Hulu has concluded terms for 20 new episodes of Matt Groening and David X. Cohen’s popular animated sci-fi comedy Futurama to stream in 2023 on the streaming service after months of negotiations. The bulk of the series’ voice cast will return, including Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, and David Herman, in addition to Groening and Cohen.
One of the three principal voice performers, John DiMaggio, who performs the foul-mouthed robot Bender among a half-dozen other characters, is absent from the list. The character is now being recast in preparation for Monday’s first table read.
Fans of Futurama original series got outraged when they learned about John DiMaggio being dropped from the revival series of Futurama. They took it to twitter and threaten to “boycott” the new revival series. Seems like fans never forget their favorite character.
Here are some of the tweets:
After DiMaggio’s discussions with Futurama studio 20th Television Animation came to a halt, the decision was taken, but both parties want him to return to the cast and resume his role.
One user wrote: We just need to be outside the casting door shouting “Booooo!! This guy sucks!! We want John DiMaggio!! Boo!!!” so they know the audience has turned on him when they are trying to recast Bender
We just need to be outside the casting door shouting “Booooo!! This guy sucks!! We want John DiMaggio!! Boo!!!” so they know the audience has turned on him when they are trying to recast Bender— danielsdesk #MyOpinionIsNotScience (@danielsdesk) February 10, 2022
Yeah, Futurama ain’t gonna work without the real Bender. Do the creators know what kind of industrial-strength cartoon geeks their fans are? They’ll notice, and they won’t be happy.— Dreamweasel (@Dreamweasel) February 10, 2022
They can cut corners on the rest, but they can’t lose Billy West, Katey Sagal, or John DiMaggio. https://t.co/HAUjSw0hNV
it’d be a shame not to get dimaggio back but bender’s a robot, him having a wildly different voice could actually have some fun narrative potential and make sense in-universe. like, bring on a different voice actor every episode and make it a mystery why bender is different!— Sam Martone (@s_martone) February 10, 2022
However, John DiMaggio tweeted about the recast and said, “Thanks for the concern and the props, everyone. I really appreciate it. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted, but until then… CHEESE IT! #bendergate “
Thanks for the concern and the props, everyone. I really appreciate it. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted, but until then… CHEESE IT! #bendergate— John DiMaggio (@TheJohnDiMaggio) February 10, 2022
I’ve heard that DiMaggio, along with the rest of the cast, was contacted to promote the character and the series across the world. According to insiders, DiMaggio’s offer was comparable to that made to fellow leads West (Fry) and Sagal (Leela), who agreed to a contract after a back-and-forth, but DiMaggio believed the offer was not competitive given the original series’ success and name recognition.
This is the third resurrection of Futurama, which will air 20 new episodes in two instalments. It’s also the third beloved Fox cartoon series to be resurrected, following Family Guy, which was resurrected by the network following high DVD sales, and American Dad!, which has become a TBS fixture.
Futurama first ran on Fox from 1999 to 2003 when the network abruptly cancelled the show midway through Season 4 production. It was revived in 2007 with four direct-to-DVD features that played as 30-minute episodes on Comedy Central.
Based on their popularity, Comedy Central commissioned fresh seasons of the show, which debuted on television in June 2010 before being discontinued three years later. (Renewing interest in the series benefited both Family Guy and Futurama throughout their runs on Adult Swim.)
“I’m ecstatic to have another opportunity to think about the future… or anything other than the present,” Cohen added.
“It’s a great honour to proclaim the triumphant return of Futurama one more time before we’re unceremoniously cancelled again,” Groening said.
The existing seasons of Futurama are available to view on Hulu, which has been steadily expanding its adult animation entertainment lineup with both original and purchased programming.
“When we were given the opportunity to deliver new episodes of Futurama to fans and viewers, we couldn’t wait to get started. Since its inception, this famous series has helped lead the path for adult animation’s popularity, and we look forward to Matt & David continuing to do so and further establishing Hulu as the top destination for lovers of the genre,” said Craig Erwich, President, Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment.
Futurama won six Emmy Awards throughout its career, including two for Outstanding Animated Program, seven Annie Awards, two Environmental Media Awards, and two WGA Awards. 140 original episodes were created during the course of the show’s seven seasons, which spanned two decades, with the final episode showing on September 4, 2013.
“What I love about animation is that a successful programme can go on hiatus and then return years later, even on a different platform, to start up precisely where it left off. One of these shows is Futurama.
Hulu’s enthusiasm for bringing Matt and David’s brilliant brainchild back for all-new episodes has been palpable. I’m ecstatic that this wonderful team will be able to tell even more tales, and that our Planet Express crew will be able to embark on even more adventures.
Marci Proietto, Head of 20th Television Animation, said, “It’s a win for fans who have loved the programme since the beginning, and for others who will now discover it for the first time.”
The show follows the adventures of Philip Fry (Billy West), a 25-year-old pizza delivery boy who freezes himself on December 31, 1999 and wakes up 1,000 years later with a new set of friends, including Leela (Katey Sagal), a tough but lovely one-eyed ship captain, and Bender, a robot with human characteristics and flaws.
Futurama is produced by 20th Television Animation, a division of Disney Television Studios, with animation provided by Rough Draft Studios, Inc. Futurama was created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen.
This is the second time the programme has been revived since it first premiered in 1999. Reruns of the sitcom gained fresh life on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim schedule and on DVD after its initial four-season run on Fox.
After that, four direct-to-video features were made, which were then re-edited into a fifth season, which began airing on Comedy Central in 2008. Between 2010 and 2013, Comedy Central aired two further seasons, each with 26 episodes.
Over the years, the programme established a significant cult following and received critical acclaim.
It received 14 Emmy nominations in all, winning six of them, including best animated show twice and outstanding individual accomplishment in animation twice. LaMarche took home the award for best voiceover performance twice.