Good—no, great—news, everyone: Springfield will be the site of another crossover episode besides the invasion of the Griffins from Family Guy when the Simpsons encounter a familiar pack of now-homeless space adventurers. Futurama, the 31st-century animated comedy that was canceled (again) last year, will return to life—or at least Fry, Leela & Co. will—in a special episode of The Simpsons airing Nov. 9.
“That was a really tough one to negotiate, because I had to talk to myself,” says Matt Groening, creator of, well, both shows.“Simpsorama” is taglined in the opening credits as “a show out of ideas teams up with a show out of episodes,” and the second half of that joke is one reason for this installment. “They were going off the air, so I thought people would really love it if we had one more chance to see those characters,” says Simpsons exec producer Al Jean, adding, “We’re always looking for things that are compatible with us, and I thought, ‘Well, what’s more compatible?’ We do a joke, actually, about how similar Bender and Homer look. Like, they just erased Homer’s hair.”
The crossover—which features Futurama voicecast members Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, Tress MacNeille, and Maurice LaMarche—will unspool a complex, Terminator-esque story that involves Bart blowing his nose on a sandwich that he places in a time capsule. When that mixes with Milhouse’s rabbit’s foot and some radioactive ooze, it creates a global catastrophe in the future, prompting Bender to travel back in time to kill Bart and prevent this mega-mess. And as you’d imagine, “Simpsorama” teems with Futurama inside jokes and a Simpsonized tweak of its title sequence. Adds Jean: “There’s a thing in Futurama code where if you solve it, it says, ‘Congratulations! You’re a nerd.’”
Check out the first-look image from the episode above, in which Bender seems to be in kill-not-just-Bart-but-all-humans mode. To view it in full-page glory, click here.
For more on the Simpsons–Family Guy crossover episode, check out this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday.