Comedy Central's hit TV show Futurama has been canceled. The network decided to not renew the show after its current season, calling it quits on the show after an impressive 140-episode run. The final 13 Futurama episodes, the second half of Season 7, will begin airing on June 19 at 10 p.m.
This isn't the first time Futurama has been canceled. The 31st-Century animated comedy aired from 1999 through 2003 before its then-network Fox gave it the boot. The now-canceled Futurama proceeded to be a commercial success in reruns on Adult Swim, Cartoon Network's late-night programming.
Futurama was relaunched in 2007 with four direct-to-DVD movies that Comedy Central ran as a 16-episode season between 2008 and 2009. After the show rose in popularity, the network ordered a sixth season of 26 episodes which aired between 2010 and 2011. The first half of Season 7, the current season, debuted in 2012.
The Futurama cancelation was taken well by the show's executive producer David X. Cohen and creator Matt Groening. Since the pair thought Futurama had been cancelled a few times before (after the show's time at FOX, after the four movies, and after Comedy Central's first 26-episode order), it wasn't a hard pill to swallow.
"I felt like we were already in the bonus round on these last couple of seasons, so I can't say I was devastated by the news," Cohen tells Entertainment Weekly. "It was what I had expected two years earlier. At this point I keep a suitcase by my office door so I can be cancelled at a moment's notice."
Dave Bernath views Comedy Central's decision to cancel Futurama as "a natural end" to the show. "That's a helluva run that few shows achieve, and especially given the fact that it came back to life, it's a really amazing story," said the EVP of Programming for the network. "I'm more thankful and feel a sense of gratitude toward the whole process - than I really am even thinking about the ending. It's a blessing that it came back and lasted so long."
But will Futurama come back? "The experience of this show has been so much fun from the very beginning to now - everybody is so happy to work on this show - that it'd be a shame if we all went our separate ways... We would love to continue," said creator Matt Groening, also the brainchild of The Simpsons. "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."
And the second half of Futurama Season 7 may be the best they've ever done. Guest characters include Larry Bird, Sarah Silverman, George Takei, Adam West, Dan Castellaneta, and Burt Ward. "There are a bunch of episodes that I think are going to be classics," Cohen added. "It's a really satisfying ending. It's an epic ending, if indeed it is the ending."