With the announcement that Futurama is coming back as a series six years after its cancellation - mirroring Family Guy's resurrection - we got to thinking about which SF shows could use a little animated spell to get healthy again.
There's already precedent for science fiction shows living on past cancellation on Saturday mornings - Lost in Space, and more famously, Star Trek both had stints as cartoons, after all, and Happy Days even became a science fiction show when it became a cartoon:
It wasn't just television shows, of course; why could forget The Real Ghostbusters or Robocop keeping the flame alive for the failed movie franchises?
With all that in mind, can you blame us for thinking of these five dearly beloved - well, and Knight Rider - shows that could perfectly translate into the animated format so that they could stick around for a few more years (and hopefully get the Futurama treatment, coming back to life with a complete season order)?
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Why it'd work: Man versus machine, including time-traveling and ridiculous stunts? The biggest surprise is that the Terminator franchise hasn't made it to Saturday mornings already.
Why it may not be the best idea: Could the show's larger questions about the nature of identity and predestination thrive in an animated series? And, even if they could, would the audience be even smaller without Summer Glau, Brian Austen Green and Lena Hedley to make it look pretty (admittedly, in bruised and bloody way) each week?
Verdict: There could definitely be a Terminator cartoon... But a Sarah Connor Chronicles cartoon...? We're not convinced.
Why it'd work: Quirky, filled with color and with four detectives solving weird mysteries on a weekly basis, it's a less-annoying Scooby Doo with Ned's magic finger replacing the comedic titular dog.
Why it may not be the best idea: Would network standards and practices have a problem with a cartoon with such a high body count every episode? Would the show's tendency towards the saccharine seem even more pronounced with animated actors?
Verdict: If it could keep the level of writing as the original - and Chi McBride and Kirsten Chenowith as voice actors - we'd happily tune into an animated Daisies every week.
Why it'd work: It's a man fighting crime with the help of his talking car. Let's face it; this should've been a cartoon to begin with. Maybe the scripts would've been better than this recent go-around, if it had.
Why it may not be the best idea: Without the real-life car porn, is there any point to Knight Rider at all? Also, could the show's creators resist the lure of turning KITT into a Transformer now that CGI budget constraints would be gone?
Verdict: Thanks to the thoroughly generic nature of the original, there's nothing worth tuning up for a Knight Rider cartoon model.
Why it'd work: High adventure on the space waves with a band of colorful characters risking life and limb as they try to survive? It's like Dungeons and Dragons grown up and transplanted into orbit.
Why it may not be the best idea: Would it hurt too much? Perhaps - or maybe we just wouldn't be interested if we couldn't see Jewel Staite on a regular basis. But Whedon's series work in large part because of the actors as much as the writing, and it just wouldn't be the same without them.
Verdict: Sadly, we're saying that the Serenity should stay grounded.
Why it'd work: From its origins as a comic book to its broad cartoony comedy as a television show, this is another series that has always felt like a cartoon despite its flesh and blood stars. Plus, as a cartoon, imagine everything it could get away with but couldn't afford on an ABC Family budget!
Why it may not be the best idea: We have no reasons why. Seriously, this is a no-brainer.
Verdict: Did you miss the part where we called it a no-brainer above?
So, did we forget a show that would be perfect for the animated treatment? Do you think that we're insane for arguing that a cartoon Firefly wouldn't work? And, most importantly, who do we have to beg for a Middleman animated series?