It's Back, Baby!25 Jul, 2009 By: Stephanie Prange
It’s back to the future for executive producer David X. Cohen — again.
After Fox canceled “Futurama” in 2003, Cohen, co-creator Matt Groening and their team revived the animated rerun hit in four direct-to-disc movies released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The final movie, Into the Wild Green Yonder, debuted in February.
Last month, the show got the green light on 26 new episodes for Comedy Central (Fox retains the broadcast-network rights), joining “Family Guy” as the only series to be canceled but put back into production based on strong DVD sales.
“There were rumors [revival] was under discussion,” Cohen says. “Part of it was they were checking to see the final tally on the DVDs.”
“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane not only provided the blueprint for renewal, but helped out on the last “Futurama” movie as well. MacFarlane — who is a surprisingly good singer — croons a Rat Pack-esque ditty to open Into the Wild Green Yonder.
“We had a tip that if you asked him to sing, he would make time to be on the DVD,” Cohen says.
Billy West, the voice of Fry on “Futurama,” is also glad it’s back.
“It’s my favorite show I’ve ever done,” he says. “Fry is written so charmingly stupid. He’s this delightfully charming meathead.”
The new episodes should debut in mid-2010 on Comedy Central.
“I’m wondering where they’ll go with it,” West says. “I’ve been sitting around waiting for [Leela and Fry] to get married for the longest time. I like the sensitive stuff.”
There may be another surprise from “Futurama” at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International. Cohen sent this tease for the show’s panel: “See a Fox executive appear live on stage to tell us whether we are renewed or not. We’re going to try to follow through on it.”