Futurama is an animated series in the science fiction sitcom genre, created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. In 2008, the series was picked up by Comedy Central. The series chronicles the adventures of professional slacker Philip J. Fry, who is cryogenically preserved for 1000 years and revived on December 31, 2999. Fry takes a job at an interplanetary delivery company, working alongside Leela, the one-eyed girl and of the robot Bender. The series was envisioned by Groening in the mid-90s while he was working on The Simpsons; he brought David X. Cohen on board to develop storylines and characters to pitch the show to Fox.
After its initial cancellation by Fox, Futurama began airing reruns of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block, which ran from 2003 to 2007. It was revived in 2007 as four direct-to-video films , the latter of which was released in early 2009. Comedy Central entered into an agreement with 20th Century Fox Television to syndicate existing episodes and air the movies, as 16 new half-hour episodes, making up a fifth season.
In June 2009, Comedy Central picked up the animated series for 26 new half-hour episodes, which aired in 2010 and 2011. The show was renewed for a seventh season, with the first half airing in 2012 and the second in 2013. An audio-only episode featuring original cast members was broadcast in 2017 as an episode of The Nerdist Podcast. On February 9, 2022, Hulu relaunched the series with a 20-episode order that is expected to premiere in 2023.
Futurama received critical acclaim throughout its run and was nominated for 17 Annie Awards, winning nine, and 12 Emmy Awards, winning six. He has been nominated four times for a Writers Guild of America Award, winning for the episodes "Godfellas" and "The Prisoner of Benda." He was nominated for a Nebula Award and received Environmental Media Awards for the episodes "The Problem with Popplers" and "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular". Merchandise includes a number of tie-in comics, video games, calendars, clothing, and trading cards. In 2013, TV Guide ranked Futurama among the 60 best TV cartoons of all time.
Futurama is essentially a workplace sitcom, the plot of which revolves around the interplanetary delivery company Planet Express and its employees, a small group who largely fail to conform to the future society. Episodes usually feature the main trio of characters of Fry, Leela, and Bender, although occasional storylines center around the other characters.
Philip J. Fry (voiced in the US original by Billy West)
Fry is an immature, slovenly, but kind-hearted and sensible pizza delivery boy who falls into a cryogenic capsule, causing it to activate and freeze just after midnight on January 1, 2000. He awakens on New Year's Eve 2999 and finds a job as a delivery boy at Planet Express, a company owned by his only living relative, Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth. Fry's love for Leela is a recurring theme throughout the series.
Leela position (voiced in the US original by Katey Sagal)
Leela is the competent and one-eyed captain of the Planet Express ship. Abandoned as a child, she grows up in the Cookieville Minimum Security Orphanarium believing herself to be an alien from another planet, but she discovers she is actually a sewer mutant in the episode "Leela's Homeworld". Before becoming the ship's captain, she Leela works as a career officer at the cryogenics lab where she first meets Fry. She is Fry's main love interest and eventually becomes his wife. Her name is a reference to Olivier Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie.
Bender bending rodriguez (voiced in the American original by John DiMaggio)
Bender is a foul-mouthed, heavy-drinking, cigar-smoking, kleptomaniac, misanthrope, self-absorbed, short-tempered robot produced by the Mom's Friendly Robot Company. He is originally scheduled to bend beams for suicide booths, and is later designated as assistant sales manager and cook, despite lacking a sense of taste. He is Fry's best friend and roommate. He has to drink heavily to fuel his fuel cells and becomes the robotic equivalent of drunk when he runs out of alcohol.
Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth (voiced by Billy West) – Professor Farnsworth, also known simply as "the Professor", is Fry's distant nephew and technically descended. Farnsworth forms Planet Express Inc. to finance his work as a mad scientist. Although he is portrayed as a brilliant scientist and inventor, at over XNUMX years of age he is extremely prone to age-related forgetfulness and fits of temper tantrums. In the episode "A Clone of My Own", the professor clones himself to produce a successor, Cubert Farnsworth (voiced in the American original by Kath Soucie), whom he treats like a son.
Hermes Conrad (voiced in the American original by Phil LaMarr ) – Hermes is the Jamaican accountant of Planet Express. A 36th-level bureaucrat (demoted to level 37 during the series) and proud of it, he's a stickler for regulation and in love with the tedium of paperwork and bureaucracy. Hermes is also a former champion in Olympic Limbo, a sport derived from the popular party activity. He gave up limbo after the 2980 Olympics when a young fan imitating him broke his back and died. Hermes has a wife, LaBarbara, and a 12-year-old son, Dwight.
Dr. John A. Zoidberg (voiced in the American original by Billy West) – Zoidberg is a Decapodian, a lobster-like alien from the planet Decapod 10 and the neurotic doctor of Planet Express. Although he claims to be an expert on humans, his knowledge of human anatomy and physiology is woefully inaccurate (at one point he claims his doctorate is actually in art history). Zoidberg's experience seems to involve extraterrestrial creatures. Homeless and penniless, he lives in the dumpster behind Planet Express. Although Zoidberg is depicted as a longtime friend of Professor Farnsworth, he is despised by all of the crew.
