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Author Topic: IMDb Flashbacks  (Read 600 times)
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Action Jacktion

Professor
*
« on: 05-06-2003 22:54 »
« Last Edit on: 05-06-2003 22:54 »

I was looking around the IMDb and dug up some old articles on Futurama.  Read them for a mix of nostalgia, anger, and irony:

 
Quote
(17 Feb. 1999)

Fox TV plans to offer two hours of animated programming on Tuesday nights beginning April 6. That's when Matt Groening's new Futurama moves into the 8:30 time slot after a two-week kickoff on Sundays. Eddie Murphy's The PJs will move into the 9 p.m. period. King of the Hill will remain in the 8 p.m. anchor slot while re-runs of King of the Hill and The Simpsons will alternate in the 9:30 slot. Meanwhile, yet another new animated comedy, Family Guy, is set to move into the 8:30 time slot on Sundays beginning April 11.
 
Quote
(30 March 1999)

Fox TV apparently has another Matt Groening hit on its schedule. The debut of Futurama, which followed The Simpsons Sunday night posted an 11.2 rating and a 17 share, up 19 percent from a Simpsons episode that preceded it. Futurama also won its time slot. The animated sitcom, which will air next Sunday again in the 8:30 time period, will move to Tuesdays at 8:30 starting April 6.
 
Quote
(31 March 1999)

Fox has seen the future and it is Futurama. That appeared to be the general conclusion of analysts as the new animated series scored an impressive 11.2 rating on Sunday night, placing it 11th in the Nielsen rankings....

The performance of Futurama on Sunday night reportedly surprised Fox execs, who had shown lukewarm reaction to the show prior to its airing, the New York Times reported today (Wednesday). According to the newspaper, the show's creator, Matt Groening who also created The Simpsons, had fought vocally to place Futurama on Sunday, where, in its debut, it was the highest-rated show of the week among male viewers 18-49 and the most popular show among all teenagers. The Times cited an unnamed Fox exec as saying that Fox execs "grudgingly" granted the show a two-week window on Sundays following The Simpsons; the network will then move the show to Tuesdays.
 
Quote
(7 April 1999)

For the second straight week, the animated Matt Groening comedy Futurama was the highest-rated show among teens. However, the show, which reportedly had failed to impress Fox execs when they screened the pilot (according to some accounts, they only reluctantly agreed to slot it in the Sunday spot for two weeks), faces an uncertain future. As Washington Post TV writer Lisa de Moraes observed today (Wednesday), "Fox rewarded Futurama creator Matt Groening for the high teen ratings by moving the show from its best sitcom time slot to its worst -- Tuesday at 8:30 p.m., where it debuted last night."
 
Quote
(8 April 1999)

Ratings for the new Matt Groening animated sitcom Futurama plunged more than 50 percent in its Tuesday-night debut compared with its average ratings during the previous two Sundays, according to Nielsen overnights. Meanwhile, Groening has fired a volley of criticism at Fox programming execs in an interview appearing in today's (Thursday) New York Daily News. The creator of The Simpsons and Futurama says that TV network execs continually interfere with program producers by sending them notes making critical suggestions and demanding revisions. "When they tried to give me notes on Futurama, I just said: 'No, we're going to do this just the way we did The Simpsons.' And they said, 'Well, we don't do business that way anymore.' And I said, 'Oh, well, that's the only way I do business.' And I think it shows. I think when you let creators have a vision without compromise -- not to say that it works every time, but my two times at bat, it seems to have worked. If anything, I think I should be giving the network notes."
 
Quote
(11 May 1999)

The Simpsons creator Matt Groening is still feuding with Fox about its decision to insert his latest series, Futurama in its Tuesday-night cartoon block, USA Today reported today (Tuesday). Groening, it said, is still campaigning to have the show moved to Sundays, where it debuted. "Fox had another Simpsons-style hit in the making on Sundays," Groening told the newspaper. "The numbers were phenomenal."
alexvilagosh

Goose Patrol
Space Pope
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« Reply #1 on: 05-07-2003 05:57 »

very interesting. So FOX were already screwing with Futurama 2 weeks in.
PCC Fred

Space Pope
****
« Reply #2 on: 05-07-2003 06:06 »

