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Author Topic: Was Futurama "For Everyone?"  (Read 1008 times)
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Pitt Clemens

Urban Legend
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« on: 10-25-2003 02:09 »

Obviously the show did not go over well with big-wigs who had vested their intrest mainly in revinue due to them, over popularity and public opinion. That is obvious.

[Very important]
So don't bring it up.
[/Very important]

Personally, I think the audience of Futurama wasn't an extremely wide-base, the core of the fans are either: Fans of Greoning, fans of Sci-fi, or friends of fans, who became fans themselves. (Raises hand)

That being said, do you think the fan base is an isolated, but strong cult following, i.e. we, the PEELers, or could it/would it/does it have a wider audience?


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Beamer

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #1 on: 10-25-2003 02:18 »

Due to it's sci-fi theme, Futurama was always destined to have a much smaller, or "cult" following than, say - The Simpsons.
zoidyzoid

Professor
*
« Reply #2 on: 10-25-2003 02:30 »

Somewhere in between. It's obviously not nearly as mainstream as The Simpsons, but I think the fanbase is a bit broader than just a 'cult following'.
Spice Weasel

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #3 on: 10-25-2003 02:39 »

Joe Punchclock and Sally Housecoat don't want to watch witty "injokes" about sci-fi nerdisms, nor could they be bothered with alcoholic robots and suicide booths.  When fox realized they didn't get The Simpsons in space, they tossed in the towel. To say it's a cult show is an understatment.  It's like calling the Grand Canyon a pothole.  Futurama didn't pay the bills and NFL Football does.  Go figure.  I blame the American education system.   
davierocks

Professor
*
« Reply #4 on: 10-25-2003 04:09 »

When I came over to the UK i was amazed at how few people watched Futurama, even compared to America.  Fox or Channel4 really messed up with the show over here. The first season was put on Channel4 at a decent time-slot, but after that it seemed to be entirely random.  I don't think that futurama ratings failed due solely to the "geekiness" of the show by any means, it simply did not have enough advertisment or enough consistency in when it was screened (in the UK at least).  Most people I know think the show was great but just didn't watch it for the above reasons.  Like the Simpsons there were many in-jokes but there were also many jokes per episode that a first time viewer could get.
All in all I blame fox.  Evil Rupert Murdoch and his evil network.
canned eggs

Space Pope
****
« Reply #5 on: 10-25-2003 04:18 »

One other issue is the age demographics targeted by the show.  The first season, the show was intended to be OK for kids, and when Mom says "crap," DXC thought this was scandalous.  By the end of the show's run, it was filthy, because the producers were essentially daring the network to keep it on at 7:00.  Hence "Spanish Fry," etc.  So if everyone includes kids, then yes and no.
Robiben

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #6 on: 10-25-2003 04:24 »
« Last Edit on: 10-25-2003 04:24 »

Well of course Futurama wasn’t for "everyone". But no show ever is.

I think it came down to advertising, the "death" slot and fox's hate for the show. When Futurama was advertised properly and in a decent slot it did great. I mean they say on the DVD that Futurama was the highest rated debut of any show on fox. That says something.

If anyone ever watches fox anymore (which I doubt) you will see absolute shit loads of advertising for the Simpsons. I mean Fox 8 in Australia have about 12 Simpson episodes in a row. And during the whole week every ad break has "12 Simpson episodes" in a row advertising.

You only have to look at the Cartoon Network ratings to see that Futurama did very well. And these were re-runs. Also most of the places I went to get the DVDs from had sold out. So Futurama defiantly wasn’t unpopular.

I am also very ashamed that Rupert Murdoch is Australian. I wish he would just fuck off and die...or bring back Futurama. Hopefully the latter.