Amy Wong (voiced in the American original by Lauren Tom) – Amy is an incredibly wealthy, outspoken, ditzy and accident-prone but sweet-hearted long-term intern at Planet Express. She is an astrophysics student at Mars University and heir to the western hemisphere of Mars. In the second episode of season one, the Professor states that he likes having Amy around her because she has the same blood type as her. She was born on Mars, she is ethnically Chinese and is prone to cursing in Cantonese and using 31st century slang. Her parents are wealthy ranchers Leo and Inez Wong. She is promiscuous at the start of the series, but eventually she enters a monogamous relationship with Kif Kroker. In the sixth season of the show, she acquires her doctorate.
Zapp brannigan (voiced in the American original by Billy West) – Zapp Brannigan is the incompetent and extraordinarily vain captain of the DOOP spaceship Nimbus. Though Leela loathes him utterly, Brannigan, a self-deluded gentleman, relentlessly pursues her, often at great personal risk. He was originally going to be voiced by Phil Hartman, but Hartman died before production could begin.
Kif Kroker (voiced in the American original by Maurice LaMarche) – Zapp Brannigan's fourth lieutenant and longtime personal assistant, Kif is a member of the amphibious species that inhabits the planet Amphibios 9. Though extremely shy, he eventually works up the courage to date Amy . Kif is often shown sighing in disgust at his commander's nonsensical rants.
"Mom" (voiced in the American original by Tress MacNeille ) – Mom is the malevolent, foul-mouthed, cruel and narcissistic owner of MomCorp, the largest shipping and manufacturing company of the XNUMXst century, with a monopoly on robots. In public, she maintains the image of a sweet and kind older woman speaking in stereotypically old-fashioned statements and wearing a mechanical fat suit. She occasionally launches insidious plans for world domination and corporate takeover. She had a romantic relationship with the professor which left her bitter and resentful. She has three bumbling sons, Walt, Larry, and Igner (modeled after The Three Stooges), who do her bidding despite her frequent abuse and often infuriating her with their incompetence. In Bender's game, it is revealed that Igner's father is Professor Farnsworth. Zoidberg in the episode "The Tip of the Zoidberg" refers to the mother as Carol, which is assumed to be her name.
Nibbler (voiced in the American original by Frank Welker ) – Nibbler is Leela's pet Nibblonian, whom she rescues from an imploding planet and adopts in the episode "Love's Labors Lost in Space". Despite his deceptively cute appearance, Nibbler is actually a highly intelligent super being whose race is responsible for maintaining order in the universe. It is revealed in "The Why of Fry" that he was directly responsible for cryogenically freezing Fry. Although he is the size of the average house cat, his breed is capable of devouring much larger animals. He shits dark matter, which until Bender's Game is used as fuel for the space cruisers in the series.
The Fox television network, in the mid-90s expressed a strong desire for Matt Groening to create a new series, following the success of his previous series, The Simpsons, and so during this period he began to conceive of Futurama. In 1996, he enlisted David X. Cohen, then a writer and producer of The Simpsons, to assist in developing the show. The two spent time researching science fiction books, television shows, and movies. By the time they pitched the series to Fox in April 1998, Groening and Cohen had composed many characters and storylines; Groening said they "exaggerated" in their discussions. Groening described trying to get the show on the air as "by far the worst experience of my adult life."
Fox has ordered thirteen episodes. Soon after, however, Fox feared the show's themes weren't a good fit for the network and executives at Groening and Fox debated whether the network would have creative input into the show. With The Simpsons, the network has no input. Fox was particularly disturbed by the suicide booth concept, Dr. Zoidberg, and Bender's antisocial behavior. Groening explains, “When they tried to give me notes on Futurama, I just said, 'No, we're going to do it just like we did The Simpsons.' And they said, 'Well, we don't do business like this anymore.' And I said, "Oh, well, that's the only way I do business." The episode "I, Roommate" was produced to address Fox's concerns, with the script written to their specifications. Fox strongly disliked the episode, but after negotiations, Groening got the same deal with Futurama.
The name Futurama comes from a pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Designed by Norman Bel Geddes, the Futurama Pavilion depicted what he imagined the world would be like in 1959. Several other titles were considered for the series, including Aloha, Mars! and Doomsville, which Groening notes was "clauseously rejected, by all concerned." It takes approximately six to nine months to produce an episode of Futurama. The long production time means that several episodes have to be worked on simultaneously.
Original title Futurama
Original language English
Country United States
Author Matt Groening
Subject Matt Groening, David X. Cohen
Music Christopher Tyng
Studio The Curiosity Company, 20th Century Fox Television (st. 1-7), 20th Television Animation
Network Fox (1-4 bts), Comedy Central (5-7 bts)
Date 1st TV March 28, 1999 - ongoing
1st streaming Hulu (st. 8-ongoing)
Episodes 140 (in progress)
Relationship 4: 3 (st. 1-4)
16: 9 (st. 5-7)
Episode duration 22 min
Italian network Italia 1 (ep. 1×01-3×13, 3×15-6×01, 6×03, 6×05-7×26), Fox (ep. 3×14), Fox Animation (ep. 6× 02, 6×04)
Date 1st Italian TVto January 6, 2000 – ongoing
1st stream it. Star (Disney+) (st. 8-ongoing)
Dialogues it. Luigi Calabrò (st. 1-4, 6-7), Giorgio Lopez (st. 5), Nicola Marcucci (st. 6-7)
Double studio it. CDC Sefit Group
Double Dir. it. George Lopez
Gender sitcoms, science fiction