The future of Futurama is in doubt once again. Following Fox’s decision not to renew it in 2003, the animated sci-fi sitcom found a new home on Comedy Central but, three more series in, the network has announced that the current run will be its last.
The cult show – following the adventures of cyrogenically frozen 20th-century pizza boy Phillip J Fry in the 31st century – is halfway through its seventh series, which begins again for a further 13 episodes on 19 June, with a US finale date set for 4 September.
First airing back in 1999 on Fox, Futurama ran for four seasons before studio bosses called time on it in 2003. But following sustained interest in repeats on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, it was re-launched in 2007 by Comedy Central for a further three seasons, scooping a second Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program in 2011.
Following today’s cancellation news, series creator Matt Groening – the man behind The Simpsons – hinted that this may not be the end of the road for Fry and his friends robot Bender and cyclops Leela: “We’ve been in this situation before and it’s tempting when you’re doing episodes that are as good or better than anything you’ve ever done to continue doing it,” he told EW.
“We’re catching our breath and seeing what fans have to say. The experience of this show has been so much fun from the very beginning to now that it’d be a shame if we all went our separate ways.
“We would love to continue. We have many more stories to tell. 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.”