is that absolutely nobody knew when it was on.

        When it started getting aired on Adult Swim, I was finally able to see a whole season or two of shows that I have never seen before. Not for lack of trying, mind you, it was just impossible to know when they aired them.

        Family Guy, however, I never did understand why they cancelled it. It had a decent timeslot, and it was getting increasing numbers of viewers. They just shot it down before it built up a large audience. These days it seems like they cancel a show if it's not an instant hit, which is stupid, of course. Firefly was totally mishandled by airing the episodes wrong (you can't do that when there are story arcs and characters to be developed). They shot down Wonderfalls, a terrific show, after only 4 episodes that *nobody knew about* because they failed to advertise the thing!

        Fox just has the most amazing bunch of idiots running the network. It's simply incredible how dumb these decisions are.
  • by Spazntwich ( 208070 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:15PM (#14401401)
    Fuck them. It's a pity Fox ends up with such draconian ownership of shows, or Groening could have brought new Futurama episodes to a better network. Now he's once again at the mercy of their idiotic policy on show cancellations.
  • by Chagatai ( 524580 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:16PM (#14401404) Homepage
    My three year-old daughter loves Futurama. Her favorite character? Bender, naturally. She would see a commercial or the DVD set in the store and shout, "Look, daddy! It's Bender!" Gratefully, she does omit the, "Bite my shiny metal ass."

  • by ChipMonk ( 711367 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:16PM (#14401407) Journal
    lackluster ratings and broken scheduling on broadcast network Fox.

    How much did the latter cause the former?
  • by maynard ( 3337 ) <j...maynard...gelinas@@@gmail...com> on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:16PM (#14401410) Journal
    ...about the resurrection of Farscape and Firefly for an "F" trifecta!!!
  • Sunday? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OakDragon ( 885217 )
    They needn't bother airing it on Sunday again, unless it's late. Football will just roll over and kill it like it did before, and like it's doing to "King of the Hill" now.

    I wish they could just resurrect shows on Cartoon Network. Unfortunately, that's probably not possible.

    • Re:Sunday? (Score:3, Funny)

      by User 956 ( 568564 )
      I wish they could just resurrect shows on Cartoon Network. Unfortunately, that's unpossible.

      fixed that for you.
    • I can recall when 4pm football games almost never ran past 7pm. King of the Hill was always shown in its 7:30 time slot and Futurama was only pre-empted a couple of times. Now, as you say, King of the Hill is being pre-empted more often than not.

      If Fox was smart, they'd kill off "The War at Home" and put King of the Hill in that place, making for a full 2 hrs of cartoons on Sunday nights. If games are running longer due to instant replay or, more likely, increased adverts, then they need to quit leaving
    • I dunno, I hear monday nights [go.com] are now free...
  • Cool, but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jethro ( 14165 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:17PM (#14401422) Homepage
    As cool as more Futurama episodes would be, I think the last episode was just perfect as a Last Episode. In fact, some of the almost-last episodes were so good that I just dont' think it could be anything but a step back.
    • Re:Cool, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RPoet ( 20693 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:24PM (#14401485) Journal
      I think the episode was carefully crafted to be "good enough" for a final episode, but also appeal to both fans and Fox that cancelling the show would be immature. Witness the last line of the last episode: "Please don't stop playing, Fry. I wanna hear how it ends."

      There are many, many more stories screaming to be told about the Futurama universe. Fox were fools to stop playing. We wanna hear how it ends!
      • Re:Cool, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jethro ( 14165 )
        Oh, I'm sure there's a lot more places the show could've gone. Totally.

        But the show's too linear, I think. I dunno. It's not like I /wouldn't/ watch new ones and love them, I'm just happy with how it is now. And frankly I dont' trust Fox not to ruin it again! There were SO many episodes on the DVDs that I'd never seen despite my best efforts (ok, TiVO's best efforts).

        Family Guy is a show that can just pick up wherever it dropped off. Futurama, I'm not sure. And I say this because (in my opinion) Futurama is
    • I have to agree. While there are many unanswered questions and directions they could go in, I don't think the series would work with Fry and Leela as a couple.

      Futurama: the Movie, however...
      • I don't think the series would work with Fry and Leela as a couple.

        Probably not, and after the last episode it'd be very very sad if they were not a couple. You can just see the lame "Oh we were a couple but we broke up" thing...
  • How long until we get something definite?
  • Life... (Score:5, Funny)

    by pizza_milkshake ( 580452 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:18PM (#14401432)
    Life is hilariously cruel.
  • It's always had high ratings!
  • ...Oh wait that was The Simpsons. In that case, each pound of dark matter weighs over 10,000 pounds!
  • by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <slashdot.stango@org> on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:21PM (#14401462) Homepage Journal
    ...a provision stating that Futurama will NEVER be scheduled anywhere near the timeslot of a God damned football game.

