Futurama is joining the Family.
The Matt Groening animated series, which ran on Fox from 1999 to 2003, is being brought back by Comedy Central. The cable network has picked up the rights to at least 13 new episodes of the show, which will begin airing in 2008.
Fans of Futurama were pleased to hear that the original voice cast signed up to portray the characters. Katey Sagal will reprise her role of TuRunga Leela, John DiMaggio is back on board as Bender, and Billy West, aka Stimpson J. Cat, will once more voice Fry, the wayward pizza delivery guy.
Futurama was created by Groening as a follow-up to his smash-hit show The Simpsons. The show never found as wide and deep a fan base as did the adventures of the family from Springfield, and like another Fox cult hit, The Family Guy, it was canceled. Now, again like Family Guy, the show is being resurrected partially because fans never gave up on it.
"There is a deep and passionate fan base for this intelligent and very funny show that matches perfectly with our audience, and it is great that we can offer them not just the existing library but something they've never seen as well," senior vice president for programming at Comedy Central David Bernath said in a statement.
Over the weekend, Futurama fan sites began buzzing with the news of the show's resurrection. On TV.com's Futurama forum, user PerfectDark0Fan posted the question, "I wonder if the Futurama writers that currently work on The Simpsons will return?"
With comedy-writing jobs scarce due to the plethora of unscripted shows and the dearth of sitcoms, it's a safe bet they will be.