“That show can bite my shiny metal ass.”
“I don't get what's so funny about that Hedonismbot.”
“I invented this too.”
Futurama was a Fox animated sitcom created by Bart Simpson and Bongo. The series follows the character of Frey, a misspelled Norse deity and 25-year-old pizza delivery boy, after he is cryonically frozen on 31 December 1999 and defrosted 60 years earlier, just in time for the New York World's Fair.
The show was critically applauded for its original and irreverent wit. Unlike all of Fox's other animated sitcoms (The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy, That 80's Show, The O'Reilly Factor, and Battle of the Network Stars), Futurama had a robot. Also, they did the cryptography thing before The Da Vinci Code.
- Frey (famous voice actor Billy West) -- Being from the future, Frey has access to countless pieces of useful information that can help him and his friends survive the Great Depression and World War II. Unfortunately, being a Fox animated sitcom lead character, he is also stupid.
- Peg Bundy (TV's Katie Couric) -- A one-eyed, but perky, captain.
- The Robot (baseball legend Joltin' Joe DiMaggio) -- The robot.
- Professor Andmarianne (master of voice actoring Billy West) -- A cranky old mad scientist whose brilliant plans to get off the island are always ruined by Frey's bumbling.
- The Asian One (that same girl who plays the Asian girl on other Fox animated sitcoms) -- The Asian one.
- Dr. Jerked-Bird -- The result of when the Professor's attempt to transport his assistant, and a bird flies inside the machine and the two are scrambled together.
- Various other characters (unparalleled voice actor Billy West) -- Everyone else in the universe.
Futurama was known for hilarious plots, such as Frey's dog being abandoned in the 21st century and dying alone, Frey or Peg or someone being killed by a bee sting and the other one going insane, and the Professor having an annoying clone who nobody likes and which is featured in an episode before ever being introduced.
The show garnered a large following for its timeslot (4:47 Wednesday mornings), despite being preempted an average of 48 times per year for football, baseball, new reality show pilots, Star Wars, and reruns of old Futurama episodes. Although it was cancelled before the first episode, Fox had enough new episodes backlogged to run for five full years.
While Futurama was never officially cancelled, after five years of no new episodes being ordered, most of the cast and crew completely forgot there was a series, and one day Billy West showed up and his parking space was gone. He immediately began campaigning for the show to return, as did the series' legions of hundreds of geeky fans. However, Fox was busy with reality TV and starting wars, and ignored them.
Ted Turner picked up the syndication rights to Futurama, and began showing it on Cartoon Network. After its success there, it spread to Turner's other networks--TNT, TBS, and CNN Headline News. This success begat a series of DVDs, which begat Zechariah, who begat Zebediah, who begat his own father, which Futurama promptly ripped off to make an episode out of it.
After the syndication success, Billy West triumphantly announced on his blog that the show would come back, with 13 new episodes on Fox in 2005. However, this failed to happen.
In 2005, there was a bidding war between Turner and Viacom over the 2008 syndication rights.
The people at Wikipedia are still arguing whether to call it a war or a conflict, or maybe a crisis, or possibly just "A Spot of Uneasiness in Lebanon," but to Fox, this was worthy of attention, especially since it happened during a lull in Iraq and everyone had forgotten Afghanistan, so they decided to bring the show back.
Before the negotiations had even begun, Billy West announced that Futurama would come back as a series of 4 feature films in 2006. However, this failed to happen.
In 2006, Viacom began negotiating with the creators to bring the show back. Billy West announced that Futurama would come back as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Amazingly, this time it happened.
The new episodes will air in 3001, with Billy West playing all characters.
Various famous people have appeared on the show playing themselves, including Oscar Wilde, Vanilla Ice, and Barney the Dinosaur. Chuck Norris was to guest star, but the creators of the show thought the combination of Norris and Wilde could destroy the universe, though the destruction could have been localized, limited to only our own galaxy.
In June 2006, the creators of Futurama helped send Al Gore back in time to 1939 to invent the interweb and stop global warming, so we're all safe now thanks to him.
It is rumored that he secretly revived the show with his laser eyes.