20th Century Fox Television has done it again: Matt Groening and David X. Cohen’s brilliantly subversive animated sci-fi comedy “Futurama” will return to production on 26 new half-hour episodes more than six years after the series aired its last original episode.
“Futurama” was a staple of Fox’s Sunday night animation block from 1999 to 2003 before ceasing production on original episodes. In June 2006, Comedy Central acquired the rights to the existing 72 episodes of the series, which the channel began airing in January 2008, and four recently-produced extended length “Futurama” adventures: “Bender’s Big Score“, “The Beast with a Billion Backs“, “Bender’s Game” and “Into the Wild Green Yonder“, which enjoyed enormous success both on Comedy Central and in DVD release.
This new deal marks the show’s return to episodic series production on original episodes. “Futurama” becomes only the second series in the history of the medium to go back into production based on the strength of its DVD sales and repeat airings on cable.
The new episodes will be available in mid 2010 to be shown on Comedy Central. Twentieth Century Fox Television retains the option to license the original runs of the new episodes to a broadcast network.