Well, MG got his wish, the show was moved back to Sundays...
CyberKnight

Urban Legend
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« Reply #3 on: 05-07-2003 07:22 »

To the next-worst slot they could find. And to compensate, they responded by not advertising it at all.
Teral

Helpy McHelphelp
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #4 on: 05-07-2003 07:53 »

What I find puzzling is FOX' failure to support the show, even though it was a ratings hit. They decided to screw with the show despite ratings in the 10's, and above Simpsons. No wonder FOX is slumping in the race aginst other networks. Apparently personal taste of execs count for so much more than ratings and Nielsen numbers.
flagg_swe

Crustacean
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« Reply #5 on: 05-07-2003 13:06 »
« Last Edit on: 05-07-2003 13:06 »

Hmm, I wonder if this is some sort of revenge against Groenig because hes refused to obey their wishes?   wink
CyberKnight

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #6 on: 05-07-2003 13:23 »

Probably. The sequence of events is so bizarre that there must be some personal explanation for it.

By the way, welcome to PEEL (am I authorised to say that yet, master Teral?  wink).
Action Jacktion

Professor
*
« Reply #7 on: 05-07-2003 14:23 »
« Last Edit on: 05-07-2003 14:23 »

This does bring back the memories, doesn't it?  I had forgotten about Fox's attempt at an all-cartoon Tuesday, but now I remember.  And Futurama ranked #11 in the ratings?  It seems so unbelievable now.

Knowing Fox, if Futurama had been moved back to Sunday at 8:30, it wouldn't have stayed very long before they decided to move it again in favor of some new show.  Sunday at 7:00 isn't a time slot that Fox is going to screw around with much, so maybe Futurama lasted longer there than it would have at 8:30 on Sunday or Tuesday.  Just trying to be positive.

So let me see if I can get it straight: Futurama is first shown Sunday at 8:30, though Fox had always planned it for the Tuesday cartoon block.  Futurama moves to Tuesday and Family Guy get the Sunday slot.  Fox quickly decides the Tuesday cartoons aren't working and for the 1999-2000 season moves Futurama and King of the Hill back to Sunday, though Family Guy gets moved to Tuesday (and later Thursday).  Futurama languishes at 7:00 for a few years.

It's such an odd story; it seems Fox didn't want to bother getting anything else for the Sunday at 7:00 slot and kept Futurama around because it was something to fill the time (and maybe because they didn't want to immediately cancel something they made such a big deal about before it started).  Has it really had the Sunday at 7:00 time slot since 1999?

Too bad they didn't put it on at 7:30 instead of 7:00.  I hear King of the Hill has already been renewed for next season.
Otis P Jivefunk

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #8 on: 05-07-2003 14:57 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Teral:
What I find puzzling is FOX' failure to support the show, even though it was a ratings hit. They decided to screw with the show despite ratings in the 10's, and above Simpsons. No wonder FOX is slumping in the race aginst other networks. Apparently personal taste of execs count for so much more than ratings and Nielsen numbers.

I find it puzzling too, and frustrating that Fox treats Futurama like this. This just goes to show that they never gave it a chance, they just ignored it and pretended it wasn't even there. And you're right, it looks like it's down to the personal taste of the Fox execs, but are you sure they actually have any taste?

flagg_swe

Crustacean
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« Reply #9 on: 05-07-2003 15:40 »

Bad taste is also a form of taste  wink
Gocad

Space Pope
****
« Reply #10 on: 05-07-2003 16:28 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by flagg_swe:
Bad taste is also a form of taste   wink

Probably the best.

Btw, welcome to PEEL, flagg_swe!


I'm watching you. Yes, YOU!
Zoidberg MD

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #11 on: 05-08-2003 00:52 »

In fox case, thier taste seems to be for money.  They sure sucked a whole hell of a lot of it out of the simpsons.  Coupled with the endless string of generic, staged, "reality shows" they keep cranking out.  Seems like original shows like Futurama loose out.  Matt Goenig even hits on this in "When aliens attack. :
Fry: "I prefer programs of the genre 'World's blankiest blanks'."
Fry: "But that's not why people watch TV. Clever things make people feel stupid and unexpected things make them feel scared."
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