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Futurama Cancelled (Again) 390

Posted by samzenpus
from the bye-bye-bender dept.
eldavojohn writes "Bad news everybody. According to Entertainment Weekly, Futurama has been cancelled (again). The renewal of Futurama back onto television was met with great fanfare but sadly it appears that Futurama's luck has run out for a second time. The second half of season 7 will air from June 19th to September 4th and that will be it."
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Futurama Cancelled (Again)

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  • by mpdolan37 (675902) on Monday April 22, 2013 @01:44PM (#43517071)
    Wait. there will be no more 'Good news everyone!'
    • by Mitreya (579078) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ayertim>> on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:02PM (#43517273)
      So... how much Kickstarter money would they need to make another season...?

      Also, imagine how much money a guest voice role on Futurama could fetch!!

      • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:19PM (#43517463)

        Please don't. And I say this as a huge Futurama fan from the beginning. The Comedy Central episodes were just fucking awful, even worse than those movies they did. You just can't go home again.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by freeze128 (544774)
        The episodes are roughly 1 million dollars each, so I would estimate about $26 Million for another season.

        How much you got?
        • by Mitreya (579078)

          The episodes are roughly 1 million dollars each, so I would estimate about $26 Million for another season.

          Do you have any actual knowledge or are you just making stuff up?

          I remember reading that FireFly episodes were $1M+/episode which was part of the problem, but being a space western with decent special effects, that made sense. Props and full-time actors are expensive. However, if a 22-minute animated series episode costs $1M, then I am sure some cutbacks can be made...

          • by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Monday April 22, 2013 @04:23PM (#43518705)
            When Futurama first premiered in 2000, it was the most expensive cartoon on air to produce due to the quality and the mix of CG with hand drawn animation. That is part of the reason it was initially cancelled by Fox. It had more to do with the cost than the actual ratings. I don't think that is the case anymore, but still when you watch the opening sequence, realize that there are over 80 layers of animation in just that few second span.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Once again, the sandwitch heavy portfolio pays off!

    • by maroberts (15852)
      Hands up all those who read "Good News everyone!" in Professor Farnsworth's voice?!
  • No surprise, really. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @01:45PM (#43517083)
    The newer episodes just haven't had that same flare the older ones did.
    A couple of them even felt forced.
    Better end a series on a decent note than to drag it on forever (Simpsons, Family Guy, etc)
    • by Rotag_FU (2039670) on Monday April 22, 2013 @01:53PM (#43517169)

      I agree with you regarding the "movies" that were really just 4 episodes with a loosely coordinated plot-line. That seemed to be more about making the economics of reviving the show work (i.e., direct to video sales plus delayed airings on CC). However, I thought they really fell flat on their face and were not engaging. It was obvious that the writers just couldn't make a 2 hour plot line broken up into 4 parts work.

      However, I thought the follow-up season on CC was actually pretty decent. I would not argue that they were the best the series had to offer, but they seemed like worthwhile inclusions, imho.

      • by Thud457 (234763) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:03PM (#43517293) Homepage Journal
        Doesn't matter if they've been slipping. Throw in enough lame geek in-jokes and the fanbois will beat a golden path to your door.

        Right now, all the online content providers are looking to content creators to get brand lock-in.

        Who's gonna bring Futurama back from the dead again?
        Amazon?
        Hulu?
        Google?
        Netflix?

        It's inevitable.
      • by ackthpt (218170)

        I agree with you regarding the "movies" that were really just 4 episodes with a loosely coordinated plot-line. That seemed to be more about making the economics of reviving the show work (i.e., direct to video sales plus delayed airings on CC). However, I thought they really fell flat on their face and were not engaging. It was obvious that the writers just couldn't make a 2 hour plot line broken up into 4 parts work.

        However, I thought the follow-up season on CC was actually pretty decent. I would not argue that they were the best the series had to offer, but they seemed like worthwhile inclusions, imho.

        Oh, I'm certain they were excellent, but the problem is they became too familiar. You can only do Fry is an idiot, so many times and it ceases to be funny.

      • by sconeu (64226) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:08PM (#43517341) Homepage Journal

        The problem with the movies was that they all had a "MESSAGE" that was driven home with a sledgehammer (possible exception: Bender's Game).

        MESSAGE episodes are usually turn-offs. "Tonight, on a Very Special Futurama...."

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ShieldW0lf (601553)

        I loved Futurama when they were on Fox, but every episode I watched since they got picked up by CC felt like thinly veiled left-wing propaganda. I'd rather see them cancelled than carry on like this.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @04:22PM (#43518699)

          That was the thing: the original run had left wing "propaganda" in it, too (global warming, garbage, oil tankers, Al Gore, vegetarianism, etc.) but they always turned those things on their head to make them funny. I never felt like they were beating me over the head with their message. Instead, it just felt like a natural part of the story. More recently, though, there was less funny and more message, which just isn't really that fun. If I want to be preached at, I'll just surf the web.

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:05PM (#43517309) Homepage Journal

      The newer episodes just haven't had that same flare the older ones did.

      A couple of them even felt forced.

