It’s official: Comedy Central has ordered 26 more episodes of the long-lived animated series from Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. The batch will be split between two years (season 7-A and season 7-B, per the network), which means Bender & Co. will be poking fun at the universe through at least 2013. Not bad for a show canceled by Fox back in 2003! Not surprisingly, Groening and Cohen are quite happy about the news.
“We’re very grateful to Comedy Central and [producer] 20th for this show of support,” the two men said via a joint statement. “Our entire staff will celebrate tonight by going out and getting even drunker.” All of the original voice cast — including Billy West, Katey Sagal, and John DiMaggio — are set to return for the new round of episodes. West was a bit sentimental in his reaction to the pickup, calling it “my great honor to be back with all my friends and colleagues”; DiMaggio, meanwhile, kept his remarks brief. Said he: “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!”
Comedy Central’s decision to keep Futurama going makes a lot of sense given how well it did in its first season on the network last summer. The show drew an average of 2.5 million viewers most week and earned a 1.5 rating in adults under 50. It’s also a monster on Facebook, with more than 11 million fans “liking” the show — one of the biggest social networks for a TV show. The second half of season six of Futurama premieres June 23 at 10 p.m.