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Good News Everyone! Futurama is Coming Back (Again) And More TV News

There aren't that many series lucky enough to get another shot after getting cancelled. Having that happen more than once is pretty unheard of. But that's what happened with Matt Groening's sci-fi comedy Futurama, which was originally cancelled by Fox in 2003 after four seasons. The show's audience grew through impressive DVD sales and repeat airings on Adult Swim, leading Fox to resurrect the series in a run of four made-for-DVD movies starting with Bender's Big Score in 2007. The films were made in such a way that they were designed so they could also be cut into individual episodes, which were subsequently aired as the fifth season on Comedy Central. Comedy Central then ordered new seasons of the show, which aired between 2011 and 2015, when the series was cancelled for a second time.

It's now been announced that the series is being resurrected again, this time by Hulu. Since the series went off the air, Disney has brought 20th Century Fox, seemingly giving the show another chance at life via one of their streaming platforms. Outside the United States, the series currently streams on Disney Plus, so it would be a safe bet that the new episodes will also be available there, wherever the Star channel is available.

The new season is going into production this month, and is eyeing a 2023 launch. Original showrunners Groening and David X Cohen are returning, and the new series will be produced by 20th Century Animation with South Korea's Rough Draft reprising animation production. The order is for 20 new episodes, although if successful it should lead to even more. Based on past experience, we would expect the 20 episodes to be released as two 10-episode seasons, with the latter half probably arriving in 2024.

The original voice cast has been confirmed to return, with one major exception. Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr and David Herman are all confirmed to reprise their roles. John DiMaggio voice of Bender (and other characters) is not yet attached, apparently due to a dispute over pay. If the issue cannot be resolved, the role will be recast.

One series revival with less happy news is the planned revival of The Boondocks for HBO Max. Voice actor Cedric Yarbrough revealed in a recent interview that the new series is no longer happening. No further explanation was offered but Yarbrough says that "Sony Pictures Television pulled the plug." Fans are offered a sliver of hope though, as the actor says that there is still an interest by the show's creators in bringing back the show at some point and he says " Hopefully, maybe one day we'll be able to revisit".

Elsewhere in the adult animation world, Adult Swim has announced second seasons of two of its freshman series.  Birdgirl, the spin-off of original Adult Swim series Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law will return for a second season this summer.  The series follows Judy Ken Sebben, daughter of original character Phil Ken Sebben who becomes CEO of the family business while fighting crime as Birdgirl on the side.

In season two of Birdgirl, the Birdteam is back and still not learning from their mistakes. Judy Ken Sebben and the Birdteam attempt to navigate the troubles of modern corporations, tackling everything from ethics in new tech, to cancel culture and rejuvenating skin sack health fads. Will they fail? Spectacularly! But sometimes it's not about the solutions we come up with, it's about the new problems we make along the way.

Also handed a second season is new comedy Smiling Friends.  Michael Cusack and Zach Hadel's series focuses on Charlie and Pim, two employees of Smiling Friends Inc, a small company dedicated to bringing happiness to the world. The air date for the second season is to be announced.