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Author Topic: Only Twelve Episodes of Futurama for "Season 7"  (Read 3964 times)
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SorynArkayn

Bending Unit
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« on: 06-18-2010 09:01 »
« Last Edit on: 06-18-2010 09:52 »

I'm certain that most of us here already know that Futurama's "Season 7" will only have 12 episodes, and that we'll have to wait until later to see the other 14 episodes of the 26 that have been produced.

Admittedly, a 12 episode season isn't so bad, considering that I'm talking about my favourite TV show of all time, which has miraculously -- and deservedly -- been brought back from cancellation. (And South Park's seasons are divided into two 7 episode runs, which are more unbearable.) Regardless, I'm just a little disappointed that Comedy Central didn't commit all 26 episodes to the seventh broadcast season of Futurama.

However, I've heard that one of the episodes after the 100th episode -- which is scheduled to be Season 7's finale -- is a Holiday episode. I'm hoping that means that CC will premiere the eighth broadcast season of Futurama in December, so that the Holiday episode can be aired at the appropriate time of year. Then the remaining fourteen episodes could be aired, and Season 8 should end in March (unless it's extended by reruns). That would be ideal. If I were in charge, that's what I would do.

Although, if I were in charge, I'd order a million episodes of Futurama, and pay the cast, creative staff, and production crew ten times whatever they earn presently, because IMO they're worth it.

I LOVE FUTURAMA!!!
Quolnok

Starship Captain
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« Reply #1 on: 06-18-2010 09:20 »

Actually, Comedy Central is referring to production season 6 as "season 6" and the movies are being listed in their schedule as "season 0". I'm fairly certain both runs will be "season 6".

Trivia: It appears to be quite common in US television to split a production season in half for any show but still refer to it as one season, this is why mid season two-parters are common.
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #2 on: 06-18-2010 09:24 »
« Last Edit on: 06-18-2010 09:28 »

And here's what you missed on Glee Futurama scheduling:

  • This is the 6th production season, but the 7th broadcast season.
  • The 100th episode will be in this broadcast season, and will be its finale.
  • The 13th episode of this production season is a holiday episode which will be broadcast in December as a stand alone.
  • The remaining 13 episodes of production season 6 will make up the 8th broadcast season, which will premiere sometime in 2011. I would guess summer again, and it seems that's what the grumblings from cast, crew, and channel say.

And it's not about Comedy Central not committing to airing all 26 episodes as one broadcast season. Doing something like that just isn't in their business model. As you said, look at South Park. Their seasons are broken into two miniseasons. Many series on CC go on this miniseason format. What sets this apart from broadcast network practices is that those networks have seasons of ~24 episodes and don't air new episodes during most of December and January. This is where "November and May sweeps" come from, the term used to describe finales, two parters, plot twists, etc. that are used to gain ratings at the end of seasons. This makes for two "miniseasons" on networks of ~13 episodes. As you said about South Park, you get 7 episodes in each miniseason, so there's a lot more down time. It's possible that they'll air Broadcast Season 8 in the winter, but I'm just not sure how likely that is. This is a business, and if I were them, I'd milk this "the future is back" as much as possible.

I'm just happy that we'll get something this summer. 12 episodes are better than none.
SorynArkayn

Bending Unit
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« Reply #3 on: 06-18-2010 09:51 »
« Last Edit on: 06-18-2010 10:47 »

Very informative, i_c_weiner.

However, I hope CC doesn't debut the next season of Futurama in June again. I assumed that the reason why "Season 7" is debuting in June is because it took until now to complete the episodes, and this was the earliest opening in CC's schedule. I can't imagine why CC would prefer to air new episodes of Futurama over the summer, as opposed to a more traditional time of year.

I hope that the next season debuts around February or March 2011, similar to South Park; which should mean that the 13 episode season should end around May or June. That makes more sense to me.

Admittedly though, I simply don't want to wait until next June for the eighth broadcast season of Futurama.

Regarding CC's business model, I suppose you're correct that they might be trying to milk the "Futurama's Back" phenomenon for all it's worth, but I don't think they could maintain the fan's enthusiasm for a year. I understand why CC isn't airing all 26 episodes in a row; that makes perfect sense to me. Spread them out and extend the season with repeats every couple of months; go on Holiday hiatus until the New Year; etc. But the idea of putting those 13 episodes on the shelf until next June just seems ludicrous. Airing them in early 2011 makes much better business sense to me.
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #4 on: 06-18-2010 10:58 »

  • The 13th episode of this production season is a holiday episode which will be broadcast in December as a stand alone.
You don't know that.  That is pure speculation.

