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Futurama on ComicCon 2002

by Alex Franklin
The Futurama Panel

During the panel the Futurama staffers talked about how the show is still on the air for at least one more season. Also, since King Of The Hill is moving to after the Simpsons, and Oliver Beane doesn't premiere till mid season, Futurama will probably appear in the 7:30 time slot a few times which will surely help the show.

Matt Groening reiterated what he's said before when asked why the network treats the show so badly: that Fox doesn't like The Simpsons either, but they like the money, so they leave the show alone. They feel like they don't have to be nice to Futurama.

David Cohen said that the Futurama Region 2 DVD has sold amazingly well in Europe, so they are making Region 2 DVDs for the other four seasons, which he thinks will eventually get released here in America as Region 1 DVDs.

A fan from the audience suggested that Producer Claudia Katz should do a voice on the show.

Maurice LaMarche, Phil LaMarr, John DiMaggio and Billy West were all on hand to do their voices, talk about how they came up with them, and they even imitated each other. John DiMaggio does a pretty good Dr. Zoidberg, and Billy West does a decent Bender. The actors admitted that when they get together, they pretty much imitate each other all the time.

photo provided by corey

They talked about the upcoming episode where Kif and Amy have sex and Kif gets pregnant.

When asked why Katey Sagal never does these appearances, Groening and Cohen said that since she would get recognized from her days on Married With Children, she tends not to come to these sorts of things. They also talked about how Katey still gets letters from prison inmates who want to marry her when they get out of jail.

The writers who were present were pretty slap happy throughout most of the proceedings. At one point Groening said to Patric Verrone and Bill Odenkirk: "If you guys hadn't already been fired, you'd be in trouble..." or something like that.

Later in the panel they talked about how fans could write and email Fox to suggest the show get better treatment this year, and Cohen mentioned and how there were over 200,000 names on a petition to save the show and that both he and the creative team were really pleased at the kind of loyalty the show inspires.

As a side note, back at the Museum of Television and Radio in February, I went up to Eric Kaplan after the show and was talking to him about Fox's decision, and he said something revealing to me. He said that the show may lose its writers and animators, but that if Fox does decide to renew the show, as long as David Cohen is still the show runner, he will hire new writers and animators that will maintain the vision he and Matt Groening created.


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