Everything We Know About The New Season Of Futurama Coming To Hulu

Run for your lives! Close the vault! Horde the Slurm! 01010000 01100001 01101110 01101001 01100011 00100001! The thing just won't stay dead!

Matt Groening's and David X. Cohen's animated series "Futurama," which initially debuted in 1999, is returning yet again, this time on Hulu. This will be the third time "Futurama" will have been brought back from an early (?) demise. The show's initial run lasted for four seasons on Fox, starting with its pre-millennium pilot and continuing on through to August 2003. It was reasonably popular but wasn't gaining the same sort of ubiquitous cultural traction as Groening's previous show, "The Simpsons," a program now entering its 654th season.

"Futurama" thrived on home video and gained a large audience through reruns on Cartoon Network. Thanks to its growth, Comedy Central revived the series -- for the first time -- in 2008. The 2008 revival, however, was meant to be limited, as Comedy Central agreed to produce only four feature-length "Futurama" specials instead of a conventional season of TV. After the specials were released, the show was once again laid to rest. Comedy Central, however, thought better of it in 2010, and revived the series again for four additional seasons. That iteration ran out of steam in 2013. For the past decade, however, "Futurama" has remained a presence at pop culture conventions, exciting table reads, and in the world of memes.

Now Hulu, the Fox streaming service purchased by Disney in 2017, will shock life back into "Futurama." Here's everything we know about the show's latest revival so far.

When Will Hulu's Futurama Revival Premiere?

Hulu's "Futurama" revival was announced in February 2022. Matt Groening quipped at the time, "It's a true honor to announce the triumphant return of 'Futurama' one more time before we get canceled abruptly again."

The show will resume premiering 30-minute episodes on a weekly basis every Monday, starting on July 24, 2023. On May 18, 2023, Hulu released a 17-second promo video with a few quick clips of upcoming episodes (seen above). It seems that Evil Robot Santa will be back, as will Kif and Captain Zapp Brannigan. (Kif appears to be waxing the latter's chest.) The robot thespian Calculon, previously dead, will be back as well. So too will the villainous Mom.

The episode titles have been released as well, available in the Entertainment Identifier Registry. Some of the titles are merely clever science puns; it's worth remembering that the "Futurama" writer's room is stuffed with multiple advanced degree holders and they love oblique references to math and astral phenomena. Hence "How the West Was 1010001." That's ASCII for the letter Q, by the way.

More Episode Titles

The fourth episode will be called "Parasites Regained," a reference to the 1671 poem by John Milton, "Paradise Lost." It appears to be a sequel to the third season episode "Parasites Lost" (January 21, 2001), in which Fry found his body infected with parasites that improved his brain and musculature.

There will also be a Christmas episode called "I Know What You Did Last Xmas." It should be remembered that in the future of "Futurama," Christmas has come to be known as Xmas, and that Santa has become a murderous robot villain. Perhaps commenting on the pandemic, there will be an episode called "Rage Against the Vaccine." Given the show's consistent pro-science bent, one can assume it will take a very specific stance on vaccines and the so-called anti-vaxx movement.

The episode title "All the Way Down" alludes to an epistemological dilemma relating to infinite regress. If the world rests on the back of a turtle, then what does the turtle rest on? Perhaps it's turtles all the way down. Meanwhile, the episode "One Is Silicon and the Other Gold" is a reference to the noted poem "New Friends and Old Friends" by Joseph Parry, but may also refer to "The Farnsworth Parabox" (June 8, 2003) wherein Bender found himself meeting a golden version of himself in a parallel universe. Parallel universes, it seems, can be kept in cardboard boxes.

The 19th episode of the new season will be called "The Futurama Mystery Liberry," and will perhaps be one of the amusing anthology episodes that "Futurama" employs every now and again. In the past, the series has explored several "What If...?" type scenarios, or redrawn the series in an entirely new style (anime, 8-bit video games, 1930s Ub Iwkers, etc.).

Who's Working On Hulu's Futurama Revival?

Most of the longtime "Futurama" voice cast will return for the Hulu revival. That includes Billy West, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Maurice LaMarche, David Herman, and Tress MacNeille.

There was a controversy with Hulu's revival when DiMaggio, who voices the alcoholic robot Bender (among dozens of other characters), refused to sign on over his low salary. He felt that the cast was worth more and there was a brief standoff between the actor and the company. Press began for the revival before negotiations were complete, and it looked like the studio was prepared to make the show without him. By March 2022, DiMaggio had negotiated a salary that he deemed acceptable and rejoined the cast. Thank goodness.

Writers Patric Verrone, Maiya Williams, Eric Horsted, Eric Kaplan, David A. Goodman, and several others will also return for the revival. David X. Cohen will continue to run the show and write episodes himself, with Claudia Katz and Ken Keeler further returning as producers.

What Is Hulu's Futurama Revival About?

The revived "Futurama" will waste no time tackling some of the hot-button issues of the day, as well as addressing some lingering questions about "Futurama" canon. According to a press release:

"After a brief 10-year hiatus, 'Futurama' has crawled triumphantly from the cryogenic tube, its full original cast and satirical spirit intact. The 10 all-new episodes of season 11 have something for everyone. New viewers will be able to pick up the series from here, while long-time fans will recognize payoffs to decades-long mysteries -- including developments in the epic love story of Fry and Leela, the mysterious contents of Nibbler's litter box, the secret history of evil Robot Santa, and the whereabouts of Kif and Amy's tadpoles. Meanwhile there's a whole new pandemic in town as the crew explores the future of vaccines, bitcoin, cancel culture, and streaming TV."

Like "Star Trek" before it, these topics will likely pass through a science-fiction lens, making some perhaps-heady topics into easily digestible speculative fantasy. "Futurama" has done this a lot in the past, tackling same-sex marriage through the lens of robots marrying humans, as well as the iPhone trend. The famed Fry "Shut up and take my money!" meme comes from the iPhone episode. Only, in "Futurama," it's an "eyePhone" that is crammed directly into the user's eye socket. Naturally, the eyePhone is revealed as a work of evil. 

Mark July 24, 3024 on your calendars.

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The post Everything We Know About the New Season of Futurama Coming to Hulu appeared first on /Film.