February 12, 2002
11:13 AM   Subscribe

First the Family Guy gets the ax, and now this: according to gotfuturama.com and aint it cool, Futurama will be cancelled. For me, there's officially no reason to watch the Fox network now, as they've cancelled the only things I recorded each week.
posted by mathowie (58 comments total)
No kidding. While they're at it, they should put the Simpsons out of its misery.
posted by catatonic at 11:20 AM on February 12, 2002

You knew they were doomed when they made the cover of Wired in February 1999. That's the kiss of death. Other cover stories that year were the Episode 1 preview, DigiScent, broadband film websites, the Y2K bug and its disastrous impending effects, Napster and the MP3 revolution, Al Gore, and the New Economy and its "exploding wealth."
posted by waxpancake at 11:21 AM on February 12, 2002

The Simpsons has been pathetic for quite some time now, ever since Matt Groening went to work on.. oh yeah, Futurama. I'll bet there will be another reality show tho..
posted by fnirt at 11:22 AM on February 12, 2002

Damn, that sucks. Chalk it up to the fact that higher IQ folk are turning to the 'Net for their evenings entertainment, leaving only the mouthbreathers sitting on their couch watching Futurama scratching their heads saying, "I don't get it?" And it's a damn shame too, Groening has done more than anyone else to bring some of the subversiveness and intelligence of underground media to the mainstream.

If you'll excuse me, I'm now gonna run down to the mall and buy that Bender action figure I saw, so I can sell it to one of you jokers in 10 years for mucho dinero.
posted by jonmc at 11:30 AM on February 12, 2002

This really stinks. Futurama is the only tv show I watch.

Oh, and why is it that every time Futurama is mentioned in any forum, anywhere on the entire internet, somebody feels the need to tell us all how much it sucks?
posted by esquilax at 11:34 AM on February 12, 2002

And just a day after Futurama became my favorite television show (it had something to do with the "The most romantic city in the universe-Milwaukee line +the first wisconsin building being in the future)... D'OH....

Futurama could have been successful if Fox would have put it in a time slot where people could actually see it (instead of constantly being pre-empted by football) and if Simpsons fans wouldn't have despised it from out of the gate.

Can they get rid of King of the Hill at least?
posted by drezdn at 11:36 AM on February 12, 2002


Maybe if Fox ran it at a time slot that wasn't covered up by the last half hour of NFL games at the beginning of the tv season and ran new episodes on a regular schedule, the show might have found an audience. But as a big fan of the show (without a Tivo) I've had trouble catching the episodes.

It's shame, because Futurama has been funnier, subtler and better written than The Simpsons over the same time frame. (ahh, how I pine for the Simpsons of the first few seasons) Perhaps Groening's prediction from the Wired interview (as linked by waxpancake above) that "The Simpsons are still on the air in the year 3000" isn't too far off...

Hopefully the full series will be released on DVD before long.
posted by andrewraff at 11:41 AM on February 12, 2002

...as they've cancelled the only things I recorded each week
Perhaps if you used TiVo to record the shows, this wouldn't have happened.
posted by FreezBoy at 11:44 AM on February 12, 2002

Malcolm in the Middle is the most consistently funny and insightful sitcom in production -- a lot like Roseanne in its heyday, with extremely sympathetic characters and spot-on family dynamics, but funnier and more outrageous. (And it's on Fox.)
posted by sudama at 11:49 AM on February 12, 2002

King of the Hill is a close second. I haven't followed Futurama, but that "what if" episode was excellent.
posted by sudama at 11:51 AM on February 12, 2002

Looks like a rumor, Fox hasn't exactly been shy about announcing cancelations before. If you would have asked me a couple months ago I would have picked the Simpsons and King of the Hill as being on the chopping block.

