A while back, we reported on the return of brand new FUTURAMA episodes to Comedy Central with brand new episodes. Today, we've got some “ocular and aural proof” with a bonafide trailer.
Witness it below…
Hmmmm… so you’ve got a similar conceit to the opening scene of BENDER’S BIG SCORE here, with some coy references to the show’s situation in the real world. Incidentally, that was one of the funniest scenes for me in that DTV feature, with all the snarky references to Planet Express being “canceled” by executives at the “Box Network” (not Fox, of course.)
I’m not going to pretend like I’m an expert on the specifics of prime-time cartoon viewership, but I see this news as proof of what former Fox executive (and WOLVERINE producer) Jeff Katz has been saying about the rise of niche-specific content. I see that because FUTURAMA and FAMILY GUY have both been canceled repeatedly since they debuted on Fox and, thus, you wouldn’t normally deem the shows successful. However, if you look at the ends and disregard the means, the fact is that both shows are still putting out new content more than ten years after their debuts, which most typically-successful shows can’t claim. In both cases, the shows were renewed do to combinations of fan’s letter campaigns, DVD sales and the success of direct-to-video features, so I suppose that translates to what Katz has been talking about. You have content that didn’t work trying to appeal to the general audience but, given time, was able to garner a niche audience that's gotten increasingly enthusiastic over the years.
I'll say this, too, that the FUTURAMA people played their cards very slyly with all those DTV "movies", since that whole slate was really just a repackaged season of episodes. If you watch BENDER'S BIG SCORE on DVD, the whole thing's structured for commercial and episode breaks, even though it's supposed to be a feature.
-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.