Canceled Fox Shows Returning To Network In New Ways

The crossover between "The Simpsons" and "Futurama" is coming this November. Could a good showing possibly bring back "Futurama" a third time?

Canceled Fox Shows Returning To Network In New Ways
20th Century Fox / 'Futurama'

Good news, everyone! "Futurama" is returning to television. Again. Kinda.

At Sunday's Television Critics Association panel, "Simpsons" producer Al Jean announced the highly anticipated crossover between "Futurama" and "The Simpsons" will air Nov. 9. Both shows were created by Matt Groening. (Via Comedy Central, 20th Century Fox) writes that episode will be based around the "Futurama" cast traveling back in time to Springfield with Bender on a mission to kill Bart after Bart does something awful to mess up the future.

"Futurama" won't be the only show crossing over with "The Simpsons" this fall. In September, the characters from "Family Guy" will find themselves in Springfield.

IGN has seen some footage from the episode featuring the "Family Guy" cast expressing confusion upon arriving in Springfield. Then Peter warns his family against drinking the water, saying, "Everyone here looks like they have hepatitis."

Now, of course, "Family Guy" and "Futurama" have one major thing in common: They've both been canceled by Fox in the past, only to air reruns on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. From there, "Family Guy" was revived on Fox while "Futurama" was brought back and canceled twice on Comedy Central. So why does Fox keep canceling these so-called popular shows?

In 2012, Fox executives told The Hollywood Reporter "Family Guy" was canceled for a simple reason — low ratings. This was despite the fact the executives wanted to keep the show around.

"Futurama" was also canceled because of poor ratings. As TV Guide's description of the show points out, the ratings suffered because "it was too often pre-empted by pro-football overruns." 

Of course, these aren't the only shows Fox has been accused of mismanaging — another notable example is "Arrested Development."

As AdSavvy wrote about the show: "Essentially, Fox dropped the ball. They had a potential hit and they failed to properly promote it. It was a classic example of poor marketing." Actor David Cross, a regular on the series, phrased it a bit more colorfully.

"Fire your complete marketing team, get a new one in there that knows how to market a show that won five mother****ing Emmys, Golden Globes. ... If you can't market that kind of show and get better ratings, then maybe the problem doesn't lie here." (Via Fox)

Then, of course, there was "Firefly."

In 2011, former Fox Entertainment President Gail Berman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Firefly" was canceled for being a big-budget show with low ratings. The Post-Gazette's Rob Owens attributed that to executives, writing: "When Fox aired 'Firefly,' the network chose to air episodes out of order, presumably in an effort to put forward what executives considered the better episodes first. Of course, that decision wrecked Whedon's attempts at character development and also screwed with the show's continuity."

Some shows don't even need to get to the poor-ratings stage. "Hieroglyph," the network's upcoming historical fantasy thriller, was canceled last month before even airing.

Entertainment Weekly writes the series "wasn't creatively coming together the way executives had hoped."

As for this fall's crossover, maybe a good showing would make Fox or another network consider bringing "Futurama" back a third time.

petition for the show has garnered more than 26,000 signatures, and the show's official Facebook page is still active with more than 30 million likes.

"Futurama" was recently nominated for two Emmys — one for outstanding animated program and one for outstanding character voice-over performance.