If Fox think it has bad ratings now, I wonder how pleased they're gonna be when their best comedy shows are going to be King of the Hill and the Bernie Mac show. Blah.
posted by skallas at 11:52 AM on February 12, 2002

what's fun on fox? undeclared (soon to be cancelled), boston public (follows anorexic mcbeal, won't go anywhere), family guy (canned), futurama (canned) and simpson's reruns. what's not fun? america's most wanted, cops, temptation island, who wants to get hitched to a rich oddity... wow. talk about reality programming killing quality on a network.
posted by krewson at 11:53 AM on February 12, 2002

Hopefully the full series will be released on DVD before long.

This is the first season on region2, dunno about region 1 yet!!!

posted by monkeyJuice at 11:55 AM on February 12, 2002

Fox needs to be broken into two channels, like MTV and VH1, for younger and older folk. Futurama and Simpsons don't go over well with the younger Temptation Island crowd.

Damn, with the Olympics kicking the few NBC shows I watch and Fox killing my favorite cartoon, I am really close to mothballing my television set.
posted by fleener at 11:56 AM on February 12, 2002

FreezBoy, I do Tivo them, that's the only way I can watch them, as I'm rarely into plopping down at 7pm on a sunday to watch tv. I would prefer to see the simpsons put to sleep, and the futurama or family guy put in its place. I'm going to have no seaon passes on Fox next year at the rate they are going.
posted by mathowie at 12:02 PM on February 12, 2002

Fox's M.O.:

Pick up great show.
Get really nervous about fact it isn't instant hit.
Change schedules around until nobody knows when the hell it is on.
Cancel show.

While Futurama was given the sweet sweet Sunday slot (so I can't cry a huge tear for it -- don't know how it got booted), Family Guy and Tick seemed to get pushed around quite a bit -- I only got to see Tick once (it was great). And I've noticed that while the Bernie Mac show (which, actually, isn't bad) and That 80s Show (absolute poo) get plugged every commercial break, I've barely seen a spot for the Family Guy since their first season (despite it being a far superior program, with enough of a fan base to rate a -- painfully sparse -- binaries newsgroup.).

Almost every Fox show I can think of that's now a bonafide hit spent at least a season or two in obscurity, excepting the Simpsons (Examples: Ally McBeal, That 70s Show, X-Files, King of the Hill.)

But usually with a solid timeslot.

Futurama will be missed: the last season or so has seen the writing really get consistent. I don't think the Simpsons suffered a loss with Matt Groening, however -- I think he was only really involved with the first season, which was mostly dry satire akin to King of the Hill -- his absence was probably beneficial to the Simpsons Golden Years (I'm guessing seasons 5-10 or so.). I think the real loss was Phil Hartman. However, the Simpsons is showing signs of recovery: last episode wasn't insanely bad (though notably below par), and, (thankfully) had a pronounced absence of racial humor that has somehow been slipping in since season twelve (ever since that show when they went to africa -- and what the hell was with that Leprecaun episode?) Also: not too many Homer pratfalls, which is a good sign. Hopefully they fired whoever the hell was responsible for the last year's worth of shows.

Family Guy being canned is a terrible terrible crime, and I hope someone picks up the series -- hands down the best comic timing I have ever seen on television. A bit bawdy, sure, and I think this may have hurt it a bit with certain demographics, but M-A-N, potty humor at it's sophisticated best.
posted by fishfucker at 12:04 PM on February 12, 2002

there's officially no reason to watch the Fox network now

I can think of 24 reasons.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 12:14 PM on February 12, 2002

Secret Fox Meeting...

Programming Consultant #1: Hey, how can we lose all of our hipper, smarter audience?

Programming Consultant #2: Well, we already dumbed down the Simpson's, but Futurama and Family Guy still have an edge.

Programming Consultant #1: I got it, let's dump them both and then sign Greg the Bunny! It's like TV Funhouse on Comedy Central.

Programming Consultant #2: But TV Funhouse is funny... and it's edgy.

Programming Consultant #1: Not the way we do it.

Programming Consultant #2: Excellent! Wanna go grab some Zimas?
posted by eyeballkid at 12:16 PM on February 12, 2002

While Futurama was given the sweet sweet Sunday slot (so I can't cry a huge tear for it -- don't know how it got booted)

Futurama was constantly preempted by football.
posted by skallas at 12:19 PM on February 12, 2002

Television in general pretty much told dong_resin to go fuck himself the moment it cancelled Max Headroom.

