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Author Topic: What influence did the Internet have on the fate of Futurama?  (Read 298 times)
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PEE Poll: What influence did the Internet have on the fate of Futurama?
Positive   -8 (57.1%)
Neutral   -3 (21.4%)
Negative   -1 (7.1%)
Undecided   -2 (14.3%)
Total Voters: 14


Helpy McHelphelp
DOOP Secretary
« on: 06-04-2005 12:42 »

Okay, this is a question that have popped up in my mind from time to time. The development of Futurama and the premiere coincided with the breakthrough for WWW in the late 90's. From the first episode the World Wide Web has been a big influence on Futurama. The question here is was the influence for  better or for worse?

  • It enabled fans from around the world to find eachother with ease, interact and expand the fanbase
  • Fans were able to make websites, showing their love and support for the show, giving The Powers That Be a clear indication that the show had the potential to be a hit
  • With messageboards, websites and newsgroups TPTB had an instant way of getting feedback from the viewers, helping the tweak the show to perfection
  • The word of mouth on the Internet help spread the news of the show to far off places, effectively cultivating a market before the show even aired

  • Episode downloading and P2P-networks meant TPTB could see their product offered for free, cheating them out of their only way of making a revenue
  • With the possibility for instant feedback came the possibility for instant bashing from haters. It meant if TPTB read the wrong messageboards or maillists they would get an overwhelming feeling of their show being highly unpopular
  • Every Tom, Dick and Harry could make an eBay account and sell bootleg merchandise, again cheating the producers out of revenue

You could say the Internet helped create a fanbase for the show through websites, forums, a.t.f., etc., but many shows before it managed to become popular to the point of pop-culture icons, The Simpsons and Star Trek being the obvious examples.

So how do you see the influence of the Internet on our beloved show? Was it positive, negative or neutral?

Don't confuse not caring with not knowing!

Bending Unit
« Reply #1 on: 06-04-2005 12:48 »

Well decidedly positive, as thats how many of their ideas came into existence.

Starship Captain
« Reply #2 on: 06-04-2005 12:57 »

The Internet brings us PEEL. 'nuff said.

where else would I go... outside? i shudder at the thought

The Listmaker
Urban Legend
« Reply #3 on: 06-04-2005 13:55 »

Well I think that beside the fact of the fans finding themselves on websties and communities like our PEEL is, the feedback to the team producing Futurama was the main impact the internet directly had. We heard it many times that message boards got mentioned during the commentaries to the episodes, as well as some special websites (a CGEF and ANSTATMAWS mixup for example) are mentioned.
But even if we look away from the fanbase, it's clear that the internet itself probably helped to solve some troubles during the production. I can imagine that some recordings of guest stars have been made over the web (Like Donovan was recorded over the phone).
Same goes for the information and data stream between the writing and developing team in Hollywood and the RDS. Which I could imagine was done by using the web as well.

Sure there was the bad influence in case of the P2P charing, but was it really that bad in the end? Sure it was a great loss of money, in case of the DVD selling rates, but I guess it also helped a lot to spread the word through out the world. There have been many fans who have seen their first episode on a LAN party. Our very own TLL for example. She has seen Space Pilot 3000 even before it came out in German.

To summarize my opinion. I think that the internet had a mainly positive impact on Futurama. I'd even go that far to say that it wouldn't have become the same without the modern communication the internet offered.

btw.: Curse you Teral for bringing intelligence back to the On-topic boards.  tongue

Starship Captain
« Reply #4 on: 06-04-2005 16:08 »

Fox can only care about its income of money from futurama sales. So I would say it was on the negative side of things. However the internet did bring all those positive thing mentioned. But I still think negative outweighs the positive.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #5 on: 06-04-2005 16:33 »

Wait a second. An intelligent thread in the On-topic section and isn't a game?...Thank your god for Teral.

I think that the Internet has had both a positive and negative effect on Futurama. I don't think that bootlegs and such made Futurama get cancelled, but it may have an effect on its future. On the other hand, the Internet has brought us CGEF and PEEL, two great things that spread Futurama to nations worldwide. So, in conclusion, I'm neutral.
The Baz

Bending Unit
« Reply #6 on: 06-06-2005 05:20 »

I think during the rocky times that FOX had with Futurama that the internet community helped.  Some years back we were pretty vocal and big.  I know they were at least annoyed by our thousands of letters complaining about the treatment of the show.
David A

Urban Legend
« Reply #7 on: 06-06-2005 11:12 »

Where's the option to vote for "none at all"?

Seriously, The Powers That Be only cared about ratings, and to a lesser extent, sales of DVDs and other merchandise.  I'm sorry, but I just don't believe that the Futurama internet community was big enough to make any difference.  Remember our petition that was hand delivered to Fox?  I know I do, but I doubt that The Powers That Be remember, if they ever even read it at all.

Don't get me wrong, I think that the internet has had a positive effect on those of us who are part of the online Futurama community, and on Futurama fandom in general.  I just don't think that we had any influence over the fate of the show.

Originally posted by GFF:
Sure there was the bad influence in case of the P2P charing, but was it really that bad in the end? Sure it was a great loss of money, in case of the DVD selling rates, but I guess it also helped a lot to spread the word through out the world.

So, you're saying that it was a choice between a cancelled show that's known throughout the world, and a show that's still on, but no one outside of the US has heard of it?  I know which one I'd choose, although those of you who live in not-America may feel differently.
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