Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Futurama Returns

Futurama was created as a companion piece to the Simpsons. Originally Fox showed it immediately after the Simpsons but the later player with the schedule, showing it at 7:00. In addition, once they started carrying football, the games always lasted until 8:00 or later so Futurama was only seen for the second half of the season. Between the earlier time and reduced exposure, it's audience averaged half that of the Simpsons. Since Fox ordered full seasons worth of episodes but only showed half-seasons, Futurama continued for a season after Fox stopped ordering new episodes.

This was a shame. The show started out amusing and got progressively better as time passed. Its best episodes were in its final season and it went out on a high note with Fry, the main character, exchanging his hands with the Robot Devil in order to gain the musical ability needed to make Lela love him (the Robot Devil got his hands back at the end leaving the show on an ambiguous note).

Cartoon Central bought the rights to the show and it quickly became a staple. When the rights expired Comedy Central picked it up and commissioned four made-for-DVD movies that could be cut into four episodes each. These in turn were popular enough that Comedy Central just announced that they are ordering 26 new episodes.