The existence of the Cartoon Network pretty much guarantees a revival of both Futurama and Family Guy, though. If not new episodes, than at least the old ones interestingly presented.
posted by dong_resin at 12:25 PM on February 12, 2002

damn, I guess I am going to have to get cable.

Fox, you used to be cool. What happened?
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 12:28 PM on February 12, 2002

I have eight watches -- None of them are fake.
posted by uftheory at 12:30 PM on February 12, 2002

If not new episodes, than at least the old ones interestingly presented.

What does this mean? How is their presentation changed?
posted by BlueTrain at 12:34 PM on February 12, 2002

Like on Adult Swim, or for a while they were showing some animae stuff I don't watch free of commercials after midnight.
Cartoon Network almost seems enthusiastic about it's programming.
posted by dong_resin at 12:42 PM on February 12, 2002

If Undeclared gets canned, I'm going to kill myself. First Freaks and Geeks and now this.

At least FOX has the swank Malcolm in the Middle. And The Simpsons was really good the other day. A step in the right direction, at least.
posted by Fahrenheit at 12:46 PM on February 12, 2002

This is a disappointment. I actually read somewhere that Undeclared is on its deathbed as well. They way they are going they will have an all new Fall Line up.
posted by neo452 at 12:53 PM on February 12, 2002

All I'm hoping is that Andy Richter's new show on Fox doesn't suck. It's the only way they can save some face as far as new programming goes.
Fox isn't totally useless in the Philly area. We get an hour of old Simpsons every week day. Also, Malcom in the Middle is high quality.
posted by Werd7 at 12:55 PM on February 12, 2002

If you (or anyone you know) is interested, the folks at peelified.com have set up an online petition.
posted by scribblative at 1:10 PM on February 12, 2002

I watched a few episodes of "Malcolm" its first season. What a sad little excuse for TV programming.

I also still believe the Simpsons at its worst is better than 95% of what else is on. Of course, I don't have a TV, so I'm not a great judge of these things.
posted by rocketman at 1:28 PM on February 12, 2002

its all about Greg the Bunny people.
posted by jbelshaw at 1:33 PM on February 12, 2002

Hell yeah, I'm going to give "Greg the Bunny" a shot. It's got Eugene Levy, Seth Green, and ... Sarah Silverman. (Yum!)

It just might work. But this is Fox, I'm sure they'll find a way to screw it up. They managed to kill "Undeclared" before it even aired. It was barely advertised, oft-preempted, and when it did air, the episodes were OUT OF ORDER! It made it really hard for even a fan to follow along.

It will be no surprise when it's cancelled. The only surprise is that Judd Apatow has set up yet another pilot at Fox... hasn't he learned from their ineptitude from the last two?
posted by Fofer at 2:07 PM on February 12, 2002

It seems today that all you see is violence in movies and sex on TV. But where are those good old-fashioned values on which we used to rely?

I found it quite interesting that Futurama was good, yet it never took off in the way the Simpsons did. Why not? Possibly because while the story itself was original, the style was not.. it was just The Simpsons crossed with The Jetsons. The characters were mostly unrealistic, and the only one we could directly associate with was Fry. So.. it was a good show with hilarious jokes.. but it lacked magic.

Family Guy, even better than Futurama in my opinion, suffered from the opposite problem. It targeted too narrow a demographic. My parents (late 40s) loved The Simpsons and Futurama but were left scratching their heads to Family Guy.

