Why, you ask? Here's why: first, the network cancels THE TICK. And now, there may not be much of a future for FUTURAMA.
While saying that they have not outright cancelled the animated show, Fox has not decided not to order any new episodes.
What does that mean in English? It means that Fox may cancel the show if something better comes along. In Fox's eyes, "something better" could mean Who Wants To Marry Carrot Top?
Luckily, FUTURAMA already has about 20 episodes in the can, which is enough to get it through the 2002-2003 season. Plus, there are many episodes that Fox has not aired, because either the episode was preempted because football ran late or the network just decided not to air it for no apparent reason at all or maybe because they hate me.
Honestly, I don't know how a show as witty and funny as FUTURAMA has lasted as long as it has. Fox execs have itchy trigger fingers and are quick to shoot down a good show if it doesn't deliver the big numbers. Don't believe me? Ask THE TICK. Ask Jay Mohr from ACTION. Ask Chris Carter.
Of course, there is an online petition to save FUTURAMA at www.gotfuturama.com. I signed it. You should too. Do it right now. I'll wait...
So anyway, let me break down the week for you. And, as always, check your local listings.
Monday, February 18
Angel is super jealous when Groosalugg comes back to town and makes his move on Cordelia in tonight's all-new ANGEL (WB, 9 p.m.). Hey, maybe Angel and Wesley should go out drinking and meet some other chicks. You know, some girls outside of work. Just a suggestion.
Some say INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (ABC, 8:30 p.m.) is the worst of the three Indiana Jones movies, and hey, maybe they're right, but it's still better than most adventure movies. Plus, Harrison Ford looks good - real good - in it.
Do you feel the need... the need for speed? Then you won't want to miss TOP GUN on TBS at 7:15 p.m.
I don't know how Arnold Schwarzenegger's PREDATOR ended up on American Movie Classics, but it is. It's on at 7:30 p.m. I mean, come on. CITIZEN KANE is a classic. PREDATOR? Gimme a break.
Tuesday, February 19
Instead of SMALLVILLE tonight, the WB is airing the TNT movie WITCHBLADE at 8 p.m. WITCHBLADE is the story of a New York City cop who uses an ancient weapon (i.e. the witchblade) that allows her to battle evil forces. Sounds like some sort of BUFFY rip-off, but what do I know?
It's 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in tonight's all-new 24 (Fox, 9 p.m.) and Jack closes in on his wife and daughter's location. Meanwhile, Jack's replacement pits Nina against Tony to find out where Jack is.
Wednesday, February 20
Ladies and gentlemen, one of the worst movies of 2001, VALENTINE, is on Cinemax at 8 p.m. Even the presence of hunky ANGEL star David Boreanaz wasn't enough to make this movie watchable.
Starvin' Marvin returns in a stolen spaceship in tonight's rerun of SOUTH PARK (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.).
Let's do the time warp again! VH1 has got THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW at 9 p.m.
Thursday, February 21
So Fox is airing something called GLUTTON BOWL: THE WORLD'S GREATEST EATING COMPETITION at 8 p.m. Forty contestants will have to eat bowls of mayonnaise, beef tongue, sticks of butter, etc. I don't know whether this is better or worse than THE FAMILY GUY, which normally runs in this timeslot. Plus, watching the GLUTTON BOWL is a real self-esteem booster I bet.
Hot chicks doing witchcraft alert! THE CRAFT is on Cinemax at 7 p.m.
In this rerun of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS, 8 p.m.), emotions run high when the baby of a wealthy family turns up missing and the evidence points to the involvement of a family member.
Easily the best out of all the talking pig movies, BABE is on Encore at 8 p.m.
Check out this old school episode of SOUTH PARK (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.) in which the boys' camping trip is interrupted by a volcano eruption. And, they run into that creature that has Patrick Duffy for a leg.
Friday, February 22
Instead of DARK ANGEL, Fox is airing the movie LOST IN SPACE at 8 p.m. It's my job to tell you that it is on, but I cannot in good conscience tell you to watch it.
Deaths are connected to a couple conducting neurological experiments on the biochemical nature of thought and memory in tonight's STRANGE WORLD at 8 p.m. on Sci Fi Channel.
Bizarre, destructive accidents at a high school inspire Tucker, Grace and Wes to go undercover as students, whereupon they run up against an iron-fisted head cheerleader in tonight's THE CHRONICLE at 9 p.m. on Sci Fi Channel. Hey, watch this show while you can. The Sci Fi Channel gave it the boot.
CBS is airing PRIMAL FEAR at 9 p.m. I wouldn't have mentioned this courtroom thriller starring Richard Gere except it's the movie that introduced Edward Norton to the world... and my heart.
TNT has got THE TERMINATOR at 8 p.m. Hey, remember when Arnold said, "I'll be back." That was awesome.
Saturday, February 23
Buffy bumps into another slayer in tonight's BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (syndicated, check local listings).
And when you're done watching BUFFY, check out GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA (syndicated, check local listings).
Sean Connery steps into the shoes of James Bond once again for the fifth installment in the Bond series, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Love videogames-turned-movies? Then you won't want to miss STREET FIGHTER on the Sci Fi Channel at 8 p.m. Of course, STREET FIGHTER is not nearly as good as PITFALL: THE MOVIE or even QBERT: THE MOVIE.
Remember when I said that VALENTINE was one of the worst movies of 2001? Well, ladies and gentlemen meet the absolutely worst movie of 2001 3000 MILES TO GRACELAND at 8 p.m. on HBO.
Sunday, February 24
No FUTURAMA tonight. Man, sometimes I hate Fox. Instead we get two episodes of KING OF THE HILL back-to-back. The first episode at 7 p.m. is a rerun in which Peggy stirs up trouble at the Renaissance Faire. The second episode finds Connie ditching classical violin to play bluegrass music after Hank introduces her to it.
Bart makes friends with an old cowboy star (voiced by Dennis Weaver) in tonight's all-new THE SIMPSONS (Fox, 8 p.m.). There's a second episode of THE SIMPSONS on at 9 p.m. in which Homer remembers finding a dead body when he was kid. How very STAND BY ME of Homer.
The arrival of Francis' new bride on Hal's birthday sparks a fray that drives the younger siblings out, and into a posh hotel, in tonight's all-new MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE (Fox, 8:30 p.m.). Yep, I hate when that happens.
UPN is giving you a second chance to catch last Wednesday's ENTERPRISE tonight at 9 p.m.
While on assignment in Vegas, Sydney spots her roommate Francie and her fiancée, which seriously jeopardizes her mission in tonight's all-new ALIAS (ABC, 9 p.m.).
Remote Patrol is our weekly Television column.