Patrick Stewart to Guest Voice on Futurama Tonight + LeVar Burton Supports Seth MacFarlane to Bring Back Trek to TV

In two pieces of animated news, Patrick Stewart will lend his voice to the hit animated series Futurama in an hour long midseason finale episode set to air tonight (Aug 29). Plus, LeVar Burton replies to rumors about Seth MacFarlane bringing Trek back to TV saying at Fan Expo that he would support MacFarlane to do the job right.


Patrick Stewart’s character the Huntsman in tonight’s Futurama

Not Stewart’s First Time Being Animated
In tonight’s episode, titled “31st Century Fox”, Stewart plays the role of the Huntmaster who leads a group of fox hunting enthusiasts, including Bender, on a fox chase. Patrick Stewart is no stranger to guest voicing for popular animated comedy series’ having played characters on both Family Guy and American Dad! And, Futurama isn’t averse to playing on Star Trek references, either.

LeVar Burton Says Seth MacFarlane Could Bring Back Trek to TV
At Fan Expo yesterday, LeVar Burton took the stage and answered questions about Trek and his career. One audience member asked, given Burton’s connection with Family Guy (he’s voiced in two episodes) and having worked with the show’s creator Seth MacFarlane (an admitted Star Trek fan), how would Burton respond to rumors that MacFarlane wants to bring Trek back to TV. He replied with great support for the idea, saying “I can’t think of anyone on the planet better suited”, and finished with his Reading Rainbow catchphrase, “but you don’t have to take my word for it!”

Seth MacFarlane is no stranger to the world of Star Trek and has said clearly before that he wants to reboot trek for the small screen. Check out an interview with MacFarlane below.


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Im all for trek back on TV but i doubt whit Seth Mcfarlen. First?

MacFarlane and “drama” dont go hand-in-hand..

Bryan Singer anyone? Or Manny Coto?

Bryan Fuller.

McFarlane and “comedy” don’t go hand in hand, either. ; )

no to Trek cartoons

“[LeVar Burton] he would support MacFarlane”

That’s nice, but I don’t think that LB’s opinion matters at all to the decision makers at CBS/Paramount.

Sorry, but I just can’t get into animated Trek. Didn’t like the original animated Trek, don’t like notions of reincarnating the concept under JJTrek. Nothing against animation per se, but its just not for me. Think we just need to focus on whatever movies Abrams will make (he is, in fact, making one, isn’t he? (sarcasm)).

I say yes to an animated series in a big way.

Those who want to see Stewart shooting his new movie Hunting Elephants in Israel can see some BTS pics here:

The full Press Conference held on his arrival to Israel can be found here:

Put a comedian in charge of a sci-fi franchise and you get Land of the Lost.

It would be terrible.

An animated series should be done seriously, with sci-fi writers and Orci as a consultant to make sure they don’t do things that the movies want to do.

I wouldn’t dismiss him right off the bat…how about actually, y’know, actually listening to what he would like to do first before telling him to go away

MacFarlane? NOOOOOOO.

It cracks me up when people say people in the comedy business shouldn’t try to do serious drama.

Comedy is technically the hardest one to master. It is the most subjective when it comes to your audience reaction. It’s the hardest to get right.

Plus, Seth has demonstrated he’s a BIG Trek fan many many times. I say let him give it a shot. Have some of Trek’s former talent come in and work on it as voice and creative talent.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a worse idea than Seth MacFarland being responsible for a new Star Trek series.

Okay, maybe “New Coke” was worse. Maybe.

@#3 – Manny!

The article doesn’t make mention of him making an animated Star Trek. He may in fact want to make a live action show. Since he is a big Trek fan he could do a good job if he brings in the right talent.

I do like his Star Wars parodies. I wish Paramount would let him do a Star Trek one. But I have no wish to see another animated series.

MacFarland? A new Roddenberry figure, putting it all together? No, certainly not him.

I would really like to see The Next Next Generation…Send it into the future with crazy tech never before seen on Trek…make the captain Troi’s and Riker’s great grandson, or something.

@16 seconded

Doing a comedic series now doesn’t have to preclude anyone from creating good dramatic shows, does it? Whe the content is different, at the very least MacFarlane would have a good understanding of what it takes to develop and write for an animated show.

