It's official: a popular animated program has found new life on cable. According to Variety, Comedy Central will air brand new episodes of Futurama starting next year. Primary voice actors Billy West, Katey Segal and John DiMaggio have all signed deals to return to the show.

The cable network handed out a 26-episode order for the animated series, which originally aired on Fox from 1999 to 2003. The network had previously picked up the off-net rights to the 72 original episodes of the series and, after the popularity of the four new animated DVD's that were released from the series, it was said the network and 20th Century Fox TV, who produced the series and the DVD's, had been trying to come to an agreement on a new batch of episodes.

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The deal would also allow the studio the rights to option the new episodes on a broadcast network as well, with Comedy Central keeping the second-run rights. It was said the new episodes would start airing on Comedy Central in the middle of 2010.

opWhile it is kind of surprising that the show ended up on Comedy Central instead of back at its original home at Fox, this is some damn good news, folks. The new batch of DVD's prove that the Futurama gang still had what it takes and I'm sure many are rejoicing this wonderful news right now!

It is awesome news that the show is coming back to any kind of TV, but I know my fingers are still crossed for a return to network TV!/op