Bad news, everyone!
Debuting in 1999, Futurama quickly became one of those beloved shows that all our geeky friends quoted to each other. We mourned when it was canceled the first time in 2003, danced with joy when it came back in 2007, and now must mourn again. Futurama will conclude at the end of this year.
With the second half of its seventh season due to air this summer, creators Matt Groening and Dave Cohen aren't exactly surprised their time at Comedy Central has run out. Says Cohen, "I felt like we were already in the bonus round on these last couple of seasons, so I can’t say I was devastated by the news." Cohen is referring to the surprise that the show not only found success with a number of direct-to-DVD releases, but was then renewed for another two successive seasons afterward.
In fact, Futurama stands out as one of the best examples of a show being brought back from the dead on a new network. Comedy Central's EVP of Programming, Dave Bernath, was very proud of the show's enduring success despite cancellation, saying, "I’m more thankful and feel a sense of gratitude toward the whole process -- and that we found a way to keep going for 52 more episodes -- than I really am even thinking about the ending. It’s a blessing that it came back and lasted so long."
The show promises a strong, final 13-episode run which will include guest voices of Larry Bird, Sarah Silverman, George Takei, Adam West, Dan Castellaneta and Burt Ward. There's even a wedding, with death and time travel thrown in. This is Futurama, after all. Cohen calls it "our best ‘last season ever’ ever.”
As for whether the show will find yet another home post-cancellation, Matt Groening says, "Perhaps Futurama will return in another form, on the Internet, or as a puppet show in the park. Or maybe as a puppet show in the park on the Internet." We'd be game for any of the above, and, considering the success the show has found on Netflix, well, you never know. Perhaps this will not be the final bow.
When we contacted Bender Bending Rodríguez to tell him how sorry we were to hear about the cancellation and to say that Futurama was one of our favorite sci-fi shows of all time, he said, "Shut up baby, I know it!" before lighting up a cigar and walking into the sunset. Farewell for now, you magnificent bastard.
(via Bleeding Cool)