    I don't know how many times I sat down to watch a TiVo'd episode of Futurama, only to discover that what was recorded was the last 20 minutes of some stupid NFL game.

    THAT is why it got poor ratings, because the FOX idiots stuck it in the 7pm Sunday death slot.

    • TiVo can't seem to get listings straight to save its life anyway. I sit down to watch "Cold Case" or what's supposed to be an NBC-aired CSI (which doesn't sound right to me but that's what the season pass says) and I get something that's not even related, like a news report or something. WTF?

      Blame the guides as much as you blame the network.
    • Dump that lame comedy show (forgot its name). Put it after The Simpsons and before Family Guy. 8:00 to 9:00 is now Matt Groening's hour. Also, you get two hours of animation domination on Sunday nights! Perfecto. :)
  • by BlueThunderArmy ( 751258 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:21PM (#14401464) Homepage
    Here's hoping for new life for Arrested Development in 2008!

    Fox could save themselves a lot of trouble by just not cancelling these shows in the first place. Low ratings for a critically-acclaimed show? How about better promotion and not jacking around with the schedule? The word-of-mouth behind these programs makes people want to watch them, but that doesn't do much good if new viewers can't find the proper time slot.

    • At least Arrested has a good time slot now. I don't think they will get bumped around as much this spring (damn you prison break!)
  • hmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by engagebot ( 941678 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:26PM (#14401499)
    "If only there was some way to know which can of slurm has the winning bottlecap..."

    "wait, what did you say? I was too busy using this ray gun to look inside of stuff."
  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@AAAtpno ... inus threevowels> on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:28PM (#14401535) Homepage
    Firefly, Farscape, Family guy, Futurama

    What do these shows have in common? These are great shows that were killed before their time due to poor decisions of TV execs. Everything from showing the series out of order to playing musical timeslots to abruptly killing the series without advanced warning, these shows were actively campainged against by the execs ( although I can't imagine why you'd want to mess up a money maker ).

    This is why I don't watch TV anymore ( in fact, I don't own a TV ). I purchase DVDs, and I get to watch things ad free through liberal use of dvd decrypter and dvd shrink.
  • Dissapointing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:29PM (#14401547) Homepage Journal
    I find the 'new' family guy was a big let down. I think they would have done better to put all the effort into American Dad and just let Family Guy rest in peace.

    There are certainly benifits to bringing old shows back, mostly a known audience and fewer development costs, but in terms of entertainment I find that these shows add very little.

    I enjoyed Family Guy, but face the facts. It was cancelled because it pushed too hard (When you wish upon a Weintstein), and clearly they show was nuetered before it was let back on the air.

  • by CMiYC ( 6473 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:32PM (#14401575) Homepage
    I don't understand how Family Guy was re-lauched when Futurama wasn't. While I enjoy Family Guy, I think Futurama is an overall better show. The humor is more developed, the artwork is cleaner, and the concept is fun. Family Guy just feels like a dumber Homer Simpson combined with acid flashbacks. Which I do find funny, but not mroe than Futurama. Granted, I'd like to see Bender and Stewie in a cameo scene. From each show, they are my favorite (if not the best) characters.
  • what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by engagebot ( 941678 )
    "But honestly, it's not that good of a show. Compared to the Simpsons, it doesn't come close. Against Family Guy, it pales in comparison. And the other shows for that age range are Aquateen Hunger Force and Robot Chicken, which are much more interesting than Futurama."

    What are you talking about? So you like Family Guy and Simpsons better. So what? Have you flipped through your cable channels lately?

    Even if you like said shows better, Futurama is more than worth bringing back considering it's infinitel
  • There really isn't much more info here than the last time /. covered the issue.

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/12/20/175421 1&tid=129&tid=133

    I can't wait till the re-release, but how about pre-empting football for cartoons for a change? I'm sick of having to watch men tackle one another and grab each other's pigskins for an hour just to find at the last minute that Futurama's been dropped, postponed pretty much until the stupidbowl.
  • The main question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Some_Llama ( 763766 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:35PM (#14401610) Homepage Journal
    Is will the original writing staff be re-hired, this is what really made the episodes in the first place, I remember reading somewhere about the high number of PH.ds and MBAs they had working on the writing staff, not that degress automatically mean anything, but I thought it was interesting given the type of jokes that I would often laugh at but my wife would have no clue what was funny about them...
  • Futurama was cancelled after it started sucking. Well, not sucking like the Simpsons now sucks, but it was certainly past its peak.

