(NYCC 2023) That’s right, they’re back… again, baby! Or so Bender Bending Rodriguez would say. After a ten-year hiatus, Futurama all new intergalactic adventures are once again gracing our screens. This time, the popular show has found its new home on Hulu.
For those unaware, Futurama aired its first four seasons on Fox from 1999 – 2003 before being canceled. Only to return six years later on Comedy Central for five seasons after four widely popular straight-to-DVD movies. In 2013 though, the show was canceled again. Fast forward ten years and we have been promised two new seasons of the Matt Groening and David X. Cohen show exclusively on Hulu.
Now being termed “Hulurama”, the show successfully brought back everyone from the main cast and much of the original production crew, making this more of a long-awaited continuation instead of a reboot. Though each time Futurama has returned from a cancellation hiatus, the writers make sure to poke fun at this situation on screen, calling it “soft reboot.” Cohen credited the fans for the show’s second revival. What better way to celebrate the return of Futurama than with the fans at New York Comic Con? Awards Radar was fortunate enough to sit down with Cohen (EP/Showrunner), Claudia Katz (EP), Lee Supercinski (Producer), Peter Avanzino (Supervising Director), Edmund Fong (Supervising Director), and Crystal Chesney-Thompson (Director) before they took the stage at NYCC.
Cohen and Katz started out regaling about the upcoming 25th anniversary of the show. The recalled how much harder it was back when they first started working on the show versus now. “We were building a world from scratch. Some of it is anchored in New York…New New York, but there was no internet.” Explained Katz. Since those days the team has built a universe that rivals that of the Simpsons. In terms of both characters and lore.
Speaking of the other Matt Groening properties (Disenchantment & The Simpsons), the crew wanted to make sure they kept a wall between those shows that rarely crossed over. “It’s okay to have some, but I don’t want to see Disenchantment or the Simpsons mentioned in every episode of Futurama, even visually.” Stated Avanzino. Though Cohen did explain where the properties crossing was a fun thing. “Disenchantment had previously put in a little easter egg in the crystal ballroom of that show, where you briefly saw the Professor’s Time Machine go by in the background. And so we reciprocated with a reverse angle in ours.”
The move to Hulu was celebrated by the fans, and by the production team. Though they were celebrating for a different reason. “A rare treat we discovered recently, is that if we can get it in early enough, we can ask for more time.” Cohen explained about not having to conform to broadcast standards for timing. Streaming is more flexible, leaving room for moments to breathe more. “Sometimes we’d be cutting down to the frame just to make broadcast.” Supercinski informed us.
One of the more endearing aspects of Futurama is the show’s ability to have you laughing one minute, only to be sucker punched right in the feels the next. In many ways drawing a comparison to the 1970s comedy M.A.S.H. “There is definitely episodes that I’ve worked on, where I knew after reading the script, this scene is gonna hit hard. And I’m like this is so juicy and I love this stuff. I want to give people the feels on this one.” Chesney-Thompson exclaimed.
“I do think, sometimes, those moments are really where all the different types of art that go into the show have worked properly together to get you to that point. There is a thing in an episode this year with Amy and Kiff. Lauren Tom, who plays Amy, did this little sniffle in the reading at the end, and for me that’s the key moment of the line. That and the music can really bring out the emotion.” Continued Cohen.
The latest season of Futurama, season eleven, can be viewed in its entirety on Hulu. Hulu has promised a season twelve, which could be the series’ final season. Whether it is or isn’t may come down to the fans. As it should.