Futurama DVD / Merchandise
Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons) began developing Futurama when Fox started showing interest in a new animated series in the mid-90s. Groening brought in David X. Cohen to co-develop, and after around 4 years of work, the series was launched in 1999. Futurama ran for 7 seasons with a total of 124 episodes. The series won 7 Annie Awards and 6 Emmy Awards while it was on the air.
About the series
Futurama is an American animated sitcom with a distinctive science fiction theme, and unconventional sense of humor that quickly won the series a cult following. The series follows Philip J Fry (Billy West), a pizza delivery guy who accidentally becomes cryogenically frozen on New Years Eve of 1999. The young man awakes in 2999 to discover that the world he knew has changed dramatically. New New York now stands on the ruins of Old New York, and technology has advanced dramatically. Fry finds new companions in Turanga Leela (Katey Sagal), a purple haired, one-eyed space captain, and Bender the robot (John DiMaggio). Futurama follows the adventures of the trio as they work for the Planet Express Corporation, delivering packages throughout the galaxy.
Production Companies – The Curiosity Company, 20th Century Fox Television, 20th Century Fox Television (listed as “30th Century Fox Television”)
Executive Producers – Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, Ken Keeler (from Season 4 onwards)
Animation/Overseas Production – Rough Draft Studios
The complexity of animation used in Futurama and the sheer amount of work involved meant that it could take between six and nine months to produce each episode. Exact data on production costs is not available, but fans have suggested that it may be comparable to other animated series such as Family Guy ($1 million per episode) or South Park ($1.3 million per episode).
Futurama's first episode premièred on US television on 28 March 1999 on Fox. It has also been shown on Adult Swim and Comedy Central. Other networks which aired the series include Seven, Fox 8 and Network 10 in Australia, Channel 4 and Sky in the UK, Antena 3, Fox Spain and La Sexta in Spain, and Jack TV in the Philippines.
In February 2017, Fox Interactive and TinyCo announced that a Futurama game for mobile devices is in development. Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow will include new original content by the creators of the series.
Futurama fans have faced the loss of their favourite series not once but twice.
Matt Groening mentioned in various interviews that, from the outset, Fox did not like Futurama and that the broadcasting company had initially tried to gain control over episode content. After the first 13 episodes, Fox executives stated that they had some concerns over edgy themes of the series. However, Groening felt that it was important to maintain creative control (as with The Simpsons) and was successful in doing so.
However, throughout the early seasons, Fox changed the airing times of the series on several occasions, and showed episodes out of order, both of which had a negative impact on viewer figures. The result was that the first “ending” of the series was announced part of the way through production of Season 4. Rather than cancelling the show outright, Fox simply stopped buying any further episodes. Aware that fans would be upset if the series ended without some sense of conclusion, Episode 18 of Season 4, The Devil's Hand Are Idle Playthings was written as a finale.
Matt Groening and other creators were interested in continuing with Futurama, albeit with a different approach to the short episodes that they had been producing. They considered a movie or direct to DVD release as an alternative. Between 2007 and 2009, four direct to DVD movies were released, which were later broken down into episodes to be aired on television.
Cartoon Network's Adult Swim obtained syndication rights in 2002, and the episodes were well received, gaining new fans who joined the many existing ones who were keen to see more of Futurama.
In 2009, Comedy Central bought syndication rights for Futurama. In June of the same year, 20th Century Fox announced that 26 new 30 minute episode would air on Comedy Central. There was some controversy over salary negotiations with fears that the original voice talents would be replaced, however all the cast members did eventually choose to return.
In March 2011, Futurama was renewed for Season 7. However in 2013, Comedy Central announced that the final episode of Futurama would be aired on 4 September 2014. It was suggested that they would consider fan feedback with regards to bringing back the series in the future.
Though fans of Futurama managed to get the series brought back from its first cancellation, their attempts after the end of Season 7 have been largely unsuccessful. Along with online petitions and letter-writing, some fans joined forces for the Anchovies for Fry campaign. As yet, these fan efforts have been unsuccessful.
Petition to Comedy Central, Netflix, TBS, Fox to save Futurama (26,267 signatures, now closed) http://www.thepetitionsite.com/es/956/648/940/save-futurama-again/
AFF - Anchovies for Fry Campaign
Encouraged by the success of Roswell fans (who sent Tabasco sauce to Warner Brothers executives, and managed to get the series extended), Futurama aficionados started the AFF – Anchovies for Fry campaign. The campaign was a reference to Fry's love of the preserved fish, which are extinct in the world of Futurama, and in particular, to the popular episode A Fishful of Dollars. Fans planned to send canned anchovies to Gail Berman, president of Fox Broadcasting. However, the campaign did not draw enough interest to gain a reaction from Fox.
Save Futurama Again
The Save Futurama Again campaign was started by fans with the hope of gaining attention of producers. Alongside signing petitions, fans encouraged each other to write to and email, as well a posting their feelings about the show's cancellation on social media sites using the hashtag #savefuturamaagain.