It looks like “Futurama” will be coming back to television with its voice talent intact. Fox has reached a deal with “Futurama” regulars Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille , John DiMaggio and Maurice LaMarche that will keep the gang at Planet Express cracking wise for at least 26 episodes. More after the jump…
Earlier this month we told you that 20th Century Fox had begun the process of finding new voice talent in preparation for the long-awaited television return of “Futurama”. It seems that the salary demands of Bender et. al. were a bit steep, or at least steeper than Fox was willing to go for a show destined for basic cable. As Jon Stewart has often pointed out, the budgets over at Comedy Central are not comparable with network TV. Therefore a reborn “Futurama” demanded sacrifices. Chief among them? Less money for the artsy-types.
But it turns out that hardcore “Futurama” fans were none too pleased to learn that the series would be coming back with a bunch of new voices. After all, wasn’t it these same hard-core fans that got “Futurama” a shot at new episodes after six years of reruns in the first place? Finally, a deal was reached for an undisclosed amount per-actor, per-episode. Other cuts will fill in the budget shortfall, including a smaller writing staff and a shorter delivery schedule. Let’s hope that Matt Groening and David X. Cohen don’t live to regret that one.
As for the men behind the space hi-jinxs, they couldn’t be happier to have their cast back, telling Variety that they have already started “putting mouths back on the characters.”