Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Reel Geek: Futurama's Triumphant Return

Every Tuesday, Geekanerd contributor Bishop lays it out, movie geek style....

Hey there all you loyal GaN readers, welcome to my little corner of this wonderful blog. I’ve been drafted to update the lot of you on some hot geek-centered movie news, and to work off some of my debt after crashing AHR’s Segway in a misguided attempt to make an awesome Youtube video. So here goes!

I have a simple question for you gentle reader: Have you been excited lately? If not, you probably haven’t been thinking about the new season of “Futurama” that’s fast approaching (This is a serious problem and you may want to seek professional help).

Futurama-rama continues after the jump...

As many of you know, “Simpson’s” creator Matt Groening’s superb sophomore series “Futurama” has been in the grave since 2004 when Fox “cancelled” it due to a decline in viewer ship. But it will soon be resurrected for a new couple of seasons set to air on Comedy Central. Now you may all be scratching your heads and looking at one another quizzically, (I imagine that you’re all congregating around the computer reading GaN as a group, not unlike the average 1950’s family and their radio) wondering exactly how this all happened, so let’s backtrack for a second.

Futurama hit Fox in 1999 and started building a fan base. Unfortunately it was consistently bounced around in the schedule on Fox and preempted by sports. The final episodes of the fourth season were never aired on Fox, as the ratings had dropped due to an inconsistent time slot. Fox stopped ordering episodes, and that was that. Then Cartoon Network picked it up for it’s Adult Swim line up and “Surprise!” with a consistent time slot and a little promotion it garnered a huge set of fans, similar to what happened with Family Guy.

Fox perhaps realized the error of its ways, and eventually came back to Groening, and in his words:

"I was frustrated when it got cancelled, but Fox, 20th Television is the one who came back and said, 'Would you like to do a DVD movie? We said, 'Let's do two' and they said, 'Well, why not three?' and we said, 'Well, why not four?' and they said, 'Okay, four' and then that's it."

So after the intense negotiations described above, four straight-to-DVD movies will be coming out over the course of the next two years. The line up will be as follows:

  • Futurama: Bender's Big Score
  • Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs
  • Futurama: Bender's Game
  • Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder

Bender’s Big Score will be released on DVD and Hi-Def this November 27th. That’s only a scant 3 month wait ladies and gents. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll keep vague about what the first movie entails, though I will say a few short words concerning the plot: Bender, Time Travel, Theft, Buttocks, Al Gore. Excited yet? You had better be. There’s also going to be reprisals by many of the supporting cast in the movies, including the Nibblonians, “God,” Barbados Slim, Morbo, and Santabot.

Now details are still murky, but some of the special features have been announced, such as a full episode of “Everyone Loves Hypnotoad” (which has been going downhill since season 3, but we’ll take what we can get), and guest stars/voices Al Gore, Sarah Silverman, Tom Kenny, and Coolio. The other movies will include guest voices by David Cross and a visit by everyone’s favorite astrophysicist Stephen Hawking.

Now I know I mentioned Comedy Central a few paragraphs back, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten. See Fox went and got the movies started up, but the airing contract was up and Comedy Central won the bid to air the films as episodes, so the movies are going to air as chopped up episodes on the comedy network. I know how that sounds, but word is that before they go to air there will be some reformatting, extra writing of narration and such that will ease the movies into episode format. They’ll be widescreen on the DVD’s (something that should be important to any self respecting nerd) and standard 4:3 for the TV appearance. They will split into groups of four, so that’s 16 all new episodes of Futurama! Have you shoved your monitor off the desk with excitement?! If not, get ready!

Hope you enjoyed that little Futurama overdose, I know I can’t wait. Later kids.

1 comment:

Degan said...

words can't express how excited i am that the release of the first dvd is this november! it always felt like they were coming out in the distant future... but now the future is here! (how appropriate)