Hulu Orders 20 Episodes of a Revived ‘Futurama’
Matt Groening and David X. Cohen are the latest to throw their hats in the animated series revival ring. As of today, it’s now confirmed that the pair will bring back Futurama, the animated sci-fi comedy they co-created in 1999. The show begins production this month, with a 2023 premiere set in its sights.
For those that might not remember, the show 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, a robot who possesses human characteristics and flaws.
Futurama’s seventh and final season aired in 2003. It was brought back in 2007 with four direct-to-DVD movies that subsequently aired as 30-minute episodes on Comedy Central. Based on their success, Comedy Central ordered new seasons of the series, which returned to TV in June 2010. The show has won six Emmy Awards – including two Outstanding Animated Program, seven Annie Awards, two Environmental Media Awards and two Writer’s Guild of America Awards. 140 original episodes were produced, with the then-final episode airing on September 4, 2013.
According to Variety, Hulu has ordered 20 new episodes of the show. Original cast members Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, and David Herman will all reprise their roles.
Although John DiMaggio, the voice of Bender, is not currently attached to the project, Variety says that “According to an individual with knowledge of the project, the producers are hopeful DiMaggio will return.” If he doesn’t, the character will be recast.
“When presented with the opportunity to bring fans and viewers new episodes of Futurama, we couldn’t wait to dive in,” said Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment. “This iconic series helped blaze the trail for the success of adult animation since its initial launch and we look forward to Matt and David continuing to pave the way and further establishing Hulu as the premiere destination for fans of the genre.”
“What I love about animation is that it’s possible for a successful show to take a pause and then resume years later, even on a different platform, and pick up right where it left off,” added Marci Proietto, head of 20th Television Animation. “Futurama is one of those shows. The excitement from Hulu about returning Matt and David’s genius creation for all-new episodes has been off the charts. I’m thrilled that this incredible team will get to tell more stories, and that our Planet Express crew will have more adventures together. It’s a win for the fans who have loved the show since the beginning, and for the ones who will now discover it for the very first time.”
Futurama, created by Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen, is produced by 20th Television Animation, a part of Disney Television Studios, with Rough Draft Studios, Inc. contributing the animation.