Episode Capsules Document Library Framegrab Features Home
Media Articles
Fall TV Preview: Tricks and Treats
Vol. 5 No. 6
September-October 1999
by Annabelle Villanueva

Futurama, Matt Groening's loopy animated satire of the sci-fi genre, scored terrific ratings when it premiered after Groening's other show, The Simpsons, last spring. But when Fox moved the series to its regular slot on Tuesday nights, Futurama's fans got ticked off and the audience numbers fizzled. Thankfully, the network saw the error of its ways and decided to shift the cartoon back to where it belongs - following The Simpsons on Sunday nights.

"Obviously it's the time slot we've always wanted to be in and the spot that makes the most sense," says series co-creator David X. Cohen. "We always thought it wasn't much of a stretch to say Futurama is half-Simpsons and half X-Files, so what better place to be than between those two shows?"

Futurama's first full season will feature most of the 30th-century faces audiences became familiar with last year, including several appearances by everyone's favorite egomaniacal starship captain, Zapp Brannigan.

"One of my favorite episodes is our space-Titanic episode," Cohen says. "Fry, Leela and Bender go on a well-deserved space cruise, not knowing that Zapp Brannigan has been made honorary captain of the ship for its maiden voyage. He makes the ship go through a swarm of comets which he refers to as 'icebergs of the sky.' Then the rest of the episode is like The Love Boat, and all our characters have romances. It's pretty crazy."

Of course, "pretty crazy" is pretty much the status quo for Futurama. Expect Fry and Leela to get plenty of dates during the season (although the pair do have a close encounter of their own in the Titanic/Love Boat episode). The show also dabbles with more CGI effects and features many of the guest voices that have become trademarks of both Futurama and The Simpsons. John Goodman will play a malfunctioning robot Santa Claus in the show's Christmas episode (he tries to kill people who are naughty). Bob Barker hosts the Miss Universe contest and former Simpsons writer and Late Night host Conan O'Brian's head does stand-up comedy ("or at least as much stand-up as you can do when you don't have any feet," Cohen quips).

"Futurama" TM and © FOX and its related companies. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, duplication, or distribution is prohibited. This web site and any content contained herein relating to "Futurama" are not authorized by FOX.