Futurama Gets 26 New Episodes

It’s official, “Futurama” is coming back with Comedy Central delivering an order for twenty-six episodes to run over two seasons says the trades, confirming and adding additional detail to a scoop that first emerged at Collider yesterday.

Matt Groening and David X. Cohen’s much loved sci-fi cartoon comedy aired from 1999-2003 on Fox but the 72 produced episodes have proven such a DVD sales success and ratings hit in repeats on Comedy Central that four direct-to-DVD releases were ordered and released in 2007 & 2008.

The cable network has now given the order for this new batch of episodes with all key voice cast members expected to return for the new episodes, along with the series’ core writing team.

Groening and Cohen are said to be already working on stories for the new batch of episodes which pick up where the last special, “Into the Wild Green Yonder”, left off with the main characters fleeing death and flying into the unknown.

The specials were criticized as somewhat lacking mainly due to the near feature length format of the stories not suiting the style. Cohen says “what we will try to do is go a little bit back to pure comedy, characters and sci-fi”, while Comedy Central’s programming VP David Bernath says “There is nothing like new, self-contained episodes week to week. This is all about reinvigorating the franchise, giving it a new burst of energy.”

The first half of the new episodes are slated to premiere on Comedy Central in mid-2010.