And, unlike South Park, most people under 18 couldn't understand Family Guy either because the jokes were based on things as diverse as Logan's Run and Speed Racer. The fact that Family Guy translated poorly in an international context (half of the references for the jokes were mostly unheard of outside of the US) also led to its demise.
posted by wackybrit at 2:32 PM on February 12, 2002

Hello... "The Simpsons" is still on!!! Whomever says they have gone downhill is being a bit over-critical. "Futurama", to me, was always the bastard offspring of a great show (The Simpsons), and I personally am not sad at all to see it leave. "The Family Guy" was a good show, however, and will be sorely missed!
posted by crankydoodle at 2:36 PM on February 12, 2002

Darn. I never got around to my exposé of the theme music, which sounds awfully like an obscure instrumental heard in the middle of Costa-Gavras' Z.
posted by dhartung at 2:44 PM on February 12, 2002

maybe UPN will pick it up. like star trek.

I like the simpsons. I never got futurama.

I was sad when the Tick was cancelled. I thought that was the stupidest idea in the world, but it was a truly hilarious show.
posted by rebeccablood at 3:02 PM on February 12, 2002

Yeah, I still like the Simpsons but I've watched them all out of order so claims of "everything sucks after season X" sounds like usual overly devoted fan gripes. Fox hyped the hell out of Undeclared, which I liked but people just didn't watch. I never got Futurama either. The humor always seemed to be of the "heh. see now that is ironic, that's what that is. kind of." Malcolm is good, and so is That '70s Show. I haven't been able to get into Bernie Mac though.
posted by owillis at 3:10 PM on February 12, 2002

Oh, and why is it that every time Futurama is mentioned in any forum, anywhere on the entire internet, somebody feels the need to tell us all how much it sucks?

Because it's a very polarizing show; you either love it or hate it ... or at least don't care for it and quickly get very tired of having to watch others carry on forEVer about how it's The Greatest Show on Television and if you don't like it must be because the jokes are too subtle and intellectual for you and yadda yadda yadda.

I've given Futurama a shot, several times. I never found it at all enjoyable, and it wasn't because I didn't understand the humor. I got it fine. It's just that to me, their jokes don't come off as subtle, but rather as overreaching. It always made me feel as if the writers are a bunch of snobs going out of their way to be as obscure as possible in order to increase their hipness quotient. And to be honest, the non-obscure jokes generally fell flat. I always came away from it thinking that this was a show created so that the Simpsons producers would have a place to give their friends and cronies a writing job and let them hone their skills until the were ready for the Big Time. A Simpsons second string, if you will. And they got a lot of second-string scripts as a result. It's often the B Squad that is most willing to take more chances and try different things, which is the sort of thing a lot of people here seem to care about, but to me it just doesn't matter that much if the attempts don't pan out. And for me, they never did.

Which, you know, is fine in and of itself. I don't expect every show on TV to be designed specifically to please me. But geez, some of the pop culture elitism in this thread is just too strong to let it go by unquestioned.
posted by aaron at 3:35 PM on February 12, 2002

i've seen family guy and futurama a couple times, and have always enjoyed it.. i never know or knew when either was on though, so i didn't catch on to it much or feel as motivated to watch it all the time.. they just better not touch malcolm or that 70s show or even the now-stale simpsons. i will seriously have to drop some bows if they do.

someone mentioned sifl 'n olly earlier.. now THAT was some quality programming. i got the season 3 DVD last weekend.. very cres.
posted by lotsofno at 3:38 PM on February 12, 2002

Sifl n Olly ROCK!

The people at the bank call me Marty! Buy my antifreeze! SUCKERS!!!
posted by aaron at 3:59 PM on February 12, 2002

But geez, some of the pop culture elitism in this thread is just too strong to let it go by unquestioned.

I'm guilty of that... but I dont really care anymore. I'm still pissed off about how the Star Trek suits seemed to favour Voyager over DS9, another underrated classic :)
posted by esquilax at 4:42 PM on February 12, 2002

Or watch HBO.
posted by brittney at 4:50 PM on February 12, 2002

For me, there's officially no reason to watch the Fox network now, as they've cancelled the only things I recorded each week.

I found out last night that I obviously don't watch Australia's Channel 10 (a free-to-air) any more. While surfing through the channels (I have cable) in order to kill 30 mins between shows I came across a NEW episode of Charmed, already almost half way through. The fact that, as an avid Charmed viewer, I had no idea that the new season had started should worry 10 -- it means I don't watch it enough to see any ads.

