- 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

The censors at Fox should get their trigger fingers ready.

Our favorite potty-mouthed chef, Gordon Ramsay, appears on “The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet” today at 9 on Fox5-WTTG. The Scottish chef will dish up the behind-the-scenes doings on “Hell’s Kitchen,” the reality show he hosts on Fox.

This just in

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are saying goodbye to “The Simple Life,” Associated Press reports.

The series finale will air Sunday on E! the cable channel announced yesterday. The program, which debuted on Fox in 2003, threw the privileged duo into everyday situations.

The high-living twosome have routinely made headlines with their behavior and the legal repercussions that followed.

Last week, Miss Richie was sentenced to nearly four days in jail after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of drugs.

Last month, hotel heiress Miss Hilton spent 23 days in jail for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless-driving case.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance and Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff and wirereports.

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