      Better end a series on a decent note than to drag it on forever (Simpsons, Family Guy, etc)

      Like Family Guy, IMHO, the jokes and themes were funny for a while, but wear thin in time. I can't even be bothered to see what's happening on the Simpsons, since I stopped watching it about ten years ago. Futurama has effectively flogged every dead horse the writers could find. Time to move on.

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        The Simpsons became a ghost ship a long time ago. The crew died, no one was at the helm, yet it kept sailing on--for no apparent reason and with no one particularly wanting it too. A like a ghost ship, it's a pretty hideous, decayed version of its former self--way more sad than noble now.

    • by evilRhino (638506) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:06PM (#43517323)
      The new seasons are worth it just for the evolution episode.
    • by KClaisse (1038258) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:10PM (#43517375)
      Couldn't agree more with this sentiment. The old episodes felt very clever and smart with their jokes often playing on scientific themes to make the punchline. That's what I really enjoyed about the original Futurama. After their comeback it seemed like they had changed to appeal to a wider audience, making more generalized jokes and story lines. I found early on I could predict the outcome of most episodes, at first anyway. By the end of their comeback the episodes were so disjointed it felt like the entire plot twisted two or three times an episodes. In the end I'm not even the least bit surprised they were canceled again. Fans like me were hoping and expecting Futurama to come right back to the old smart funny ways but were instead greeted with another generic cartoon spewing generic jokes to a futuristic theme. Maybe it was a mistake to come back in the first place, maybe they had a good run and should have been left with the cult following it had. Now its just a flop for the general audiences. C'est la vie.
    • Not a surprise at all. Comedy central needs that extra airtime for more tosh.o :P
      • Absolutely one of the worst shows on television. How Tosh.0 stays on the air at all is beyond me. It's basically some supposedly hipster-ish dude making snarky comments about busted-my-nuts-doing-something-stupid videos. Blecch!
  • Kickstarter (Score:4, Interesting)

    by F34nor (321515) on Monday April 22, 2013 @01:48PM (#43517121)

    Put you money where your mouth is.

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      Put you money where your mouth is.

      They could probably pull in A LOT of money for rewards like:

      a. Minor character designed in one's likeness
      b. Small guest voice-role opportunity

  • by Orleron (835910) on Monday April 22, 2013 @01:48PM (#43517129) Homepage
    Honestly not a bad run for any show. Can't see a reason to complain.
  • by rastoboy29 (807168) on Monday April 22, 2013 @01:50PM (#43517139) Homepage
    Don't bring a show back unless you can do it at similar quality as before.  Family Guy is a great example of the right way to do it.  Futurama is the wrong, sad, terrible way.
  • by UnCivil Liberty (786163) on Monday April 22, 2013 @01:50PM (#43517143)

    10 hours of Hypnotoad: http://bit.ly/13O13rl [bit.ly]

  • by N0Man74 (1620447) on Monday April 22, 2013 @01:51PM (#43517161)

    Maybe folks can petition asking Netflix to pick it up?

    Or... we can just let the show die and make room for new ideas and shows. I loved Futurama, but it's OK for shows to end, even good shows. It's better to die out than to see a show that drag on way too long.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday April 22, 2013 @01:56PM (#43517213) Journal

      Let the show die. The direct-to-video movies were by and large second rate, and the new season, while it had some high points, just didn't have the charm of the old seasons.

    • Maybe folks can petition asking Netflix to pick it up?

      Why would Netflix pay Matt Groening and the rest of the production and acting staff to work on more episodes of a series which has been cancelled twice?

    • The problem is Futurama is a lot better than other animated shows that Fox pays every year to bring back or start from scratch.

      Does anybody in America actually think Bob's Burgers is good other than apparently Fox and the series creators?

      Fox made a big deal out of Allen Gregory but I could tell from the trailer that it would be a big fail. What was it? A big fail.

      Napoleon Dynamite was actually good and outdrew Bob's Burgers but Fox could not give up quickly enough on it and kept Bob's Burge
      • Every now and then I will watch a new episode of American Dad and it's never funny any more.

        Then you missed "The Missing Kink" episode. That one was definitely hilarious (to me at least) with Francine enjoying Stan spanking her and then Stan going overboard on the kink.

        Hell, even the kinky principal and the hot tub guy were in the episode, and their expressions as Stan acted out his kink (apparently many known to mankind) were fantastic.

        While AD has its issues, it's not as bad as The Clevela
      • by flitty (981864)
        My wife and I are some of the few people out there who love Bob's Burgers. But, then again, I was a big Home Movies fan as well, which always had more cult status than actual success. When Bob's Burgers is "on", it's funnier than nearly any other show out there.

        I mean, a science fair project that is a musical between Thomas Edison and the elephant he electrocuted... How is that not hilarious?
      • Does anybody in America actually think Bob's Burgers is good other than apparently Fox and the series creators?

        Yes. Do you always assume that anyone who differs with you over sense of humour must be in a minority?

        Fox made a big deal out of Allen Gregory but I could tell from the trailer that it would be a big fail. What was it? A big fail.

