Why Saying Yes To The Futurama Reboot Was ‘The Easiest,’ According To Katey Sagal

Somehow, through the magic of streaming services and a devoted fandom, Matt Groening and David X. Cohen’s animated sci-fi comedy fave Futurama has found itself revived for the third time. “Magic” feels like an appropriate term to use for such a phenomenon, as the full cast is returning to bring the Planet Express back to life yet again, including current The Conners star Katey Sagal as the one-eyed heroine Leela.  

You’d think that the ever-busy TV legend Katey Sagal might have been a bit tied up when this offer came in, even before the animated Married with Children revival talks hit, but not only did Sagal know she'd make it work, the decision to return was one of “the easiest” she could have ever made. During CinemaBlend's interview with the estemed actress for Blumhouse/Epix’s country music horror film Torn Hearts, it felt like the right time to eventually dig into the subject of Futurama’s revival. Much as Katey Sagal dealt with gushing currents of blood, she couldn’t help but feel flooded with love for the series she helped make famous. As such, here’s what she told us about her decision to jump back into the Planet Express:

The best. The easiest. I love that job. I just did it yesterday. We recorded an episode and I just…it was so much fun. It’s just great, great writing, great characters. I’m never surprised when it’s rebooted, because it’s constantly rebooted. It has such a great fan base. Thank you to anybody who watches Futurama. I mean it’s really not a problem at all. And everybody just falls right in. We know what’s happening, so it was great. It’s been great. We’ve been - I think we’re doing like 18 of them this year.

Now in production via its third platform, after its previous cancellation on both Fox and Comedy Central — fourth if you count the direct-to-DVD features — Futurama is ready to embrace a new era of storytelling for the streaming era. It’s enough to send any Hulu subscriber back to watch the entire seven-season run+ in preparation, though fans have likely been revisiting the series consistently for years as a source of comfort TV. Said comfort sounds like it's once again part of Katey Sagal's life, as even roles on series like The Connors and Netflix's Dead To Me couldn't stop her from slipping back into Leela's persona.

Futurama loyalists are probably wondering what to expect from this new Hulu run of episodes, which is currently set at an initial order of 20 new episodes that almost saw Bender's return happening through a regular panel of guest voices. With that sort of thinking in play, who knows what other changes might have befallen the writer’s room, or any other aspect of production?  Thankfully, the negotiations that initially had John DiMaggio sitting out this Futurama revival were resolved, ensuring the same old shiny metal ass would be wreaking havoc among our favorite meatbags. 

And honestly, that just makes Katey Sagal’s remarks about what to expect in Season 8 comforting as ever: 

I haven’t read enough of the scripts to know if there’s a lot of new stuff. I know there’s a lot of... as Futurama always is, there’s some Hulu bashing. There’s, you know, in a good-hearted way. You know, it’s just Futurama, man. It’s the same writers, it’s the same everybody. I don’t know enough situations yet to understand if it’s brand new stuff. I don’t think so. I think it’s just picking up where we left off.

Futurama picking up roundabouts where it left off is a comforting notion, even if it carries some minor apprehension. Continuing to live up to its reputation of being resurrected after what feels like a perfect ending, the show is now ready to march towards yet another premiere and eventual finale with an unspecified future. Which is pretty daunting, considering this reel of every previous Futurama finale really can’t be beat.

To be perfectly honest, even though an eventual revival was kind of set up with the ending to the most recent series finale, Season 7’s “Meanwhile,” it still feels like Futurama is tempting fate. Then again, that’s what Fry, Leela, and the rest of the show’s memorable cast of characters have always done best. So why should a new Hulu revival be treated any differently than those other times? As I always say, follow the Hypnotoad unendingly. Wait, where did that come from?

We don’t know exactly when Futurama will be returning with its new Hulu episodes. However, if Katey Sagal’s outlook is any indication, that day will be worthy of celebration no matter when it happens. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for a premiere date as always, but you can see what’s already slated on the 2022 TV schedule whenever it’s convenient. Last, but not least, you can see sinister singing and seduction in Torn Hearts, which is available for rental and purchase on VOD.  

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.