Beloved Animated Comedy Revived for 20 More Episodes With Multiple Original Cast Members Returning

The cult classic animated series Futurama is getting another lease on life after Hulu ordered a 20-episode revival. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening and his Futurama co-creator David X. Cohen will both be involved in the revival. Production is set to start this month, with new episodes ready to premiere in 2023.

Most of the ensemble cast is returning, including series stars Billy West and Katey Sagal, who voiced Fry and Leela respectively. Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, and David Herman, are also coming back. The one missing piece so far is John DiMaggio, who provided the unforgettable voice for the robot Bender.

There are conflicting reports on DiMaggio's situation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he is "finalizing" a deal to come back. Meanwhile, sources told Deadline that DiMaggio was offered a deal similar to Sagal and West's, but he thought the proposal fell short, considering the name recognition of the original series. Bender is being recast ahead of the first table read on Monday, reports Deadline, but producers still want to bring DiMaggio back. Despite this uncertainty, Hulu featured Bender in a tweet announcing the revival.

"I'm thrilled to have another chance to think about the future ... or really anything other than the present," Cohen said in a statement Wednesday. "It's a true honor to announce the triumphant return of Futurama one more time before we get canceled abruptly again," Groening added. Rough Draft Studios will animate the new episodes.

Futurama debuted on Fox in 1999 but was canceled after four seasons. After reruns and strong DVD sales kept interested in the show alive, the show was revived as four made-for-TV movies. These were later broken up and aired as episodes of Comedy Central and made up the show's fifth season. Comedy Central ordered two more seasons, and Futurama finished up its second run in September 2013. There were 140 episodes produced from 1999 to 2013.

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"When presented with the opportunity to bring fans and viewers new episodes of Futurama, we couldn't wait to dive in," Craig Erwich, president of originals at Hulu and ABC Entertainment, said in a statement. "This iconic series helped blaze the trail for the success of adult animation since its initial launch and we look forward to Matt & David continuing to pave the way and further establishing Hulu as the premiere destination for fans of the genre."

Futurama centers on the misadventures of Fry, a dim-witted pizza delivery guy who accidentally froze himself in 1999 and woke up in the 31st Century. He found work at an interplanetary delivery company, alongside Leela and Bender. The show's original run won six Emmy Awards, seven Annie Awards, and two Writers Guild of America Awards. All episodes are available to stream on Hulu.