"We are thrilled that Matt Groening and 20th Century Fox Television have decided to produce new episodes of Futurama and that Comedy Central will be the first to air them," said David Bernath, the cable net's senior VP.It’s great to see networks recognizing (if belatedly) quality shows and making the effort to revive them. It’s likely that the animated nature of these two examples makes it easier to recreate – the characters haven’t aged, the voice talent isn’t tied up in another series – than a live action show. Could reruns and DVDs save Arrested Development? Probably not.
"There is a deep and passionate fan base for this intelligent and very funny show that matches perfectly with our audience, and it is great that we can offer them not just the existing library but something they've never seen as well," Bernath told the Hollywood Reporter, via eonline.
Of course much like Zombie Jesus, Family Guy looked right during its Second Coming but soon proved to be a shadow of its former self. Funny at first, it soon devolved into slapstick, mean-spiritedness and shock for it’s own sake. And I say this as a fan from the original broadcast: It just isn’t funny any more.
On the other hand I’ve been watching and re-watching reruns of Futurama (and I own the DVDs) and have recently found myself wishing there were more episodes. It’s a great mix of pop culture parody and sci-fi references and, dare I say, better than The Simpsons. At least better than the late season episodes.
The new shows aren’t due out until 2008 (damn those long animation lag times) and voice actors Billy West (Fry, Zoidberg, the Professor), Katey Sagal (Leela) and John DiMaggio (Bender) have all singed on to reprise their roles. I really hope they get this one right. If they don’t they can bite my shiny metal ass.