Back in 2002, a more innocent time when we were told Saddam Hussein could attack us again at any moment, Futurama was on death watch. Since its premiere, Fox had shuffled its timeslot multiple times, and it eventually wound up in the 7 o’clock hour, the almost-but-not-quite-primetime hour where TV shows go to die (bad news for American Dad) and football pre-emptions occur every other week. Together with a lack of advertising and the fact that it was a niche show to begin with, Futurama could only manage to wring out a pitiful 6.4 million viewers when the show was mercifully put out to pasture by Fox.
In 2010, The Simpsons, which has held the same timeslot for sixteen straight seasons and has always had the full support of the network, recieved 5.74 million viewers for its season finale, which featured guest appearances by four American Idol judges and host Ryan Seacrest. [No Homers Club/Media Life Magazine]