10:10am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Futurama' Canceled for Third Time
Futurama is coming to an end -- again.
After airing on Fox and a limited run with DVD movies-turned-season five, Comedy Central has opted against moving forward with the animated series from The Simpsons' David X. Cohen and Matt Groening, the cabler said Monday.
Futurama will end its run following the 13-episode back half of its current seventh season, which bows June 19.
The series, which won the outstanding animated program Emmy twice (2002, 2011), about a slacker and his friends in the 31st century has not been the ratings performer it once was, most recently averaging 1.7 million viewers during its run last year.
"I'm very proud of the upcoming season. If this is indeed the end of Futurama, it's a fantastic finish to a good, long run," Groening said in a statement.
Added Dave Bernath, exec vp program strategy at Comedy Central: “Having the opportunity to bring Futurama back for 52 episodes over these last four years has been a thrill for all of us at Comedy Central. The upcoming season promises to be the best final season of Futurama yet.”
Comedy Central will mark the end of the series with special content on CC.com, including galleries of conceptual artwork, clips and exclusive interviews with the cast.
“We’ve been in this situation before, and it’s tempting when you’re doing episodes that are as good or better than anything you’ve ever done to continue doing it,” Groening told EW, noting producers are exploring options to shop the series elsewhere.
Originally developed for Fox, Comedy Central revived the series with four direct-to-DVD films between 2007 and 2009 and aired them as 16 episodes after its deal to air reruns on Adult Swim and Cartoon Network expired. The network ordered 26 new episodes in 2011, splitting them for a two-part seventh season.
For its part, Comedy Central has been bulking up on original programming, most recently ordering a series from comedians Brody Stevens and Adam Devine as well as an adaptation of Broad City. The Viacom-owned network also renewed Workaholics, The Nick Kroll Show and Key & Peele. Longtime staple South Park, meanwhile, has seen its episode order reduced this season.