Season 1

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Season 1
Original run28 March, 1999 —
14 November, 1999
No. of episodes13
Special guestsSee here
On DVD(s)Volume One
Season 2 →
Episode listing
  1. Season 1
  2. Season 2
  3. Season 3
  4. Season 4
  5. Season 5 (films)
  6. Season 6
  7. Season 7
  8. Season 8

Production Season 1 was the first season of Futurama and the first of the original run. It consisted of 13 episodes, making it the shortest production season so far. It is also the only season to be aired exclusively before the year 2000.

Broadcast wise, the first 9 episodes are considered part of broadcast season 1, while the remaining episodes of the production season are considered part of broadcast season 2, along with episodes from season 2.

Plot development

Production season 1 deals with perhaps the most important plot development in entirety of Futurama, yet it only takes place during the cold opening of "Space Pilot 3000". Philip J. Fry being frozen and waking up a thousand years later in 2999 sets the setting for the entire show.

Fry meets the people who are to become his closest friends, even if their friendship are largely complicated, Turanga Leela and Bender Bending Rodríguez. Luckily, he has a distant relative in the future, Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, who owns a package delivery company, Planet Express. He gets a job there along with his newly found friends. And the setting for the rest of the show is placed.

In the following episode, we meet the rest of the regular cast, Amy Wong, Dr. John A. Zoidberg and Hermes Conrad.

Leela makes the mistake of sleeping with the famed captain Zapp Brannigan, but on a cruise on the Titanic, Amy manages to start a communication with Kif Kroker, something season 3 would later deal with. In addition to that, season 3 also picks up on Bender's dreams.


As with any first season, there were a lot of ideas to be tested, and some never made it to the subsequence seasons, such as the Professor's PJs-line[1] or Hermes' accent,[1] but also had ideas kept until later seasons, such as Cubert Farnsworth.[2] Matt Groening and David X. Cohen also wanted to introduce a lot of concepts for the future. Ideas of a caste system, which later turned into the gag character Number 9 Man,[3] were also tossed around.

A first season's purpose is always to establish the show about what it is, and where the audience can expect it to go. Despite the intentions, the people at Fox were pretty scared of the show,[4] such as why people were queueing to kill themselves on New Year's Eve.[5]

Animation-wise, the 3D of the show were initially set up late at Rough Draft Studios, as such, the animators first knew late how the Planet Express ship looked like, and as such, most of the drawings of the ship in the early episodes were drawn based on concept drawings, rather than the 3D models.[6]

For the writing staff, the first season saw the biggest number of credited contributors to a Futurama season, with a total of 11 credited writers. Writers such as Evan Gore and Heather Lombard only appeared credited for a single episode (in this case "Fear of a Bot Planet").

In addition, Cohen seems to suggest that this season was one of the hardest seasons to write, due to the initial pressure with coming up with ideas and the limited time they were given.[7]


Title Original airdate
Production code TV Broadcast #
Space Pilot 3000 28 March, 1999 1ACV01 S01E01 1
The Series Has Landed 4 April, 1999 1ACV02 S01E02 2
I, Roommate 6 April, 1999 1ACV03 S01E03 3
Love's Labours Lost in Space 13 April, 1999 1ACV04 S01E04 4
Fear of a Bot Planet 20 April, 1999 1ACV05 S01E05 5
A Fishful of Dollars 27 April, 1999 1ACV06 S01E06 6
My Three Suns 4 May, 1999 1ACV07 S01E07 7
A Big Piece of Garbage 11 May, 1999 1ACV08 S01E08 8
Hell Is Other Robots 18 May, 1999 1ACV09 S01E09 9
A Flight to Remember 26 September, 1999 1ACV10 S02E01 10
Mars University 3 October, 1999 1ACV11 S02E02 11
When Aliens Attack 7 November, 1999 1ACV12 S02E03 12
Fry and the Slurm Factory 14 November, 1999 1ACV13 S02E04 13