Fry, Leela, Bender, and the gang are being resurrected once again. The cult classic cartoon has had a bumpy ride. Matt Groening, the Simpsons creator, is no stranger to long-running TV shows. But for some reason, the critically acclaimed Futurama has had a rough time staying on the air.
In the mid-’90s, Fox was itching for Matt to create a second show after the success of the Simpsons. So Matt enlisted David Cohen, writer, and producer of the Simpsons, to help him make this new show. They set out researching anything and everything science fiction for this new show. The result was a more futuristic version of the Simpsons. The show’s humor is intelligent though disguised under a mask of stupidity. The show does a great job of addressing social issues in a way you would only notice if you paid attention.
Groening and Fox only saw eye-to-eye on a few dimensions of the show initially. Fox hated the idea of suicide booths, for example. They tried toning down the show but ultimately agreed to let the showrunners have free reign. Unfortunately, the studio kept moving the show into different time slots. This made ratings dive quickly. Futurama lasted five seasons on Fox before they stopped buying new episodes. Fans were not happy.
Try this Futurama Quiz
Futurama in Syndication
In the same year (2003), Cartoon Network bought the syndication rights to Futurama and Family Guy, which Fox also canceled. The two shows played late at night on adult swim. They both saw great success on the network. In 2005 Comedy Central bought the syndication rights to Futurama, and the following year Matt Groening and crew made four straight-to-DVD movies, which were later split up to make the show’s fifth season.
A second wind
In 2009, Comedy Central announced they would buy 26 half-hour episodes, reviving the show again. The show ran for two seasons before being once again canceled. It appeared as though the show was finished for good.
A third wind
In February 2022, Hulu ordered 20 episodes, reviving the show again after nine long years. The new episodes are expected to appear on Hulu sometime in 2023. An official date has yet to be announced. After some intense negotiations, the whole Planet Express crew will be returning. John DiMaggio nearly wasn’t recast as Bender. He pushed negotiations with Hulu for more money to no avail. John has publicly criticized the discrimination that voice actors face. They are typically not paid as well as onscreen actors.
Billy West, Katey Sagal, Phil Lamarr, Lauren Tom and the rest of the gang will be returning in 2023.
Futurama has a die-hard fanbase
I have re-watched every episode at least 20 times, and the new season will finally scratch a 9-year itch. Hulu is expected to buy 22 episodes. I’m hopeful they will buy more, but the fans have been burned too many times. There have been five show finales to date. This is the uncertainty the producers of the show have had to deal with. They never know from year to year what the future will hold. The irony is that this would happen in the Futurama universe similarly.
The last finale titled, “Meanwhile” ended in such a way that the entire timeline of the show could start over. Fry and Leela were trapped into a single moment in time after the time machine the professor built is broken. Professor Farnsworth appears and reveals that he can fix the time machine but it would erase everyone’s memories and take them back to before the show started. Essentially letting the show runners start the shows storyline over completely from scratch.
When will Futurama hit Hulu?
According to Lauren Tom the new episodes will be coming to Hulu in the summer of 2023.
Futurama 2023 – Season 8
So far, we know virtually nothing other than Futurama’s new episodes will drop sometime in 2023. However, the first ten episode titles have been leaked for season 8.
- “The Impossible Stream”
- “Rage Against the Vaccine”
- “Zapp Gets Cancelled”
- “The Prince and the Product”
- “Related to Items You’ve Viewed”
- “Children of a Lesser Bog”
- “How the West Was 1010001”
- “I Know What You Did Last Xmas”
- “Parasites Regained”
- “All the Way Down”
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