The cult animated television show, Futurama, is making yet another triumphant return after being cancelled in 2013.
It’s official, Futurama is making yet another revival with the original creators and voice cast, with one exception.
The announcement comes after months of negotiations with Hulu. The deal consists of 20 new episodes from original creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen which will premiere in 2023 on Hulu.
The majority of the voice cast is returning too, including Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, and David Herman. The only one missing is John DiMaggio, who voices the iconic Bender, amongst half a dozen others.
A decision was made for the role of Bender to be recast ahead of the first big table read on Monday, according to Deadline. The reason for this was due to a collapse in negotiations between DiMaggio and Futurama studio, 20thTelevision Animation. The good news is that there is a desire on both sides to have DiMaggio on board.
According to sources acquired by Deadline, the offer to DiMaggio was in line with those for fellow leads Billy West (Fry) and Katey Sagal (Leela). West and Sagal went back and forth but ultimately reached a deal while DiMaggio felt the proposal was not competitive based on the success and name recognition of the original series.
The 20 new episodes will run in two batches in what will be the show’s third revival. It had a rocky relationship at Fox who canned the show in 2003 during the fourth season. It was brought back in 2007 with four direct-to-DVD films that were then cut-up and aired by Comedy Central as 30-minute episodes. Comedy Central ordered new seasons of the show but it was cancelled again in 2013 after three years.
David X. Cohen is very excited to return, “I’m thrilled to have another chance to think about the future… or really anything other than the present.”
Matt Groening added, “It’s a true honour to announce the triumphant return of Futurama one more time before we get cancelled abruptly again.”
President of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, Craig Erwich, said, “When presented with the opportunity to bring fans and viewers new episodes of Futurama, we couldn’t wait to dive in. This iconic series helped blaze the trail for the success of adult animation since its initial launch and we look forward to Matt & David continuing to pave the way and further establishing Hulu as the premiere destination for fans of the genre.”
Head of 20th Television Animation, Marci Proietto, said that this is a great situation for Futurama, “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. 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.”
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