If Katey Sagal is to be believed, Futurama may be resurrected once again after airing its series finale Wednesday.
Futurama was canceled for the first time in 2003 and aired in reruns on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim from 2003 to 2007, when the network’s contract expired. The series was revived as four direct-to-video films from 2008 to 2009. Comedy Central entered an agreement with 20th Century Fox to syndicate the existing episodes and air the films as 16 new episodes for a fifth season.
In June 2009, Fox announced that Comedy Central picked up Futurama for 26 episodes, which began airing in 2010 and 2011. The series was renewed for a seventh season, and the first half began airing in June 2012. The second half was set for early summer 2013, and it was later revealed that season 7 would be the series’ last after Comedy Central decided not to commission any more episodes. Creator Matt Groening has said he will try to get it picked up by another network.
The series finale, “Meanwhile,” aired September 4. The episode received positive reviews, with IGN writer Max Nicholson calling it a “fitting end to a classic animated series.” Zack Handlen at The A.V. Club said “this finale settles somewhere between the ‘too happy’ and the ‘oh dear God when will it end,’” which made the episode just about perfect.
Katey Sagal, who provided the voice of Leela for all seven seasons, told Assignment X she was confident that the series would make another comeback.
“Matt promised me at Comic-Con that something would happen. Because we love each other, all of us, and we’ve been canceled three times, I think, and we’ve moved from network to network. So this is the first time we actually looked serious – they actually did it,” she said.
“So I have faith that something will rise again – I believe Matt. We have a huge fan base. It really is the fans that got it to continue this long,” Sagal added. “And there are a billion stories to tell about the future. So I don’t know where you end.”
Billy West, who provided the voices of Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Zoidberg, and Zapp Brannigan, said he didn’t think the series was completely dead back in June.
“On Comedy Central, maybe. But my feeling is that the show’s too good to not be on television, and there’s a whole lot of television out there. And then some — there’s the content that’s not even on TV,” he said. “It’s on Netflix, stuff like that. I have a suspicion that somebody like that will pick up the show and continue production with it. I would feel terrible if that were the case, if this was just the end of it.”