By Jake Weinraub
SAN DIEGO (TheWrap) – “Futurama” has, well, a future.
Executive producer David X. Cohen told a packed Comic-Con ballroom that the Emmy-nominated animated series was just renewed for another two full seasons by Comedy Central.
“The mood is better now,” Cohen told the crowd. “Pressure’s off now that we’re in our second life — we didn’t expect to be back.”
The show faced erratic airings on Fox until Comedy Central picked it up in 2005. On its June 2010 sixth-season debut, the show earned Comedy Central its highest-rated night for that year, becoming its most-watched Thursday primetime airing ever.
“Futurama” and “The Simpsons” creator and executive producer Matt Groening shared his excitement for the show’s “Best Animated Series” Emmy nomination for its sentimental episode “The Late Philip J. Fry,” which follows the almost-failed romance of Fry (Billy West) and Leela (Katey Sagal).
Cohen said he promises more tender moments in a seventh season finale, where Bender gets over-clocked, becoming “a super god-like being with no interest in human affairs” — meanwhile Fry and Leela are considering their own future together.
As for the cast’s other projects, “Futurama” actors are voicing everything from Billy West’s take on Elmer Fudd in new Looney Tunes cartoons to Phil Lamar’s (Hermes) co-starring role with Hugh Jackman in “Real Steel.” “Sons of Anarchy” star Sagal won a Golden Globe for the motorcycle drama, which is filming its fourth season.
Besides upcoming anime, black & white and ’80s videogame-style versions of the show, “Futurama” also released a “Head in the Jar Creator” iPhone app.
“Bite my shiny metal app,” said John DiMaggio in the voice of crass robot Bender.
The panel ended with a “Bender Draw-Off” between Groening and storyboard artist Peter Avanzino, in which Groening playfully beat Avanzino with quickly-drawn thee robot illustrations (and one Popeye) to Avanzino’s most meticulous one.
Groening recently released the graphic novel “The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis,” the fifth of the Futurama comic collection.
“The Simpsons” kicks off its 23rd season September 25, which will contain its star-studded 500th episode in February.