    On the other hand, Firefly had an amazing half-season on Fox before it got cancelled. I personally think it was the best sci-fi show ever made, and I've seen many. So it's Firefly they should be talking about, not Futurama.

  • by SenorPez ( 840621 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:49PM (#14401757) Homepage

    ... my Fing-Longer, I could activate the What-If machine, and see what would happen if FOX brought back Futurama.

    Instead, I'll just enjoy the syndication, instead.

  • by ERJ ( 600451 )
    If they bring it back, it would be pretty sweet if they did it in 16:9 HDTV. Fox already airs a lot of their shows in HD, why not a cartoon?
  • If accidentally watched, induce vomiting.
  • by thaerin ( 937575 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:50PM (#14401770)
    A Futurma comeback has been mentioned before and every time I've found myself thinking "Oh how kick ass is this gonna be?!!!" But then I have to wonder if it'll be the same Futurama that we've all come to love. Besides a heaping helping of cash, what else is there to motivate Groening into continuing the series? He's always been vocal about his dismay of the Fox execs cancelling the show in the first place. That seems like a big chip to carry on one's shoulders, though I suppose a few extra 0's on a paycheck can put a smile on anybody's face. I just hope his love of the characters and fanbase are enough to ensure the series returns to it's former glory.
    • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @02:13PM (#14402026)
      "what else is there to motivate Groening into continuing the series? He's always been vocal about his dismay of the Fox execs cancelling the show in the first place."

      True, but he's found love on a Time-Warner owned network. I think [as] has given allowed Groening to give Fox their comeuppance and forced Fox to approach the negotiations with some humility.
  • For Futurama to return, the studio would need to re-sign the show's production team, as well as voice stars Billy West, Katey Sagal and John DiMaggio.

    Quite honestly, who cares so much about the voice talent? I mean, it would be nice to have them back too, but it's the writers that matter. Family Guy had some voice changes in the early years and it wasn't a big deal... but they brought the show back from cancelation with sub-par writing and now it's really just fan service. The straight-to-DVD "movie" was es
  • by Boss Sauce ( 655550 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @02:06PM (#14401955) Homepage Journal
    This is further evidence that the major US TV networks have lost touch with the way technology has changed how people consume their media. Futurama gained a huge audience on Cartoon Network because they can show a few episodes a day, so it's not tough for people to catch one. The way the networks operate, there's a tiny window of opportunity for watching a show, so it's very hard for people to "catch on" to something. A few things the networks could do to make sure good shows get a real chance:
    * When a show's schedule changes, let one last show air in the old time slot, with "we're moving!" notices every time the show goes to or comes back from commercial.
    * Support their own programming by cutting down on informercials and re-airing episodes of prime time shows late and early, with "if you missed it..." plugs.
    * Put them online or on iTunes and let people share them x number of times, so they can spread shows around.

    (As for Arrested Development, I love the show and have watched every episode numerous times. Afternoon Deelite is still hard to beat. At the same time, I wonder what kind of staying power it has or if it *should* go on for more than two seasons-- a lot happens on the show, so why does the end have to be doom and gloom? I'd love to a LITERAL shark-jumping moment (maybe Buster, in a leather jacket, loses a foot?) in the second to last episode, with Henry Winkler there to save the day (and get hired back as the family attorney).)

  • by Evil Closet Monkey ( 761299 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @02:08PM (#14401978) Homepage
    From the Article:
    The series revolved around Fry, a pizza delivery boy, who is accidentally frozen for a thousand years. He wakes up in the year 3000 and befriends sassy one-eyed pilot Leela and cranky robot Bender, who both work for an intergalactic delivery service run by a distant nephew of Fry's.

    Leela worked at the Chrionics lab, getting her job with the delivery service at the same time as Fry.
    Bender was ending his carrier as a bender, rather drastically, when he met Fry. Also joining Planet Express at the same time as Fry and Leela.

    My last shred of faith is shattered. How are we ever to trust the news media again!?

  • by Tim Browse ( 9263 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @03:44PM (#14402999)
    All this axing of shows, and then they come back with DVD sales, and then the people that axed them want to make them again. It keeps happening. It's just like the story of the grasshopper and the octopus. All year long, the grasshopper kept burying acorns for the winter, while the octopus mooched off his girlfriend and watched TV. But then the winter came, and the grasshopper died, and the octopus ate all his acorns. And also he got a race-car.

    Is any of this getting through to you?

Loose bits sink chips.