It's a bummer. Kind of. Yes, Futurama has been canceled AGAIN. But the good news is that the adventures of the Planet Express still have 13 fun-filled episodes to go as season 7B premieres tonight on Comedy Central with two episodes that will take us into the world of “heart-pounding street racing” and into an alien zoo, said executive producer David X. Cohen in an exclusive interview with Blastr.
“Just 'cause we're canceled does not mean people should tune out,” said Cohen. “It's a bummer, but it's a non-shocking bummer. Really, when Comedy Central ordered the first set of 26 episodes, I thought that that was sort of a one-off deal to promote the fact that they had gotten the rights to the reruns. So I was pleasantly shocked when they ordered the second set of 26 episodes. It already exceeded all of my expectations for Comedy Central's support of the show. I really can't complain. It's a little bit sad, but they allowed us to have a full, long run of the show that we were denied the first time around. So I don't feel too bad overall.”
Indeed this isn't the first time Futurama has been canceled. The futuristic animated series began its bumpy ride on Fox in March of 1999, and by Cohen's count they'll be on their fourth SERIES finale by the end of season 7B.
The second half of season seven kicks off tonight with a “double-decker premiere,” said Cohen. “The first episode is called '2D Blacktop,' and it is a racing episode where the professor converts the Planet Express ship into a racing ship and starts hanging out with a bunch of car-racing street punks. Of course, in Futurama fashion it has to go in a slightly unexpected direction. Due to a horrible crash, they end up in the second dimension in that episode. … It's a combination of heart-pounding street racing in the future and 2D nerd jokes. It's an unusual combination.
“And then the second episode is called 'Fry and Leela's Big Fling.' We're going to really start and end this season with some big moves in the Fry/Leela story arc. So in this first one, Fry and Leela are going to go off on their first-ever romantic vacation together. … Little do they know that they are actually vacationing in a cage of an alien zoo. Their privacy is not quite as great as they think it is,” said Cohen.
“Probably a favorite of the staff coming up is a very unusual episode. It's called 'Saturday Morning Fun Pit.' It's one of our triple-deckers. We're going to see Futurama reborn as three morning cartoons of the '60s/'70s/'80s period in the vein of, but legally very different from, Scooby-Doo and The Smurfs and G.I. Joe. Those kind of shows. So we'll see our characters reborn Saturday-morning style. As I like to say, three 'craptastic' morning cartoons,” he said.
The episode guest-stars George Takei and Larry Bird. Other guest stars this season include Batman's Adam West and Burt Ward, Sarah Silverman, Seth MacFarlane and Dan Castellaneta as Robot Devil.
“It's a strong season. If it is the final season, I certainly feel very proud about how we'll end it, both the season as a whole and the final episode. … We've got some tears and some big sci-fi tropes. So we've got all of our Futurama bases covered,” said Cohen.
“Both last year and this year, we thought it would be the end, so we wrote the final episode to be the series finale, yet again. So this is our fourth series finale. And it's a very good one,” he said. “There's a little bit of time travel involved. Somewhere, in the middle of all of this, we're going to see Fry and Leela's wedding.”
Now that's a worthy ending after nearly 150 episodes.
Here's a look at the final season:
Futurama premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.
Are you ready for the final adventures of the Planet Express?