In a move that will give hope to every Johnny and Suzie Save-My-Show petitioning the powers that be, 20th Century Fox and Comedy Central have announced that they are bringing back Futurama. Not as another series of overlong, underplotted movies but as a twenty-six episode season. Another miracle wrought by the powerful combination of technology and consumer whoredom! Like your show? Better buy those DVDs!
My, but the laws of television are a lot more flexible these days. Futurama isn’t even the first animated show to be revived after a premature death, though it is decidedly the better one. Ratings-poor shows can get a second chance—thanks more to fans patronizing fast food restaurants than mailing nuts to studio heads—while cash cows come with fixed expiration dates. We don’t even have to wait three decades for remakes of long-cancelled shows! What kind of crazy alternate box universe are we living in? (I don’t particularly care so long as it’s not that creepy bobble-head one.)
Now that Futurama has defied the odds, every Browncoat, ‘Scaper, and Daisies-pusher is going to be clamoring for a little slice of that resurrection pie. They should, of course, be careful what they wish for. (Two words: Bender’s Game.) Odds are good we’ll be seeing more than just familiar letters (like V or B, S, and G) coming to premiere weeks near us. But what if the goods are odd? Like tentacle god-odd?
Perhaps it won’t matter? Yivo knows, I set aside money for the Futurama movies, sight-unseen, the minute they were announced a few years ago. The serial disappointments of Bender’s Big Score, The Beast With A Billion Backs, and Bender’s Game have deprived me of any urge to watch Into the Wild Green Yonder. However, watching the Futurama movies only proves that the show worked best over its half-hour format, which is how the new season will be produced. The return to the original format might just be a Yivo-send. This show won an Emmy, once. (Quick: name that episode!) You think they’d have taken the hint.
Regardless, I’m a sucker for projects that reunite the original cast of anything. Yeah, I’ll defend Star Trek: The Motion Picture if need be. (It gave us Wrath of Khan, people!) I also approve of Billy West being kept in voice work until his senility. Besides, if the new season does decent in the ratings, we might just get a long-awaited spin-off. If Fox can resurrect Family Guy and throw in the truly atrocious American Dad to keep Seth MacFarlane happy, then Comedy Central owes us at least one season of Everybody Loves Hypnotoad. It could be The Colbert Report to Futurama‘s The Daily Show.