        Oh, so you're the guy who's opinions always exactly mirror the public at large? Oh, no, wait, you can't be, because that guy would be too busy banging models on his private tropical island rolling on a bed stuffed with the rest of the billions of dollars he's made.

        Every now and then I will watch a new episode of American Dad and it's never funny any more [in my opinion]. Even Family Guy is hit or miss [in my opinion]. Sometimes it's great [in my opinion]. Sometimes it's not even a little bit funny [in my opinion].

        FTFY.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:07PM (#43517331) Homepage

    It's the perfect time and subject for an experiment I have been considering. I think that broadcast networks are no longer needed or perhaps simply not quite so necessary. If Groening were to keep a team of enthusiast artists and the original voice actors, I would be willing to bet people would subscribe to Futurama online paying micro payments or simply not worry about that and they can sell ad space on their own streaming host server. The point being that the internet has enabled much. And publishing and continuing a favorite TV series is probably a good thing to try.

    It's too late for "Firefly" (or is it?) but maybe not for Futurama... and seriously, without network censors?? It'll be WAY better.

    • by TWiTfan (2887093)

      Groening had nothing to do with Futurama, other than lending his name to it. I don't even think he was the showrunner on the Simpsons after the first season. If you listen to the commentary tracks on either series, you'll probably understand why (while everyone else talks about the writing and satire that made those series great, all he talks about is the animation, as if people were tuning into the Simpsons for the animation quality).

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:14PM (#43517417)
    Hollywood can grunt out a live action version. Hey, it worked for the Flintstones!
    • Hollywood can grunt out a live action version. Hey, it worked for the Flintstones!

      Quick! Mod this down into oblivion, before the Hollyweird trolls get any ideas!

      Now we just have to hope they don't read /. at -1...

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      Imagine if they used the voice cast for the live action version. Not a single character could even be made to look like the person they portray except maybe Phil Lamarr and Katey Sagal. But even that wouldn't be easy.

  • but its been cancelled?
    why not zoidberg??
    • by Thud457 (234763)
      wait, Futurama hasn't even completed the standard phases of sitcomage:
      • wedding
      • cute kid
      • inexplicable actor replacement
      • jumping the shark - in Futurama's case Fry literally has to jump the space-shark

      Then Zoidberg, Scruffy and Zapp Brannigan all get short-lived spin-off series.

      • You forgot Ted McGinley

      • Re:another futurama? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Darth_brooks (180756) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {773reppilc}> on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:02PM (#43517893) Homepage

        Cute Kid: Hubert (who was added explicitly as the annoying 'cute' kid.)

        Wedding: That's the last episode, according to the rag sheets

        Inexplicable actor replacement: WELSHIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (ok, granted, it was a guest star, and was done only because James Doohan politely declined to do the Star Trek episode)

        So other than that you've got Jumping the Shark, which most folks would call the movies. I'd fine with the show either way. It had a nice run, even if the comedy central episodes didn't quite have that mind blowing awesomeness (which, who knows, maybe after a few years in reruns they'll develop.)

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:32PM (#43517601) Journal

    TFA (maybe not this FA, but some FA I read this morning before I saw it on Slashdot) says that Groening is looking for another home for the show as "we still have more stories to tell". I know I know, they always say that, but all I'm saying is, Groening reportedly has not made the decision to irrevocably end the show. So it's not exactly like the browncoat thing, where sad overweight acne-encrusted fans in poorly made costumes plead with... I'm sorry, did I say that out loud?

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:43PM (#43517693) Homepage Journal

    Fine, I'll go make my own TV show! With blackjack! and hookers!

    In fact, forget the TV show!

  • by rabtech (223758) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:59PM (#43517859) Homepage

    If the rumors are to be believed, Futurama cost $1.3 million per episode to produce back in 2003 during the original run. We know Comedy Central gave them a smaller budget this time around, so let's just assume a million per episode.

    So let us say we all want to fund a season of Futurama (putting our money where our mouth is):

    16 episode season x $1,000,000 = $16,000,000.

    Now assume the average audience is 2 million. Some would be willing to pay, some would not. But assume the lost TV viewers are made up for with the DVD buyers (who are worth a lot more). That works out to around $8/person to fund a season.

    If I had the option, I would gladly pay $8-$10 per season.

    For reference, AMC's Mad Men cost between $2-2.5 million per episode. In the first season, it didn't even break a million viewers. The second season had 2 million, same as Futurama.

    I don't believe the economics are at the root of the cancellation; it's probably an executive trying to make their mark by shaking up programming and cancelling Futurama makes way for his/her pet project - one they can take credit for launching.

    • by Guspaz (556486)

      Netflix is willing to spend $100 million on 26 episodes of things like House of Cards, an average of about $3.85 million each. It's not inconceivable that they might be willing to spend $1 million an episode on Futurama.

    • This exact thing happened to MST3K *twice*.

      New numbnuts execs come into the channel and delete the cult show because they don't understand the appeal and want to make their mark.

      It was felt by MST3K fans that it was canceled in favor of the The Daily Show. Not the current decent version of the Daily Show, but the shitty Craig Kilborn version of the Daily Show.

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