Fourteen years ago, the animated sitcom Futurama took us 1,000 years into the future. On Sept. 4, 2013, with the airing of its 140th episode, it became a thing of the past.
Comedy Central, the channel that gave Futurama both a second and third chance after Fox cancelled it in 2003, has announced that it will not be renewing the show for an eighth season. While some dedicated fans wish to believe that Futurama could be reincarnated yet again, most are convinced that this outcome is doubtful at best.
Matt Groening began work on Futurama in 1996. When it debuted three years later, it was seen as the younger sibling to Groening’s hit series, The Simpsons. It did not take long, however, for the rookie program to prove its own merits and establish its own devoted fan base.
Futurama’s initial four-season run on Fox, was met with much approval and high acclaim. The characters were witty, the storylines were engaging and it had the makings of a cult classic.
After several years of reruns, the show returned on Comedy Central with four direct-to-TV movies that were eventually split into 16 episodes to make up the show’s fifth season. When a sixth season was ordered by Comedy Central, things began to look up for the revived show.
The sixth season was perhaps the shakiest of them all. Starting off far less organic than what viewers may have been used too, too many jokes seemed forced and several storylines felt patched together from old, unused material.
Viewers stuck it out, though. It didn’t take long for the writers to get back on track and season six still managed to deliver some of the show’s standout episodes, including the robot evolution in “A Clockwork Origin” and an unending supply of Bender’s in “Benderama.”
The triumphs of the sixth season, it seemed, were enough to outweigh its failings and carry it through to a seventh.
Despite all this, the show’s ratings had continued to decline from 2.6 million viewers in 2010 to 1.7 million in 2012, leading to the show’s second cancellation.
The show, although having its ups and downs, ended on a high note with the marriage of main characters Fry and Leela.
The duo weds in classic Futurama fashion by adding a ridiculous, but well thought out, time travel plot involving a button that takes the whole world back in time 10 seconds.
Now that the show is over, fans can be content at least that it ended on a high note. While there may be more Fry, Leela and Bender stories to tell — the creator and producers still hold hope of seeing another revival — sometimes the past is better left to be admired rather than repeated.