Edit: Ratings for Cartoon Network
 http://www.peelified.com/cgi-bin/out.cgi?u=http://www.itty-bitties.com/toon_aug_top_100.xls

Otis P Jivefunk

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #7 on: 10-25-2003 05:14 »
« Last Edit on: 10-25-2003 05:14 »

I think a lot of the problem wasn't that people didn't want to see it, but because people couldn't see it, a problem caused by the crappy TV networks. Futurama always had hardcore fans, but many fans of shows like The Simpsons are casual fans. They make up a large amount of The Simpsons fanbase. And it's almost impossible to build those up when the show gets pre-emted more weeks than it's on...
MrBurns

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #8 on: 10-25-2003 08:11 »

In Germany they put Futurama on a bad time slot just after the second season, so there weren't that many fans here. Also, the German version sucked big time, the voices were lame and many jokes were translated really bad so they didn't make any sense. I remember wanting to convince a few so called "friends" to become Futurama fans, but they were making fun of it all the time. Oh well, I love my DVD box sets.
Sil

Professor
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« Reply #9 on: 10-25-2003 09:23 »
« Last Edit on: 10-25-2003 09:23 »

davierocks - agreed!

They haven't shown any season 4 on terrestrial here, and still haven't shown I Dated a Robot from season 3.

My parents hate the show, mainly because I love it, I think, but I think the show is probably a "cult" show, but with a larger cult following than would normally be expected (think Rocky Horror Picture Show or Star Trek - both allegedly "cult" programming).

I agree with MrBurns too - watching it in Spain was painful; the voices were average, and some of the jokes were mangled beyond recognition.  The songs are kept in English, but subtitled appallingly. 

If it's a cult show, then it's a very popular cult show, but never as mainstream as FOX (damn them  up yours ) wanted it to be.
Lt. Kroker

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #10 on: 10-25-2003 09:28 »

At least in the UK, its connection with the Simpsons does get it quite a few casual viewers. Sky One actually sometimes put it in a decent timeslot, and a new episode usually placed 5th or 6th in the Sky ratings for the week. I think very few people saw its true brilliance, and most just thought it was a Groening show that wasn't as good as the Simpsons.
Sil

Professor
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« Reply #11 on: 10-25-2003 09:38 »

Most people (IMHO) sort of subliminally went "Hey, another show by Matt Groening! Cool! Oh wait, this isn't exactly the same as the Simpsons - this sucks!"
People like to stick to the stuff they know and love, which is why the Simpsons is still around; it's a money and ratings spinner, which is why it's still in production when it should have rolled over and died about 4 seasons ago.
User_names_suck
Professor
*
« Reply #12 on: 10-25-2003 10:01 »

probably a combination of the things mentioned,
it varies from person to person,
i dont think most people cared it wasn't exactly like the simpsons, people would have stayed patient with it, thinking it would get better
Futurama_Hil

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #13 on: 10-25-2003 11:33 »

No, it wasn't.

First off, you can't like it if you don't have a sense of humor. Next, it may be too "sick" for some (May not seem to us, but to others it may). You have yo be not just the average TV viewer- you need more wit than that (which is why fox didn't like it, bastards :P). I have a very small interest in sci-fi, but I love Futurama anyway for many other reasons.
Gleno

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #14 on: 10-25-2003 11:49 »

No TV show is ever going to be to everyone's liking, that's obvious....
It's hard to say though about Futurama, it was given a decent chance in Australia for the first 2 seasons it was on in Prime time, but it got taken off for 2 years so it either didn't go well in the ratings....or "they" just didn't like it enough....

I'm going to start rambling so I'll edit this later when I have a point to make....

Let me break....let me break you down....for your sake....I will break you down...."[/small]
catindisguise

Screamy
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #15 on: 10-25-2003 12:50 »

Lots of people I know have seen futurama and say, "futurama, isn't that the show with the robot and the one eyed lady?" and unless I tie them to a chair and force them to watch it, like I have done with my friends, they don't think about it much. People do know OF it, but because of the stupid British TV randomness, they have only seen a few episodes of season 1 or 2. That makes me sad  frown
Tropic of Fry

Crustacean
*
« Reply #16 on: 10-25-2003 14:47 »
« Last Edit on: 10-25-2003 14:47 »

I think Futurama was too smart for most people. Too subtle, too satirical, and too geeky at times.
The Simpsons, while all of these things, has plenty of humor for the masses. Futurama sticks to its guns much more however.
I love the fact that Futurama doesn't cater down to the people who think Blind Date is funny. And the geekiest jokes of all, namely the dungeons and dragons jokes, are my favorites. Not necessarily because i am a geek, although i lean that ways often enough, but because sci-fi, and other geeky things are incredibly imaginative and therefore any jokes derived from them are equally so.
At the risk of sounding heavy handed, America's imagination is pretty much dead. Very little of our cultural, artistic output has any substance to it anymore; granted we make some nice independant movies. Futurama's jokes ranged from requiring the ability to sift through wit to a required knowledge of sci-fi/low-grade physics/coding/computers and finally, fantasy, or rather the ability to comprehend and enjoy flights of imagination, not something the average Chad can readily understand or grasp.
phew, sorry if that was long winded. I hope my point was understood and digested. Please reply with your take.

