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Next 'Futurama' DTV Release Due June 24

3 Apr, 2008 By: John Latchem

Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs

The second title in 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's DTV slate of “Futurama” DVDs debuts June 24 (prebook May 28), with Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs.

An animated sci-fi parody from “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, “Futurama” chronicles the adventures of a spaceship crew in the 31st century. The latest story follows Bender, Fry, Leela and the rest of the Planet Express team as they deal with a repulsive planet-sized monster from another dimension, with sensuous results.

Beast With a Billion Backs is the second of four DTV movies commissioned by Fox since the original series ended in 2003. Reruns of “Futurama,” like another former Fox network cast-off, “Family Guy,” became a popular staple of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim line-up. This success, and strong DVD sales, led to “Family Guy” returning with new episodes. Not long after, Comedy Central acquired the rights to “Futurama” and asked for new episodes to add to the rerun package.

The first “Futurama” DTV, Bender's Big Score, enjoyed brisk sales on par with the four previously released “Futurama” season sets, according to Nielsen VideoScan.

The four DTV movies will be split into four new episodes each, creating a fifth season of 16 episodes. The episodic versions of Bender's Big Score debuted on Comedy Central March 23.

The $29.98 Beast With a Billion Backs DVD includes commentary from cast and crew; the half-hour “Futurama: The Lost Adventure,” an episode produced for a video game; the behind-the-scenes featurette “Meet Yivo!”; “A Brief History of Deathball” featurette; deleted scenes; storyboards, animatics and 3-D models with animator discussions; and a sneak peek at the third movie, Bender's Game.

As with Bender's Big Score, Fox promises carbon-neutral DVD packaging. Information about the environmentally friendly production of the DVD is available at newscorp.com/energy.

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