(At least the episode was consumed with swapping out Shannon Doherty and swapping in that actress from Jawbreaker, so I didn't miss much.)

posted by krisjohn at 5:02 PM on February 12, 2002

Where are we? You're in the grocery store scanner. Oh what's that like? Hey look I can't talk now. [...] Melons 69 cents, Melons 69 cents, Melons Magazine $7.22 Vaseline 35 cents times 1 times 2 times 3 times 4 [..] You broke our satellite just face it. I dunno, I just can't believe they raised the price of Jugs and Milk magazine.

Uh, there's a Sifl n Olly DVD? WOOT!
posted by wackybrit at 5:04 PM on February 12, 2002

Don't put down The Simpsons!

I've found every episode is still laugh-out-loud hilarious. I think we get used to quality stuff pretty quickly, and then expect every episode to be a masterpiece.

I love Futurama, and have from the time it started, which has surprised me, since I initially thought the idea would wear thin over time.
posted by troybob at 6:19 PM on February 12, 2002

Try Malcolm in the Middle. It's a consistently funny dark comedy that even managed to make Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long walk-on roles funny on Super Bowl Sunday. Anyone who can coax genuine comedy out of a gomer like Bradshaw has a true gift.
posted by rcade at 6:27 PM on February 12, 2002

Fox lost all cred with me when they killed off Action.
posted by Dirjy at 7:52 PM on February 12, 2002

Fox lost all cred with me the moment they went on the air.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:00 PM on February 12, 2002

I still make time for The Simpsons and I'll stick with The X-Files to the lameass end.

I've stuck with it for this long so I might as well ride it home.

I like That 70's Show just because Cheap Trick does a variation of a Big Star song for the theme and it's occasionally funny.

That 80's Show blows hard, though.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 9:06 PM on February 12, 2002

why do you people think the 80's show sucks? i dig it. but then again, i grew up in the 80's, so i missed most of it.

and did someone say there's some SIFL N OLY clips out there on the intarweb??!? WHERE?!
posted by jcterminal at 10:17 PM on February 12, 2002

why do you people think the 80's show sucks?

Because it's very unfunny, so far.

I'll give it a few more shots though 'cause I dig the punk chick at the record store.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 11:00 PM on February 12, 2002

That 80s Show blows huge. It's standard sitcom fare -- in the 80s! I'm biding my time until Alf returns (recently seen in 10-10-220 commercials with Terry Bradshaw). When the Melmacian returns, all will be well in TV-land.
posted by owillis at 11:01 PM on February 12, 2002

Speaking of Alf, I had a major Alf flashback when I saw the site for Greg the Bunny. I'm still scared. Hold me.
posted by fraying at 11:53 PM on February 12, 2002

The AICN site has been updated to say that the show hasn't really been 'axed' - there are many unaired episodes, so they can keep running it without comissioning new shows. Apparently the main reason FOX dislikes the show is because Matt Groening owns the show, not them.
posted by viama at 5:00 AM on February 13, 2002

Variety confirms what I said above. There are another 24 episodes to see yet.
posted by viama at 9:08 AM on February 13, 2002

why do you people think the 80's show sucks?

Cause they forgot to create a mullethead metal fan character, thus giving me noone to relate to and an unforgivable lapse in 80's history knowledge.

That and there's no babeage that compares with That '70s Show's Laura Prepon.
posted by jonmc at 4:30 PM on February 13, 2002

... or Mila Kunis
posted by owillis at 4:36 PM on February 13, 2002

I've found every episode is still laugh-out-loud hilarious.

Pfft. The Simpsons have been just another sitcom since at least the 1998 season. I can sit through entire episodes without breaking even a smile and the edgyness that was it's hallmark in the beginning is totally gone now, giving into wider "family programming" appeal.

If that's what you're into, then by all means, feel free to love it. I personally remeber a time when the Simpsons was different that any other show on TV and didn't dumb itself down, that's that's what I loved it for
posted by Hackworth at 3:24 PM on July 13, 2002

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