Looks like it’s the end of the line at last for Fry, Bender, Leela, Professor Farnsworth, Zoidberg, Hermes, Amy, Nibbler and their assorted oddball colleagues at Planet Express as Comedy Central, home to the animated science-fiction comedy Futurama, created by Matt (Simpsons) Groening has decided not to renew the charmed-life series for an eighth season, according to EW.com (Entertainment Weekly). The show’s final thirteen episodes, the second half of the seventh season, will transmit on the network from June 19th.
Futurama debuted on Fox in 1998 before being cancelled in 2003. Off-Network reruns did well enough to allow for four straight-to-DVD movies which Comedy central ran as a 16-part fourth series in 2008 followed by 2 further twenty-six episode seasons. Despite winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program in both 2002 and 2011, the show’s ratings have never been especially healthy with the most recent run averaging just 1.7 million viewers. Groening and his executive producer David X Cohen are said to be “exploring options” for a new home for the series with Groening commenting that “we would love to continue… but if we don’t this is a really great way to go out. I think these episodes are the best ones we’ve ever done”
Futurama follows the adventures of 20th-century New York pizza delivery boy Philip J Fry who, after being accidentally cryogenically frozen for 1,000 years, finds employment at Planet Express, an interplanetary delivery company in the space-age 31st century which is run by the absent-minded Professor Farnsworth and which also employs vivacious one-eyed alien Turanga Leela and misanthropic hard-drinking robot Bender. The show has become infamous for its plundering and parodying of classic science-fiction films and TV and, like its more successful sister series The Simpsons, it built up an impressive roster of regular supporting characters such as lascivious space adventurer Zap Branigan and his assistant Kif, the mesmerising Hyno-Toad, caretaker Scruffy and a psychopathic killer Santa Claus robot.
The show’s 140-episode run is expected to come to an end in September.
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