Futurama has proven remarkably hard to kill. Now, the series that was canceled twice has cheated death once again. Via Variety, Hulu will revive Futurama for a brand-new season of 20 episodes. Series co-creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen will return to oversee the new episodes.
Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, and David Herman have all signed on to reprise their roles. However, there’s a chance that John DiMaggio will not return as the beloved robot Bender. Apparently, contract negotiations with DiMaggio have hit a standstill, but the producers remain hopeful that he will join his fellow cast members. If DiMaggio doesn’t sign on, Bender will be recast.
Futurama debuted in 1999 on Fox, and it featured West as Philip J. Fry, a pizza delivery guy who was accidentally placed in suspended animation. Upon awakening in the year 3000, Fry quickly befriended a robot named Bender and a cyclops named Leela (Sagal). After tracking down Fry’s distant relative, Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth (West), the trio joined his Planet Express delivery service.
Fox canceled the series after four seasons in 2003. But in 2009, 20th Century Fox’s home video division ordered four direct-to-video Futurama movies. They were successful enough for Comedy Central to order two new seasons in 2009. The show came to an end after 140 episodes in 2013. But if Hulu’s production schedule holds, the new Futurama episodes will arrive next year, almost 10 years after its last cancellation.
Hulu Originals President Craig Erwich released a statement about Futurama‘s return: “When presented with the opportunity to bring fans and viewers new episodes of Futurama, we couldn’t wait to dive in. This iconic series helped blaze the trail for the success of adult animation since its initial launch, and we look forward to Matt and David continuing to pave the way and further establish Hulu as the premier destination for fans of the genre.”
The Futurama creative team will reportedly begin working on the new episodes this month. All of the previous seasons are streaming on Hulu.