Cries of joy were heard for dozens of parsecs in every direction when Comedy Central facilitated Futurama's return in fall 2010. Today the network ordered another 26 episodes, scheduled to air over the next two years.
The second half of Futurama's 6th season will begin airing in June. The first 13 episodes of the 7th season will air in summer 2012, with the last 13 airing in the summer of 2013. This is a much slower release schedule than bigger-budget shows like The Simpsons or American Dad, but matches Futurama's cable compatriots Comedy Central and Adult Swim.
The announcement came from The Brain himself, Maurice LaMarche. LaMarche plays dozens of minor characters on Futurama, and took time out of the 3rd Annual Talk Like William Shatner day Tuesday (which was also the Captain's 80th birthday) to spread the good news.
There's still no official word from the network, but LaMarche has been contracted for his voice acting services for the next two blocks of production. Morbo is indeed pleased:
Fans now have three summers' worth of animated tongue-in-cheek sci-fi to look forward to. They could hardly have asked for more after Futurama was unceremoniously dropped by Fox back in 2003, and only wished for the show's return with new fervor as the four direct-to-DVD movies were being made in 2008 and 2009.
The show's first new episode on Comedy Central in June of last year was the second-most-watched premiere ever for an animated cable show with 2.9 million viewers. (Comedy Central also holds the #1 spot with South Park.) The show dropped after the initial group of episodes, but reruns and other distribution methods are strong on the cable channel. The 100th episode aired in September.
The move did little to stifle fans' enthusiasm for the long-suffering series. But the new venue allowed a little more expression for the writers, and Futurama has ramped up the raunchy-factor as of late. In addition to poking fun at Fox and its own fans, topical episodes on gay marriage, evolution and the iPhone have aired alongside more typical fare surrounding time travel and mathematical theory.
New episodes of Futurama begin June 23rd, but reruns can regularly be found late nights on Comedy Central.
Source: Big Shiny Robot
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