After DVD revived "Family Guy," Fox looked at their other major prematurely cancelled cartoon for a possible second chance. While "Futurama" will not return to the Fox Network, Matt Groening got Fox productions to give him four whole straight to DVD movies for the "Futurama" crew.
"I was frustrated when it got cancelled, but Fox, 20th Television is the one who came back and said, ‘Would you like to do a DVD movie?’" Groening recalled. We said, ‘Let’s do two’ and they said, ‘Well, why not three?’ and we said, ‘Well, why not four?’ and they said, ‘Okay, four’ and then that’s it."
After this, Comedy Central won a bid to air the films as new "Futurama" episodes. "We’re writing them as movies and then we’re going to chop them up, reconfigure them, write new material and try to make them work as separate episodes. Chopped up is an indelicate way of putting it but we are doing them as movies and then we are reconfiguring them and writing new material and narration and this that and the other so that they’ll stand on their own as episodes."
With the initial market intended for DVD, Groening and crew can go a lot more extreme with the humor than they could on the air. "Those are the marching orders we gave ourselves, yes, to really try to push it and do things we might not be able to do on TV. And then Comedy Central picked up the show and we went, ‘Okay, probably there’s nothing we can think of that Comedy Central won’t run’ because I’m astonished at what I see on Comedy Central every day."