Can't Get Enough Futurama

Futurama returns with new episodes!

What started as a rumor on the site collider.com - citing an anonymous inside source - has now been corroborated by major TV media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, and Variety (update: and a Comedy Central press release). Futurama is set for a return on Comedy Central with fresh episodes in mid 2010.

Hollywood Reporter:
Taking a page from the "Family Guy" resurrection guidebook, the canceled Fox animated comedy is returning with an order from Comedy Central for 26 new episodes to run over two seasons. [...]

Comedy Central was happy with the specials and with the 72 produced episodes of "Futurama" it acquired from 20th Century Fox TV in 2006. "Yet there is nothing like new, self-contained episodes week to week," said Comedy Central's senior vp programming David Bernath. "This is all about reinvigorating the franchise, giving it a new burst of energy. [...]

"When we brought back 'Family Guy' several years ago, everyone said that it was a once in a lifetime thing that canceled series stay canceled and cannot be revived," said 20th TV chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden. "But 'Futurama' was another series that fans simply demanded we bring back."

Entertainment Weekly:
A spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television confirms that the cable net has ordered 26 new episodes of Matt Groening and David X. Cohen's late, great animated series to air beginning in 2010. The studio cites Futurama's "blockbuster" performance on DVD and in reruns on Comedy Central as the reason for its rebirth.

Variety:
As part of the deal, 20th still has an option to license the new episodes' original runs to a broadcast network (such as Fox). If the show does go to broadcast, Comedy Central's license fee will be reduced.

"It's a deal we're all happy with," said Comedy Central programming senior VP David Bernath. "It's a bigger win for us promotionally if we wind up going first... but if we wind up in second position, then the economics work out for us as well."


So, good news, everyone!

We'll most likely hear more about the new Futurama episodes at Comic Con in July.

Update: Press release by Comedy Central.
click to expand ...
"FUTURAMA" RETURNS TO PRODUCTION WITH AN INITIAL ORDER OF 26 NEW EPISODES TO PREMIERE MID 2010

Emmy Award-Winning Animated Comedy Series Confirmed To Run On COMEDY CENTRAL; Broadcast Network Run Also Possible

NEW YORK, June 10, 2009 -- 20th Century Fox Television, the animation powerhouse that brought "Family Guy" back from the dead five years ago, has done it again: Matt Groening and David X. Cohen's brilliantly subversive animated sci-fi comedy "Futurama" will return to production on 26 new half-hour episodes more than six years after the series aired its last original episode. The move comes on the heels of the series' blockbuster performance on DVD and on COMEDY CENTRAL; the announcement was made today by Twentieth Century Fox Television Chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden, and David Bernath, senior vice president, programming for COMEDY CENTRAL.

"Futurama" was a staple of Fox's Sunday night animation block from 1999 to 2003 before ceasing production on original episodes. In June 2006, COMEDY CENTRAL acquired the rights to the existing 72 episodes of the series, which the channel began airing in January 2008, and four recently-produced extended length "Futurama" adventures: "Bender's Big Score," "The Beast with a Billion Backs," "Bender's Game" and "Into the Wild Green Yonder," which enjoyed enormous success both on COMEDY CENTRAL and in DVD release. This new deal marks the show's return to episodic series production on original episodes. "Futurama" becomes only the second series in the history of the medium to go back into production based on the strength of its DVD sales and repeat airings on cable.

The new episodes will be available in mid 2010 to be shown on COMEDY CENTRAL. Twentieth Century Fox Television retains the option to license the original runs of the new episodes to a broadcast network.

"We are excited to continue our relationship with Matt, David and 20th Century Fox TV and to be able to offer COMEDY CENTRAL viewers the first opportunity to see new episodes of 'Futurama,'" said Bernath. "As evidenced by the strong performance of the extended length epics, there remains a deep and passionate fan base for this intelligent and very funny show that matches perfectly with our audience. It's fantastic that we can add brand-new installments of Leela, Fry and Bender's adventures to our existing library."

Quipped Matt Groening, "We're thrilled 'Futurama' is coming back. We now have only 25,766 episodes to make before we catch up with Bender and Fry in the year 3000." Added David X. Cohen, "We're excited and amazed that the show is coming back, perhaps due to some sort of mysterious time loop. We look forward to working with COMEDY CENTRAL and 20th Television to make this the best iteration of the loop yet!"

"When we brought back 'Family Guy' several years ago, everyone said that it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing - that canceled series stay canceled and cannot be revived," commented 20th Century Fox TV Chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden. "But 'Futurama' was another series that fans simply demanded we bring back, and we couldn't have been happier when Matt and David agreed that there were many more stories yet to tell."

"Futurama" focuses on the life of Philip Fry (Billy West), a 25-year-old pizza delivery boy who accidentally freezes himself on December 31, 1999 and wakes up 1,000 years later with a fresh start at life and a "diverse" new group of friends including Leela (Katey Sagal), a tough but lovely one-eyed alien and Bender (John DiMaggio), a robot who possesses human characteristics and flaws. The series aired for five seasons on Fox (1999 to 2003) earning Emmy
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