Futurama fans of the world have five reasons to celebrate. Variety is reporting that the show’s original stars — John DiMaggio, Billy West, Katey Sagal, Maurice LaMarche and Tress MacNeille – reached an agreement with 20th Century Fox TV late Friday to return to the show. This compromise comes on the heels of 20th putting out a casting call in July to find replacement voice actors for the show.
“We are thrilled to have our incredible cast back,” creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen said in a statement. “The call has already gone out to the animators to put the mouths back on the characters.”
The studio announced in June that it would revive the long-canceled Futurama, and Comedy Central was on board to begin airing the new episodes in mid-2010. Part of the announcement included stars West, Sagal and DiMaggio returning to the series; however the actors had not finalized a deal and salary discussions soon escalated.
It’s believed that the Futurama cast initially asked for around $75,000 per episode (a number disputed by at least one actor), but that number was reportedly brought down to $40,000. The final number wound up below that, but above what 20th was offering.
Despite 20th’s move to start recasting Futurama, it was widely assumed that both sides would eventually figure out a way to stay in business together. In what many considered a positive sign, some of the Futurama cast attended the recent San Diego Comic-Con, although they were not a part of the show’s official panel discussion.
New Futurama episodes will begin airing on Comedy Central in 2010.