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Television

David X. Cohen Talks About Futurama's New Season 246

Posted by timothy
from the bachelor-chow dept.
joelkeller writes "I spoke to David X. Cohen, executive producer of Futurama, about the upcoming season, which premieres on June 24 on Comedy Central. He talks about the season finale (!) and how the show is always on the precipice of cancellation."
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David X. Cohen Talks About Futurama's New Season

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  • Good News Everyone! (Score:3, Informative)

    by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:49PM (#32671804)
    Don't forget to set your DVR's for the new episodes starting tomorrow...
    • by danomac (1032160) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:15PM (#32672006)
      Dammit, anyone know if it's airing in Canada? It doesn't look like it (at least on the Comedy Network or on the Global TV here.) :(
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hurricane78 (562437)

      Tomorrow? The second episode [eztv.it] is already out. Watched it yesterday.

  • So what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bi$hop (878253)
    Personally, I think it's always on the precipice of cancellation because it's never been as good as The Simpsons (although The Simpsons has been less and less entertaining over the last few years).
    • Re:So what? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:59PM (#32671878)
      The last time the Simpsons was funny was in.. oh 1999?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cthubik (1588847)
        I completely agree, the Simpsons hasn't been funny or clever for many years and should have been canceled many, many seasons ago. The writing was once above average, now it is just pathetic to watch to anyone who isn't a simpleton (average sitcom writing). Futurama, however, is actually really funny.
      • by Jenming (37265)

        The Simpson continues to be funny. It does not, however, really change. Luckily for them there keep being new people and so this isn't too much of an issue.

    • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:16PM (#32672014) Homepage

      The Simpsons has a broad appeal to the typical soccer mom family. Futurama is a nerdy show which was a Leela/Fry romance about as awkward as The Big Bang Theory with a lobster from outer space. Futurama has to hit home runs with their target demographic because it's small, the Simpsons haven't done that in years. They keep being sufficiently successful because they don't age, every year there's a new year's worth of children identifying themselves with Bart and Lisa. Live actors won't be the same, for example right now we have the Harry Potter generation, people that grew up alongside the actors but the next generation will find someting else. They might still watch the Simpsons though.

      • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Joe Tie. (567096) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:39PM (#32672174)
        a Leela/Fry romance about as awkward as The Big Bang Theory

        I'd say the exact opposite there. The big bang theory has romances that are awkward because they don't fit. There's no reason for the people dating in that show to be dating. There's no chemistry, and the writers just never seem to know what to do with them together. Fry/Leela are great because the characters are well written. Each has issues of abandonment and isolation within the greater society at large which act as a common bond.
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

    I saw the first two episodes last night, and they were just okay. *shrug* I'd say the second episode is better than the first, though, especially Amy's reaction to the potential end of the world.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You mean when she realizes she's a ghost?

    • by Vrallis (33290) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:05PM (#32672392) Homepage

      I agree the second was better than the first, though I also thought the double take by the guys *after* Amy's reaction was even better ("Oh wait, will you guys be there too? Ummm maybe not!").

      I love Futurama, but not just for the intellectual side. How many comedy cartoons have had really good tear-jerker moments? Fry's dog, the story of his five-leaf clover, Leela's parents, etc. That's a damned rare thing for me, and like most guys pretty hard to admit, but Futurama's been able to pull it off more than a couple times.

    • by russlar (1122455)

      I saw the first two episodes last night, and they were just okay. *shrug*

      Bite my shiny metal ass.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:58PM (#32671876)

    The reason why Fox ruined the original airings of Futurama was because they slotted it at 7:30pm on Sundays... a time slot that got murdered by NFL runovers in the Eastern and Central time zones. Fans couldn't reliably tune in because they didn't know if the episode would air, if the episode would be joined in progress, or if the entire airing would be deleted by an overtime NFL game. Fox's policy of running Sunday primetime as soon as possible... either at 7pm sharp if there was no NFL game, or as soon as it concluded if there was one, made whether Futurama's slot would air and when dependent on which NFL game your city saw that afternoon.

    What a mess... since getting the NFL, Fox never had a successful Sunday 7pm hour. A few years after repeated throwing good shows into a bad time slot, they finally got the clue. Fox Sports now produces a postgame show called The OT (a play-on-words based on The OC, which this show has outlasted) that is joined like the halftime show as each game concludes, and can show bonus coverage of games still going to stations that get stuck with an early finish, and always ends at 8pm ET sharp. Thanks for watching Fox NFL Sunday, The Simpsons is next.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pharmboy (216950)

      Fox hasn't learned anything. Remember, this is the network that cancelled Firefly.

      • Firefly was also the victim of bad scheduling on Fox's part... local stations were allowed to show local MLB coverage on Fridays, and that led to new episodes airing at 1:43am or such after the game's conclusion and a delayed late local newscast.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bigstrat2003 (1058574) *

          I don't know about that. I suspect that Firefly was the victim of the fact that not many people enjoyed it. The fanbase is devoted, but pretty damn small.

          I personally couldn't stand it, and I was predisposed to enjoy it, because I generally enjoy sci-fi (unlike most people). It's not that difficult to believe that the masses saw nothing to like, and the show was canceled as a result.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ailnlv (1291644)

      So what exactly killed arrested development and family guy?

      • by Surt (22457) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:54PM (#32672776) Homepage Journal

        I'm pretty sure that arrested development was killed by a yacht explosion.