  • The remaining 13 episodes of production season 6 will make up the 8th broadcast season, which will premiere sometime in 2011. I would guess summer again, and it seems that's what the grumblings from cast, crew, and channel say.
It would make more sense for it to begin with the holiday episode and then be a spring season.  Not entirely uncommon.
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #5 on: 06-18-2010 19:12 »
« Last Edit on: 06-18-2010 19:14 »

From this article which quotes DXC:
Quote
We also chatted a bit about what's coming up in the series this season and guest stars we could expect to be seeing, "Al Gore will be making his fourth appearance. He's in our holiday special which will be between the two seasons. Other guests for the sci-fi fans includes Katee Sackhoff and she's playing a person with a very alien-related fetish, and I'll just leave it at that. A couple of comedians we're fans of will be making appearances. Chris Elliot, Patton Oswalt and Craig Ferguson will be on. And one more that I'll mention, for our 100th episode for our season finale at the end of the summer we have Devo appearing."
This was posted in the speculation thread two days ago. However, I definitely remember hearing about this before now.
SorynArkayn

Bending Unit
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« Reply #6 on: 06-19-2010 02:30 »

I pleased that CC will air the new Futurama Holiday episode in December, but I hope they don't wait until next June to air the remaining 13 episodes.

As I mentioned before, I can't imagine why CC would choose to air new episodes of Futurama during the summer, when (supposedly) fewer people watch TV. I don't know if CC thinks Futurama will face less competition because other shows are in repeats, but I'd imagine they won't generate as much money from commercials either. The reason why I assumed the CC was debuting the new season of Futurama in June was because the show went back into production roughly a year ago, back when Fox tried to re-cast the voice actors. I assumed it took Rough Draft about a year to produce the 26 new episodes -- or at least the 12 that are ready to air this summer. Even if the remaining episodes aren't ready yet, they'd certainly be finished long before June 2011, so I can't imagine why CC would keep them on the shelf for that long.

Again, it would make much more sense to me if they began the eighth broadcast season early 2011, like March. Of course, sooner is always better IMO.
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #7 on: 06-19-2010 08:06 »
« Last Edit on: 06-19-2010 08:08 »

I remember hearing from cast and crew that they feel that the show will be back "for good" this time. If that's true and the new episodes go over well, CC would probably show Season 8 in the spring and immediately order new episodes to be shown in the fall. That's best case scenario. Worst case renewal scenario is they air Season 8 next summer and then decide they want to renew. Downtime in production is bad for any show, but it's even worse for an animated show, especially one on the scale of Futurama. South Park can crank out an episode in a week because of the art style (it's all down on computers). Futurama has CGI and epic scoring.
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #8 on: 06-19-2010 10:44 »

Well, CC would have to be ordering new episodes around now for them to be able to broadcast a new season after the next one next year.  I'm thinking it'll go down like this:

The episodes begin to air.  CC sees the message (in form of viewer numbers and such).  During the summer, they order a new patch of episodes.  This new patch will first begin to air during the Autumn of 2011.
Otis P Jivefunk

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #9 on: 06-19-2010 12:26 »

I hope this time it's for good, or at least make it to 10 production Seasons...
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #10 on: 06-19-2010 15:55 »

Confirmation that the second part of the 26-episode order will air next summer:

Quote
Even though half the episodes aren't being shown until summer 2011, the production pace is pretty frenetic, Cohen says.

Link.
SorynArkayn

Bending Unit
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« Reply #11 on: 06-19-2010 22:05 »

Confirmation that the second part of the 26-episode order will air next summer:

Quote
Even though half the episodes aren't being shown until summer 2011, the production pace is pretty frenetic, Cohen says.

Link.
I was hoping that was a quote from months ago, but that article was actually posted today.

Regardless, I'm confident that if Futurama does well, CC will consider airing the eight broadcast season sooner than next summer.

My question is how smart is it to air these new episodes of Futurama during the summer? I mean, there's a reason why the networks usually don't air new shows during the summer, because more people are either on vacation or are simply out doing things at night, so shows will get lower ratings.

I wonder what the Futurama demographics are now? Are there a lot of new, younger fans that have been watching the re-runs? Or are diehard Futurama fans the people like me, who have watched it from the beginning. Speaking for myself, I have many friends who are Futurama fans, but people who I know that are at least ten years older or younger than me don't know about Futurama, or only vaguely remember it. So if it's true that most Futurama fans are around my age (I'm 28), how many can tune in Thursday nights at 10 pm?

That's why I question whether it's smart for CC to air the new season of Futurama during the summer? Perhaps defying conventional wisdom will work in the show's favour in this instance, because Futurama will have less competition, and perhaps the Futurama audience is willing to stay home and watch.

However, there seems to be a lot of overlap between Futurama and South Park fans, and most South Park fans don't or can't watch the new episodes of South Park that air Wednesdays at 10 pm. I have to download them to see them; but apparently the people 'State-side who actually get Comedy Central don't watch it when it airs; instead they either download it later or stream it over the internet. So that concerns me that Futurama's television ratings won't be as high as they should be, because most people won't watch it on TV; instead they'll acquire it from other sources.