Meh…. Stick to movies for at least another 5 years. Make Star Trek something to be anticipated like it was in the early 80’s when the TOS films were in their prime or even the early 90’s when TNG was the only Trek on TV.

#11 I don’t know where you’re coming from on that: Land of the Lost was totally hilarious, by far my favorite Will Farrell movie. Doing a serious take on that concept would just have been dumb.

Bryan Singer/Manny Coto would be a powerful duo to bring back Trek to TV IMO :-)

Ron Moore!

I am willing to listen to any proposal, including Mcfarlanes .
You never know, he might have some good ideas .

I’m not really excited for a new Trek series right now. I say we should wait for the sequel to come out and judge that movie before we start clamoring for a new series. If the movie is great, more people will be interested in a new series. If the movie sucks, that will be it for Trek for awhile, I’m afraid.

Fall 2015 will be the earliest for any new Trek series. But I figure it will be closer to 2020 before Trek returns to television.

Before dismissing MacFarlane’s ability to take things seriously, and his willingness to bring quality people to a project, you should note that he is currently at work rebooting Carl Sagan’s classic television program “Cosmos.”

He’s working with people such as Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan to recapture the spirit of that program and to try and rejuvinate the American love of science and technology. And he’s doing so by investing a tidy sum of his own money into the project.

In MacFarlane you have a person with the influence, the clout and the desire to really rejuvinate the Star Trek franchise. He knows how to put the right people in the right places, and I’m sure he would use his influence to get the best writers, directors and artists for a new Trek show.

Given his record for success, and the true love he shows for the program, why NOT give him a try?

MacFarlane is a smart guy, despite his terrible comedic instincts. He’s also condescending and smarmy, and I don’t think he would be a great fit for Trek. Besides, this is all rather moot as he would never be involved so long as the Abrams crew is in charge.

Personally, I’d rather see someone like J. Michael Straczynski take on a Trek TV show. Not only is he a fan, he’s a tremendous writer.

Let’s not for get MacFarlane’s cameo appearances in engineering on ST:E.

People who should bring Star Trek back to TV:

Roberto Orci
Alex Kurtzman
Ron Moore
Bryan Fuller
and JJ Abrams as an Executive Producer but possibly involved in the pilot (like LOST)


Futurama has done more than having fun with doors in regards to Star Trek. The fourth season featured the entire living cast of TOS except for James Doohan. The show was called “Where No Fan Has Gone Before.” Link.

Futurama was cancelled. Then came back. Can’t CBS do the same thing? Put the show on SyFy, AMC, or TNT?


Ron Moore has never had an original idea in his life. His whole career is taking other people’s ideas and redoing them. It was his idea to kill Kirk. Ultimately, he worked in Trek when it hit a massive decline, much of it his doing. No thanks. No one in the Berman era that made their mark on the world due to Berman should ever be allowed to WATCH Trek, let alone work on it.

The Abrams team would be good as consultants. But for this, they need sci-fi writers, not people who make cartoons with fart jokes. Not that fart jokes aren’t awesome, but they don’t belong in Star Trek.

And speaking of Seth MacFarlane who’s such a big fan of Star Trek, he had a walk on part in Enterprise, everyone should check out Ted when it comes out on Blu-Ray. Subversive. Hilarious. Plus there’s a riotous narration by Patrick Stewart.

“Ultimately, he worked in Trek when it hit a massive decline, much of it his doing.”

Seriously? Some of the best Trek (DS9, a large portion of TNG), were when he was on the writing staff. Sure he killed Kirk, and that stunk, but the idea to kill Kirk came from the top, and Shatner let them by taking a pay check.

I do agree, Berman should stay far, far away from Trek, but Moore? That’s going a tad bit too far. Before Moore, TNG went aimlessly about, utilizing and copying old TOS scripts and ideas and wanted nothing more then for TOS to never exist (wonder who’s idea that was, being that he was kicked outta having anything to do with the films)….


Kirk’s death aside (and it wasn’t his choice; it was the studio’s decision), Ron Moore wrote some of the most compelling Trek stories during the Berman era. “Deep Space Nine” is my favorite Trek series, due in part to Ron Moore being allowed to add some conflict between the characters which he wasn’t allowed to do on “The Next Generation”.

