Futurama Returns! - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Futurama Returns!

Good news, everyone! After getting cryogenically frozen out from the prime-time schedule, Futurama is coming back, bigger than ever.

During a panel discussion Saturday at the Comic-Con Convention in San Diego, the masterminds behind Fox's Emmy-winning sci-fi-spoofing animated series, Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, revealed that four full-length straight-to-DVD movies are in the works, which 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will roll out beginning in the fall.

The first film, Futurama: Bender's Big Score, arrives in stores on Nov. 27. It will follow pizza delivery boy Fry and the rest of Planet Express gang as they fight to save the world from nudist alien Internet scammers who send Bender back to the pre-global warming past in a scheme to plunder the Earth of its greatest riches.

Al Gore, whose head turned up in couple of Futurama episodes and whose daughter Kristin was a staff writer for two years, will be back for a cameo appearance. Other guest stars include Sarah Silverman and Coolio.

According to the brain trust, all the principal writers, producers, and original voice cast-including Billy West (Fry, Dr. Zoidberg, Professor Farnsworth), John Di Maggio (Bender) and Katey Sagal (Leela)-who worked on Futurama during its bumpy 1999-2003 run on Fox, will be back for the DVD movies.

The other three features are titled Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs, Futurama: Bender's Game and Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder.

Groening and Cohen screened a five-minute trailer for Bender's Big Score, drawing raves from the hundreds of fanboys in attendance. Devotees were also treated to a live reading of a Futurama comic book and given a complimentary issue, courtesy of Groening's Bongo Comics.

The Futurama announcement comes six months after Fox initiated talks to revive the 'toon, and after the studio's staggeringly high sales for Family Guy's first direct-to-DVD feature offering, Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story.

Despite three Emmy wins, including a 2002 trophy for Best Animated Series, Futurama was deep-sixed in 2003 after five seasons due to low ratings.

But Futurama refused to go quietly. Reruns of the show's 72-episode library began airing on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and did so well that Comedy Central signed a deal in June 2006 to bring the comedy back with 13 new half-hour episodes scheduled to run next year.

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