After a successful comeback that consisted of four direct-to-DVD features, Matt Groening’s animated sci-fi series Futurama was set to head back into full production this year with Comedy Central placing an order for 26 brand new episodes. It was assumed that all of the original cast members had signed on to return, but now the truth has come out: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche and Tress MacNeille are all asking for a bigger piece of the pie. The studio’s response? They put out a casting call for replacement actors… as if fans needed another reason to hate Fox lately!
The actors were reportedly asking about $75,000 per episode, but with Fox looking to do the new season on the cheap, the actual offer ended up being well below this figure. To be fair, with the show airing on a cable channel rather than network TV this time, it should mean a more limited budget; however, there is a chance the show could also get picked up to air on Fox first. So, would Fox actually go ahead and do a new season with a whole new cast? I doubt it. They made the same threats with The Simpsons cast a few years back before eventually coming to terms with them. Still, I think there’s little doubt that the fans are going to be 100% behind Billy West and Co. in this situation, and the only likely result is more ill-will toward Fox. Do you think the actors are asking for too much? Would you watch a new season of Futurama with a different cast?