Plus, his “Battlestar Galactica” rocked.

Kayla, you are single-handily saving I would hope that since Anthony is no longer to maintain consistent news on this site, that he might consider turning the site over to you and others on the staff.

Well done!

Well, I’m a fan of Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, and American Dad, so I’m willing to give Seth Macfarlane the benefit of the doubt. After all, he has been in a couple of episodes of Trek. Still, I don’t think Trek would work as a cartoon, and a live action drama isn’t exactly Seth Macfarlane’s style. His Flintstones next year should be good though, and I look forward to seeing Patrick Stewart on Futurama tonight.

37 – I totally agree, glad to know we share for the nuBSG and Ron Moore’s work!

sorry – ‘share an appreciation for’ nuBSG. Great show.

how about rick berman, not

I agree with RDR. (@ 37) Ron Moore did not lead to the demise of Star Trek. He wrote some excellent episodes. One of my favorites was the very Roddenberryesque “The Chase.” Which by the way he should sue the guys that made “Prometheus” since it had the same plot line of alien seeders. :-)

And could we leave Rick Berman out of this discussion? He’s not in the picture. There’s always some angry Trekkers who want to blame the man for everything. Personally killed Kirk. Berman’s fault. Bad box office for Nemesis. Berman’s fault. Hurricane Issac. Berman’s fault. Enterprise suffered because it was on UPN. Here in Cincinnati, it was difficult to get it since it was on a low powered TV station.

Rick Berman was not perfect. But he did shepherd Star Trek starting in season three of TNG. From there he helped to create two more successful Star Trek TV shows, Voyager and Deep Space Nine. Under his watch, great episodes were made. “The Best of Both Worlds”, “The Nth Degree”, “The Inner Light”, “Tapestry”, “The Chase”, “Parallels, etc.

I’ll let Brent Spiner, comment on Rick Berman.

“Rick more than anybody else protected Gene Roddenberry’s vision. There were times we wanted to do things in an episode, and Rick would be, ‘No, no, no. Gene wouldn’t want that and that’s not what Star Trek is about.”

Here’s an excellent article defending Rick Berman.

On the subject of Trek humor, I thought you guys might did It’s Things Martok Would Never Say.

For those of you who don’t watch Futurama does some big Trek homages. All of the ship’s noises are from TOS. Plenty of TOS and TNG stars have appeared as ‘heads in a jar’. The “Where no fan has gone before” episode has already been mentioned and there’s the character of Zapp Branigan who shares a few traits with a certain captain.

It’s a hilarious show.

I dunno about McFarlane. Manny Coto and Eric Kripke could do a bangup job of it.

Patrick features tonight on BBC TV in Who Do You Think You Are and i hear its quite emotional. I’m looking forward to seeing it. I hope you Patrick fans outside the UK can see it at some point.

Gotta agree, no on Berman.

Disagree with the Ron Moore bashers. He was part of a lot of great ST television. His work with Battle Star Gallatica was fantastic. That said, I think it’s good to bring in someone new who has stamina for 7 years of television. He might be good to get things going but probably wouldn’t work for the long haul.

McFarlane would probably be good for trying to present a conventional approach to ST. I don’t know if he’s get more than a few years out of it though and would probably piss off the ST Elitists that love to flame in here about Prime this or that blablabla.

I think anything done with the Bad Robot team would start off good. It also gives it leverage to get on a big network with realistic advertising base so it can survive.

Stay far far far away from the Syfy network. I despise it. All they do is paranormal and poor fakes of major motion pictures. Loved the network growing up, hate it now.

Whatever the story is, it’s gotta be modern but fresh. I think they should wait until the next two movies are done and then continue in the new universe. If they did it smart, they could re-use film sets to keep start-up costs down, redress the ship as a different name and tell entirely new stories that we can relate to. The non-traditional fan base would probably watch because they related to the new movies and all us diehards would have something new to watch and read about.

I think MacFarlane would be great. And the reason I think that is due to his speech honoring Roddenberry’s induction to the TV Hall of Fame:

He GETS IT. He really gets what make Star Trek awesome. And I think he’s smart enough to put the show there.

where can i watch this show?