"Please go away!" Ignatius screamed. "You're shattering my religious ecstacy!"
Evil Fox Exec

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #17 on: 10-25-2003 15:07 »

I just want to say one thing:  It was not Futurama's fault.  There is nothing wrong with the show.  I disagree 100% with Tropic of Fry.  Everybody has to keep in mind the demographics.  Futurama's target audience is the 18-25 group.  It helps to be at least computer literate when watching Futurama (but it's not necesary), but most everyone in that age group is computer literate.  It also has nothing to do with the sci-fi setting.  I hate most sci-fi with a passion, but I generally don't think of Futurama as a sci-fi show.  Yes, I know that it technically is sci-fi, but it doesn't feel that way to me, because the focus on the show is the characters, like any other sitcom, and the futuristic setting is just the background.

So why did Futurama do bad on Fox?  Any idiot should know why.  All the pre-emptions and lack of promotion took it's toll.  My local Fox affiliate, for example, only showed Futurama six times November 2002 through May 2003.  How is the casual viewer supposed to follow some a screwed up schedule like that?  Look how great the rating are on CN.  That should tell you everything you need to know.
davierocks

Professor
*
« Reply #18 on: 10-25-2003 15:18 »

I don't agree that the average TV viewer is simply too "dumb" to get the majority of jokes on the show.  To paraphrase what I think Matt once said about the Simpsons, there are plenty of social commentary style jokes for the more intelligent viewer, but there are also lots of Homer bumping into stuff and saying D'oh!.  Maybe Futurama didn't have quite so many of these dumb jokes, but I was a casual viewer up until Season 3 started and still found the double act of Fry and Bender hilarious without neccesarily getting all the in jokes.  Although I am slightly geeky which I guess may help.
However, I don't really think it can be blamed on the shows content or the intelligence of the average viewer
This is a complicated one though and there were obviously many factors leading to the cancellation of the show.
Hmmm....
M Jackson
Professor
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« Reply #19 on: 10-25-2003 15:38 »

I think that Futurama has a wider appeal than you would think. Most of my friends like it. Two of them in particular watch it nearly as much as me. As for my parents, I knew that my mum quite liked it but I was never sure about my Dad. Then a couple of weeks ago I got home, my parents and my little sister were already eating dinner, and they were all watching Rosewell that Ends Well, then Loves Labours Lost in Space on Sky One (who are currently showing double bills every Sunday). My dad was actually giggling too much to drink without spitting it out! He's currently borrowing my Season 2 DVD, and says he now thinks it's hilarious but he'd never watched a whole episode before. In the last weeks or so he's watched most of season 2. So Futurama is still atracting new fans all the time. And Zoidyzoid is right, it's more than a cult it! Think how comercial the DVDs are, and look at all the other merchandise. Apart from The Simpsons, it's probably the biggest animated sit-com.
davierocks

Professor
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« Reply #20 on: 10-25-2003 15:41 »

More so than South Park?! That's not true is it?
Tropic of Fry

Crustacean
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« Reply #21 on: 10-25-2003 15:41 »
« Last Edit on: 10-25-2003 15:41 »

ok well, i think you might have misunderstood me Evil Fox Exec. I didn't say that it was Futurama's fault. However, Futurama did avoid appealing to the mainstream, you just can't deny that. However, i agree with Davierocks that it did have some great slapstick humor, and charcter comedy(bender's kleptomania etc..)
Now, i think the average viewer is 'dumb' in the way that they willingly choose not to think. TV serves as a sedative more than an active past-time.
In actuality, i think if Futurama had been more mainstream, it would have been cancelled sooner. As it is, it didn't falter in what it set out to do and it showed that less mainstream  humor could still find a niche. A combination of the never gargantuan audience and fox's negligence killed it.

also, keep in mind that i'm talking about strictly the american audience.
Spice Weasel

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #22 on: 10-25-2003 15:44 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by catindisguise:
isn't that the show with the...one eyed lady?"

