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Futurama revived for 20 new episodes by Hulu

Fry, Leela and co. are expected to return at some point next year

By Tom Skinner

a still from animated sci-fi Futurama showing Fry and Leela
'Futurama' still. CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

‘Futurama’ is set to return with 20 new episodes, it has been reported.

The animated sci-fi series, created by Matt Groening (‘The Simpsons’), ran for four seasons between 1999 and 2003. After being cancelled mid-way through its fourth run, the show returned in 2008 for a further three seasons. Its final episode aired in September 2013.

According to Variety, US streaming platform Hulu has now revived ‘Futurama’. It’s said that production on 20 new episodes of the show will begin this month, with the aim of a 2023 premiere. UK viewers will be able to tune in via Disney+, where the complete box set of the series is currently housed.

Matt Groening is onboard alongside ‘Futurama”s original co-developer David X. Cohen.

Variety claims that original cast members Billy West (who plays Philip J Fry), Katey Sagal (Turanga Leela), Tress MacNeille (‘Mom’), Maurice LaMarche (Kif Kroker), Lauren Tom (Dr Amy Wong), Phil LaMarr (Inspector Hermes Conrad) and David Herman (Brain Spawn) have all signed up to return.

John DiMaggio, who portrayed the robot Bender among other characters, is currently not involved. Producers reportedly hope to secure the actor, but would recast the character if they are unsuccessful.

Following the reports of the revival, however, DiMaggio tweeted the following update: “Thanks for the concern and the props, everyone. I really appreciate it. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted, but until then… CHEESE IT! #bendergate.”

He also retweeted various calls from fans for Bender to return.

Groening said of the revival news: “It’s a true honour to announce the triumphant return of ‘Futurama’ one more time before we get cancelled abruptly again.”

Cohen added: “I’m thrilled to have another chance to think about the future… or really anything other than the present.”

Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, explained: “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 establishing Hulu as the premiere destination for fans of the genre.”

‘Futurama’ gained a strong cult following and was also nominated for 14 Emmy Awards in total, winning six, including Best Animated Program.