'Futurama' Reborn at Comedy Central
New episodes on tap for 2008
The animated series, which last aired an original episode in 2003, will go back into production on at least 13 new episodes. The fresh installments will begin airing in 2008, also the date the show moves from Cartoon Network's Adult Swim to Comedy Central.
"We are thrilled that [creator] Matt Groening and 20th Century Fox Television have decided to produce new episodes of 'Futurama' and that Comedy Central will be the first to air them," says David Bernath, senior vice president of programming at the network. "There is a deep and passionate fan base for this intelligent and very funny show that matches perfectly with our audience, and it is great that we can offer them not just the existing library, but something they've never seen as well."
The deal for the new episodes enhances Comedy Central's deal with 20th Century Fox to air existing episodes of "Futurama." Comedy Central paid a reported $30 million for the rights to air the show's 72 episodes starting in 2008, after the current agreement with Cartoon Network expires.
The show's resurrection is reminiscent of another left-for-dead FOX cartoon, "Family Guy." Since its 2003 cancellation, 20th Century Fox has made a nice chunk of change on the Cartoon Network and Comedy Central deals, and DVD sales of the show have been healthy as well, though not as strong as the record-setting "Family Guy" numbers that helped bring that show back to FOX.
Cast members Billy West, Katey Sagal and John DiMaggio have all agreed to reprise their voice roles. West voices several characters, including lead guy Fry; Sagal plays the one-eyed alien pilot Leela, and DiMaggio voices self-centered robot Bender.