That's exactly what my Dad said to me when I mentioned Futurama.  Even he was aware of it, and he certainly doesn't watch cartoons.

That being said.  Even if they really pushed it and left it in the timeslot it deserved, 8:30 Sundays after Simpsons.  Would it be any more popular?
 
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #23 on: 10-25-2003 17:03 »

I think that without Fox's "help" it would have lasted longer but still would have struggled.  Let's face it...there's just too big a peice of that potential target audience that won't allow themselves to watch sci-fi or think its too "weird".  It certainly would never be as big as The Simpsons.  However, I think it would have found a lot more fans then it did and would have lasted a while; most long running tv shows don't pull in The Simpsons or Joe Millionaire style ratings all the time.  I think it would have been more like "King of the Hill".  Never a gigantic hit, but at the same time had enough regular viewers that cancelling could never be warranted.
evan

Urban Legend
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« Reply #24 on: 10-25-2003 17:28 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Beamer:
Due to it's sci-fi theme, Futurama was always destined to have a much smaller, or "cult" following than, say - The Simpsons.

Science fiction can be successful on network tv, but most people don't realize that. Think how long "Star Trek" has lasted. Think of the nine seasons (and Emmy noms) for "The X-Files." UPN has Buffy, which is more sci-fi than people realize. And, every summer, almost every big budget movie is sci-fi of some sort(The Matrix, the Hulk, X-Men, Terminator, etc...).

I think Futurama could have been a great, solid cult favorite (wait, it is now!). It could have found its proper niche with some better advertising and a regular timeslot. But, it didn't do so bad, when you compare it to other tv shows/cartoons/sci-fi shows.
catindisguise

Screamy
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #25 on: 10-25-2003 19:17 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Tropic of Fry:
I think Futurama was too smart for most people. Too subtle, too satirical, and too geeky at times.
The Simpsons, while all of these things, has plenty of humor for the masses. Futurama sticks to its guns much more however.
I love the fact that Futurama doesn't cater down to the people who think Blind Date is funny. And the geekiest jokes of all, namely the dungeons and dragons jokes, are my favorites. Not necessarily because i am a geek, although i lean that ways often enough, but because sci-fi, and other geeky things are incredibly imaginative and therefore any jokes derived from them are equally so.
At the risk of sounding heavy handed, America's imagination is pretty much dead. Very little of our cultural, artistic output has any substance to it anymore; granted we make some nice independant movies. Futurama's jokes ranged from requiring the ability to sift through wit to a required knowledge of sci-fi/low-grade physics/coding/computers and finally, fantasy, or rather the ability to comprehend and enjoy flights of imagination, not something the average Chad can readily understand or grasp.
phew, sorry if that was long winded. I hope my point was understood and digested. Please reply with your take.


I agree with you.
I also think that futurama hasn't had enough exposure. I showed futurama to my dads friend and he loved it. He is now hooked. All I can say to you people out there is CONVERT THEM. SHOW THEM THE LIGHT!!
Futurama does have a lot of nerdy jokes in. There are some very subtle references that only a few die hard nerds will get. Even now I am finding new references and laughing even harder.
It isn't people in a certain age group who will be attracked though. I am only 13 and I have loved futurama for years. our youngest PEELer is what? 10??? I can get 45 year olds to like it dammit!
Oh dear, I've been ranting haven't I...
Ah well, thats my 2 cents
KurtPikachu2001

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #26 on: 10-25-2003 20:51 »

I think Futurama is a show that all ages can enjoy.  Of course there's some episodes that kids shouldn't see.  Futurama can be enjoyed by the whole family, even kids.  I do agree that the show was intended to be okay for kids to watch.  I watch it with my younger sister, and of course our parents don't approve because they think we're obsessed with it.
Squeezit

Bending Unit
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« Reply #27 on: 10-26-2003 02:24 »

I totally disagree that you need to even have a shred of intelligence to enjoy Futurama. My dad is brain damaged and he agreed with me that Futurama is better than the Simpsons.