I think that Futurama's best revenue stream is DVD sales, because every Futurama fan I know buys the DVDs. Even though I've downloaded every episode of Futurama (it was the only way I could watch most episodes from Seasons 3-5 because they were pre-empted so often), I've bought all of the DVD sets and movies; including both DVD and Blu-ray for the last two. I buy them because I want to support the show; the DVDs are higher quality than the download versions; and I love the audio commentaries and special features.

My point is that even if the show doesn't earn great ratings because of the myriad of factors working against it, I'm certain that the DVD sales will be strong, and CC needs to focus on that. That's why I think it would be foolish of them not to order another batch of Futurama episodes. They should've ordered them already. They should definitely order them before the end of the seventh broadcast season, to ensure that the writers and studio have time to complete them, so there isn't a year or more gap between seasons.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #12 on: 06-20-2010 04:37 »

Cable networks don't really follow the same sort of metrics that the broadcast networks do.  It's more typical for cable networks (including Comedy Central) to organize "runs" of their shows that air uninterrupted, rather than the drawn-out seasons from fall through spring that the broadcast networks have, complete with lots of reruns (even a show that doesn't get pre-empted much will have lots of weeks in between fresh weeks where the show is a repeat, only because they need to drag out the season and it isn't sweeps).

DVD sales, sad to say, probably won't have any bearing on Comedy Central's decisions...though perhaps Fox's if they're fronting part of the bill (broadcast syndication rights would also play into this).  Remember, whatever is made through DVD sales would go to Fox, not Comedy Central.

If you're hugely worried about ratings during the summer or on Thursday nights...I wouldn't be.  Comedy Central, as with a lot of cable networks, really doesn't stick to the usual schedule that broadcast networks do (not to sound like a broken record), and they air a lot of shows during the summer successfully.  They try to have at least a few shows airing new episodes at any given point in the year, and most of their major shows are shown later at night, when even the most active during the summer would have come home and would probably be relaxing.  Plus, Thursday nights are actually pretty big TV nights in the States...with the exception of college campuses, Thursdays really aren't big nights out because most people have work the next day.  The Daily Show airs shows on Thursday nights, only a half-hour after the new Futuramas are scheduled, and it gets great ratings. 

So really, I wouldn't worry about it too much...though I, too, don't really want to wait until next June for the next batch of episodes.  If you ask me, it would be best to order another batch at the end of this coming run (which I suspect they might do anyway), and air the following batch in the Spring following "South Park" (though I don't know if "Ugly Americans" will still follow it by then) to capitalize on that show's lead-in.  But I imagine they have their reasons.
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #13 on: 06-20-2010 06:00 »

I think the main reason to not worry about Futurama's ratings is that, as DTB said, it'll be leading into The Daily Show. Stewart and Colbert bring in big ratings, even during the summer months. And, with all the craziness happening in the world (read: Gulf of Mexico) right now, these two satirists are doing mighty fine this summer.

It would be very interesting ratings-wise if they chose to run the next batch in the spring. Think of a line-up of South Park, Futurama, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report. That would rival any broadcast network's primetime/late night lineup.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #14 on: 06-20-2010 07:55 »

^Seriously....those are THE four shows that I watch!  I'd be in heaven.
SorynArkayn

Bending Unit
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« Reply #15 on: 06-20-2010 10:57 »

It would be very interesting ratings-wise if they chose to run the next batch in the spring. Think of a line-up of South Park, Futurama, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report. That would rival any broadcast network's primetime/late night lineup.
That would probably be the best two hours of television ever.

DotheBartman mentioned that Ugly Americans currently airs after new South Park episodes on Wednesdays. We also get that show here in Canada; I've watched a couple of episodes, but I don't like it. I know I don't speak for everyone, but I doubt that show will get picked up for another season. I hope that CC gives Futurama its timeslot after new South Park and chooses to air the eight broadcast season of Futurama during Spring 2011 instead of the Summer.

I agree that the South Park > Futurama > Daily Show > Colbert Report line-up would get HUGE ratings.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #16 on: 06-20-2010 16:44 »
« Last Edit on: 06-20-2010 16:49 »

I'm pretty sure Ugly Americans has been picked up for a 2nd season actually. I can't see it lasting much longer though -I'm also not a huge fan of it.

Edit: I'm not sure if it constitutes a new season or simply an extension of season 1, but either way, apparently they'll be airing in October so Futurama could still take that slot.
KurtPikachu2001

Urban Legend
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« Reply #17 on: 06-24-2010 20:55 »
« Last Edit on: 06-25-2010 19:33 »

I thought the new season would be split into two.  Happens with South Park as well.  I'm sure Futurama will be in the same timeslot as it is.  Thursdays at 10.   If you look on epguides.com, you can see that new Futurama episodes will even be shown in August and September! 
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