- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 31, 2007

'Futurama' feature

“The Simpsons” isn’t the only Matt Groening-created cartoon to be turned into a feature film.

“Futurama” is also getting the extended treatment, but it won’t be playing at a theater near you. It will be released directly to DVD Nov. 27, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Futurama: Bender’s Big Score” will be the first full-length feature based on the animated Fox television series, which went off the air in 2003. Three additional films will be released individually through 2008, all with the original creative team and voice cast onboard.

The movie’s plot centers on the “Futurama” crew fighting to save Earth in an epic battle against nudist alien Internet scammers. Robot Bender soon comes under the aliens’ spell and is sent back in time to loot Earth of its greatest treasures. He even runs into Al Gore, who guest-stars as himself, during the 2000 presidential recount. (Mr. Gore’s daughter Kristin was a writer on the television series.)

Other guest stars include rapper Coolio and comedienne Sarah Silverman.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment was expected to announce details of the film during the Comic-Con International convention, which concluded Sunday in San Diego. Rumor has it that the four straight-to-DVD movies ultimately will be turned into 16 television episodes that will air on cable’s Comedy Central in 2008.

“Futurama” is the second Fox series to spawn a made-for-DVD program. Two years ago, Fox’s home entertainment unit released a direct-to-video feature based on the “Family Guy” series, “Family Guy Presents: Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story.”

New shows leaked

At least half a dozen highly anticipated broadcast network fall pilots have been leaked online, TVWeek.com reported yesterday.

Copies of NBC’s “Bionic Woman,” ABC’s “Pushing Daisies,” The CW’s “Reaper” and several other shows were available Friday for illegal download on sites such as Torrent Spy, Pirate Bay and Mininova.

Most of the titles appear to have been uploaded within the past week. The first copy of “Bionic” was listed as uploaded two days ago, while the earliest “Reaper” file was date-marked seven days ago. Other leaked shows include Fox’s midseason “The Terminator” spinoff “The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” ABC’s “Cavemen,” and NBC’s “Chuck” and “Lipstick Jungle.”

Network representatives expressed surprise that the full-length pilots were on the Web and alerted their studio partners.

TelevisionWeek.com downloaded and confirmed the content of several pilot files. The videos were of reasonably high quality, akin to the streaming programs on broadcast network Web sites.

One foxy chef

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