The Futurama producers have plenty of experience writing series finales. After all, Wednesday's episode marks the fourth time they've thought they were bringing their outrageous animated sci-fi comedy to a close. Originally canceled by Fox back in 2003, the show later gained new life (and fans) with a series of DVD movies before Comedy Central resurrected the show in 2010. Producers thought their new home would last just one season, so they prepared for another ending. Now, two years later, here they are, signing off again. And this time it's for good. Probably.
"In my heart I feel like it really is the end," says executive producer David X. Cohen, who launched the series with Simpsons guru Matt Groening back in 1999. "Part of it is that the episode is so satisfying to me. It almost feels like we'd be wasting it if we came back again... But on the other hand, I'm reminded that I did say that with full conviction at least twice before, so people don't seem to believe me. [Laughs] My opinion has been shown to be not of much value in predicting the future on this one subject."
The episode features the long-anticipated wedding of Fry (voiced by Billy West) and Leela (Katey Sagal), the unlikely couple at the center at Futurama's 31st century adventures. "With all the crazy things the show has been through over the years, a consistent thing has been Fry trying to win Leela's heart," Cohen says. "It's a very emotional episode that also has a lot of blood splattering."
Slapstick violence aside, the finale features time travel and a surprisingly romantic conclusion. "It's a high degree of difficulty to get a touching ending in a cartoon, [especially when] it's a crazy science-fiction cartoon where some of the characters are not even human beings," Cohen says. "If you get people emotionally invested in robots and lobsters, then you've achieved some success."
The (latest) series finale of Futurama airs Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 10/9c on Comedy Central.