      • by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:08PM (#32672840)

        Arrested Development had too many big-name stars, and therefore a bloated budget. It was popular, but not popular enough to justify its production costs. Remember, the object of the TV game is to make money, not keep fans happy.

        Family Guy was also on the Sunday post-NFL schedule and not given right-of-way over The Simpsons, and therefore also killed by the same factors that did in Futurama.
         

      • by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:30PM (#32672988)
        Probably the fact that it was on Fox. Fox has a pretty well established reputation for dooming shows via incompetent scheduling and unrealistic expectations. I can pretty much guarantee that had Seinfeld been on Fox it would've been canceled before the second season. I'm not personally a fan of that show, but most of the fans seem to agree that it got funnier the more episodes you saw. Had Fox bought it they would never have allowed it to get big before canceling it.

        Fortunately now that shows are available on DVD shortly after or even while still being produced, people do have some ability to say that they want that show back. Which is sort of what has given Family Guy the ability to come back from the dead twice.
    • by antdude (79039)

      FOX should had used Futurama after The Simpsons instead of King of the Hills. It would had been Matt Groening's animated hour! Also, this was way before Family Guy, American Dad, and [shudders] Cleveland Show were shown.

      • That's where it started, but got kicked because the post-Simpsons slot had already been promised to Malcom in the Middle. Therefore, the Matt hour was supposed to be 7:30-8:30... but 7:30pm was the slot 'o death as described earlier.
        • by antdude (79039)

          Hmm, I don't even remember seeing Futurama at 8:30 PM PDT. FYI, this was in L.A. so maybe it was different in other cities/time zones?

    • by Darinbob (1142669)
      Worse is when the game ends with plenty of time, and yet the next show is STILL preempted because of the post game chat...
      • That's only the case with the Super Bowl and conference championship games where they're required to visit the winning locker room to show off the logo clothing that will be on sale in the morning all over the team's area. Most post-game shows have been banished to cable networks where it's sports talk pre-empting talk of other sports....

    • by morari (1080535)

      If I recall correctly, King of the Hill aired in that time slot, immediately before The Simpsons, for quite a while. That show is still going strong. Of course, I also tend to think that King of the Hill is probably one of the funniest cartoon comedies, especially as it goes on. It's much more satirical than most and not as over-the-top in its humor or references. It feels more organic and doesn't degrade itself with random bits of "wtf humor" as Family Guy (and most others to some extent) so famously does.

  • by Tanks*Guns (587234) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:00PM (#32671894)
    Fry, it's been years since medical school, so remind me. Disemboweling in your species, fatal or non-fatal?
  • by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:27PM (#32672084) Journal

    Futurama's been on the air so long they should name the season-1 DVD's "Pastarama".

  • by rshol (746340) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:41PM (#32672190)

    Death,

    By snu snu!!

    Carry on.

  • Yay same universe (Score:2, Informative)

    by Beerdood (1451859)
    After the wormhole plunge in the 4th movie, I was a little worried they'd be somewhere new with only their core characters if more new episodes came out. Nice to know Zapp Brannigan is still around.
    • For me it was the other way around. I thought: Yes! Finally we’ll have a chance to get rid of that horrible horrible part of the world for good! Really. More Zoidberg and weirdness! Less Brannagan & co!

  • the season premier.
    That's not good new at all. also, it's a lie.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by macara (1813628)
      Phew, for a moment there I thought i'd have to order more Torgo Executive Powder.
  • David brings up Fox a few times in the interview and seems to imply that they still are a part of this new season? Do they somehow still hold some of the rights to Futurama and are just 'leasing' them to Viacom right now? (Forgive my lack of knowledge if there is a better word to be used there.)

    He also goes so far as to talk about Fox when discussing a real feature length movie. So given that Viacom easily has the resources, if they were so inclined, and are no stranger to movies themselves further makes

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I believe the distinction is that Futurama is produced by 20th Century Fox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20th_Century_Fox), which is not exactly the same as the Fox TV Channel that killed their distribution originally (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_TV). So, I think 20th Century Fox still owns the rights to production and Viacom/Comedy Central are just acting as new distributors.
  • Remember waaaay back when the Simpsons offered stirring emotional and psychological insights into the world and its people through humor? When the show had a soul and used satire with a light hand?

    I do. That was a long, long time ago.

    Futurama never had a soul. -Which is a shame, because it could have done. It offers a huge and fun world to explore, but it never gets serious for even a second, none of the characters speak to me. Sure, it's clever and witty, and it made me chuckle a few times, but that's

    • by delinear (991444) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @06:01AM (#32675800)
      No soul? Nothing to say about the people? Okay, it doesn't force the sentimentality down your throat like some shows (and that's a good thing IMO), but there are many moving moments - the four leaf clover episode gets me no matter how many times I watch it with subtle overtones of sibling rivalry overruled by brotherly love spread over a thousand years, and with comedic intervention throughout to stop it becoming too cloying. It's an incredibly clever piece of television because of the human insight.
    • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:03AM (#32678140) Homepage

      Futurama never had a soul. -Which is a shame, because it could have done. It offers a huge and fun world to explore, but it never gets serious for even a second

      Are you fucking *kidding* me? Have you never watched "Jurassic Bark", "Luck of the Fryfish", or "The Sting"? The Simpsons had some brilliant, emotional moments in it's golden years, but Futurama is easily its equal.

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