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After this many years, Netflix subscribers are no strangers to how content comes and goes from month to month, as leases to digital rights change hands and so on. But outlying situations exist where only disbelief and outrage are warranted, and in this case, the insta-classic Futurama is facing an imminent removal from Netflix's library. And though not all the episodes are likely leaving, a ton of fans still want to bring The Clamps to everyone involved. Give 'em The Clamps!
To start at the source: if you go to Netflix to binge down with any of the first six seasons of Futurama -- with the sixth "season" actually just being the four direct-to-DVD features that were released following its first cancellation -- then you will see a small message pop up on the left side of the screen, saying "This season is available until July 1." The message is particularly easy to miss and appears to only come up when you're at the beginning of an episode, rather than clicking into an episode already in progress. If this was an early warning meant to soothe customers before releasing the official list of content leaving the service, it backfired.
Interestingly, that message doesn't pop up for any of the episodes that are labeled as being in Seasons 7-10, which leads to the belief that only those seasons will still be around in July and beyond. The delineating line there is where Comedy Central took hold of Futurama for its episodic renewal, so could there possibly be an issue between Netflix and Fox as far as the sci-fi comedy's rights are concerned? Perhaps.
While this should be taken with a grain of salt, one Reddit user appears to have some inside info on the situation. "BigShowSJG" claims that Fox pulled its license for Futurama, which includes the aforementioned six seasons. As well, he/she was supposedly also sent a digital suggestion form where requests can be made for shows that Netflix should add, and the implication was that it would help convince Fox to renew the licensing. Even if that's not exactly right, the truth presumably can't be much different.
At this point, diehard Futurama fans are going the expected routes with their anger and dissatisfaction. Social media is seeing a growing number of meme-assisted complaints about Futurama's exile, while a rather simply worded petition has popped up over at Change.org. A cosplay-style protest would be pretty cool, too, if anyone wants to start up one of those.
Fans have for years wanted Netflix to be the entity that stepped in and saved Futurama from its cancellation slumber once more -- especially after it was reported that Matt Groening was working with the company -- but this feels like the exact opposite. Here's hoping cooler metal asses prevail, combined with money changing hands, so that the Planet Express crew can continue having ALL of their adventures on Netflix in the future.
While waiting, at least there's that fantastic Futurama fan film to quench your Slurm-level desires. After that, check out everything that Netflix has coming to the future by way of original programming with our 2017 Netflix guide, and then head to our summer TV schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.