Futurama was always given a bum rap by the networks, because it was unusual and more clever by far than the Simpsons episodes coming out at the same time. FOX more or less intentionally killed it with a scheduling pillow-over-the-face: I recall hanging out at my friend Personal Demon's house every Sunday night, only to find Futurama yet again preempted by Sunday Night Football.
The story is reminiscent, to me, of problems the new Twilight Zone series of the 1980s. This was chronicled very nicely by Martin Harry Greenburg in the anthology New Stories from the Twilight Zone. Long story short: the show confused and frightened the network executives who, in the face of failed ratings, started to interfere more and more with the production of the show, to the point of giving a list of guidelines of what a 'real' Twilight Zone episode should be like. As a consequence, the series struggled to stay afloat and finally died after a shoddy third season.
Back to Futurama: The best news of all? I didn't even know but the first DVD appeared in stores yesterday! Time for a trip to Best Buy!
Update: My verdict is in: pretty good! The feature suffers a little from 'do-everything-itis', in which every character that's ever appeared on the show has to come in for a brief cameo, which makes the show a little hectic and confused in the middle. It ends strong, though, and now that they've hopefully gotten that out of their system I have high hopes for the future features. Also, the FOX-bashing at the beginning of the episode is worth a viewing alone...