"Futurama" returns with strong ratings

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) – It's back to the future for "Futurama," with strong ratings for the animated sci-fi sitcom in its new home at Comedy Central and its first new episode in seven years.

"Futurama" averaged 2.9 million viewers and a 1.9 rating in adults 18-49 when it aired Thursday night on Comedy Central, Nielsen Media Research said Monday. It was tied for the highest-rated show in adults 18-49 in all TV on Thursday's primetime, and was the highest-rated show among men 18-24 and men 18-34. Comedy Central said it helped the network to its highest-rated night in 2010 and its highest-rated Thursday primetime in the history of the network.

It was the first original episode of "Futurama" on TV since 2003, when the Matt Groening/David X. Cohen series was canceled after four years on Fox Broadcasting. Comedy Central snagged the rights to "Futurama" in a deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The show had been airing in repeats on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

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