Fox single handedly killed the show. And I say--an eye for an eye, damnit. If only the arsonists around here in California were smart enough to light up Fox studios.
catindisguise

Screamy
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #28 on: 10-26-2003 05:58 »

I like the way you think, maybe it is time for fox to have a little, shall we say, HOT accident. MWAHAHAHAHAHAAA
Zaphod

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #29 on: 10-26-2003 12:34 »

futurama is a great program that will be remembered for it's zaneynes and will probably be revived in the future
catindisguise

Screamy
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #30 on: 10-26-2003 18:59 »

We all hope that don't we Zaphod......
Welcome to PEEL!
Just Chris

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #31 on: 10-26-2003 19:49 »

Futurama wasn't for a lot of people, unlike The Simpsons. Futurama's humor was more dark and cynical in many times. And not to mention that its sci-fi setting set the stage for lots of geek-happy humor (Fear of a Bot Planet: Most. Computer. Jokes. Ever.) Though sci-fi can be very successful on TV, Futurama is animated, which leads people to think it has a more childish undertone, and it does.

However, making the move to a popular cable network was very wise. A new fanbase will be formed, paving a new era for Futurama-dom, or something.
catindisguise

Screamy
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #32 on: 10-26-2003 19:54 »

Just what I would have said, if i could be bothered or articulate my thoughts...
Lionel Hutz Esq

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #33 on: 10-26-2003 21:02 »

There were two things that contributed to Futurama's only making four seasons (and, let's not forget, no TV, four seasons isn't bad.  Few shows last past five).

1)  As has been mentioned, Fox treated the show very badly.  They put it on at the wrong time, so it was pre-empted and didn't reach it's demographic.  They didn't promote it (at least, until this summer, when I think they started to realize they could make a buck off of it). 

I'm sure some people tuned in thinking "Ah, the Simpsons in Space" and were disapointed, but I think Fox could have kept these people watching if Fox had been slightly inteligent.  The basic humor is the same (witty, sarcastic and satiric, lots of parodies), and the writing and animation were excellent.  Fox just never tried.

2)  S/F never does well on TV.  The only major success that lasted was STNG and X-files...., and only X-Files was a show that easily cracked the top-twenty shows in America when on (and don't start me on how bad it got in the end... Futurama was cancelled to early, X-Files to late.)  Even Buffy, which has been mentioned above, was never that strong.

But, S/F can do well if you don't expect it to be Friends.  You get a good demographic (15-45, disposable income, intelligent...., generally), and, as has been seen here, loyalty.  Futurama probably cost 1/10th of what Friends cost to produce, and probably get's about 1/4th it's ratings.  Not a bad trade off, really.  Fox could have used this to their benefit..., instead, they put it on a 7p family hour on Sunday, where half the time it got bumped by Football.  Look how well it did during the summer (even though most people I mentioned it to would say "I thought that was cancelled a year ago." 

It wasn't meant for everyone, but what show is?  I have no problem with TV trying to appeal to the most people, but demanding that every show be in the top-ten is foolish.  Fox aren't the only idiots (Although killing off The Tick {Run and get the DVD, well worth it} and Futurama within a year of each other says something.  ABC did it with Sports Night, and the rest have their stupid decisions.  The Great Shame, however, is that Futurama still had a lot of life in it.

Damn you FOX.
catindisguise

Screamy
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #34 on: 10-27-2003 14:23 »

Again, what I would have said, if I had the brains or the typing endurance.
Mouse On Venus

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #35 on: 10-27-2003 14:36 »

You're on one hell of a roll there, cat.  wink
catindisguise

Screamy
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #36 on: 10-27-2003 14:40 »

i sure am  wink i would have typed that too, but what do i look like, a guy whos not lazy?
inzane

Crustacean
*
« Reply #37 on: 10-27-2003 16:56 »

I'm typing something....first post on the board.....i'm not really saying anything about the topic i just need one to type a first post on.
Futurama_Hil

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #38 on: 10-27-2003 17:03 »

Not a good first post, inzane, bu twelcome to PEEL nonetheless... smile

If I sounde dliek I was aying it's meant for smarter people, well, i thelps to be more intellegent. I laugh at sme jokes while others watching it don't, because, obviously, they don't get the pardoy or reference or just wit.  smile
inzane

Crustacean
*
« Reply #39 on: 10-27-2003 17:10 »

i know it was a terrible first post but i was to lazy to scroll down so i didn't notice the of topic area *smacks head* i fell dumb now.
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