In the United States, the series aired on Fox from March 28, 1999, to August 10, 2003, and aired in reruns on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim from 2003 to 2007. It was revived in 2007 as four direct-to-video films, the last of which was released in early 2009. Comedy Central entered into an agreement with 20th Century Fox Television to syndicate the existing episodes and air the films as 16 new, half-hour episodes, constituting a fifth season.
Futurama is essentially a workplace sitcom, the plot of which revolves around the Planet Express interplanetary delivery company and its employees, a small group that largely fails to conform to future society. Episodes usually feature the central trio of Fry, Leela, and Bender, though occasional storylines center on the other main characters.
- Philip J. Fry (Billy West) – Fry is an immature, slovenly, yet good-hearted and sentimental pizza delivery boy who falls into a cryogenic pod, causing it to activate and freeze him just after midnight on January 1, 2000. He reawakens on New Year's Eve of 2999, and gets a job as a cargo delivery boy at Planet Express, a company owned by his only living relative, Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth. Fry's love for Leela is a recurring theme throughout the series. By the end of the series, Fry has become Leela's husband and fathered his and Leela's mutant daughter, Elena Fry. He is also Skye Hunt's ex-husband and Renesmee Fry's biological father (whom she took her when Renesmee is still a child, after Fry and Leela's affair during the episode "Anthology of Interest 1")
- Skye Hunt (Alecia Tisdale)- Skye is a young 25-year old disabled human who has become a member of the OTC ensemble, when she first joins the Planet Express delivery company in the fanfiction episode "Future Smiles", right after Skye first met Fry (whom she bumps into while escape the hospital), she also met the rest of her new crew; Turanga Leela, Bender Bending Rodriguez, Amy Wong, Prof. Hubert J. Farnsworth, Hermes Conrad and Dr. John A. Zoidberg. Skye has fallen hoplessly devoted in love with Fry (who also has a romantic feelings for in return), when Fry ask Skye for her hand in marriage after she survives from the DOOP Crew and Skye accepts Fry's proposal. After they were wed, Skye and Fry went on their honeymoon while there they were consummate their marriage. But their love-making and honeymoon cut-short, when Skye finds out that she is pregnant after skipped her five days period. After a miracle has finally happened, Skye and Fry had a daughter together; a half-abled half-disabled child whom Skye decides to name her and Fry's child, Renesmee Jane Fry. Months later after Renesmee was born, in the season two episode "Anthology of Interest 1" Skye came home straight after picking up Renesmee, she learns that Fry has cheated on her when Fry and Leela were having an affair (an impulsive affair) and that made Skye shrink in horror and jealous, Skye decides to take Renesmee with her but Fry tried to stop Skye and their daughter, Renesmee from going. Couple months later, after the impulsive affair between Fry and Leela; Fry and Skye finally decide to get divorce but Fry has no choice but to deal with a child support to which Skye agrees for their daughter's sake. Skye has start a romantic relationship with a young 29-year old boy, Joshua Harris and decides to remarry as well as taking her and her daughter, Renesmee's surname "Harris". Skye and Fry will always remain best friends alongside Bender as well as Skye and Fry will always remain in contact for their daughter's sake.
- Joshua Harris (Zac Efron)- Joshua is a young 29-year old who was Skye Hunt's new husband and Renesmee Fry's stepfather. In 2019, Joshua and Skye first met while they were working together on their OTC production of "Clash At Titan High" and they become best friends quickly. But they start a romantic relationship right after their performance, it is revealed in the Futurama's season two episode "Anthology of Interest 1" that Skye has ended her marriage due to her ex-husband, Philip J. Fry were having an impulsive affair with one of her new close friends at the Planet Express delivery company and the captain of the crew, Turanga Leela. It's also revealed that Skye had a daughter with her ex-husband, Renesmee Fry, but Renesmee was upset that her mother started a romantic relationship with someone was in the age-gap between her mother and her new partner and Joshua has accepted Renesmee as his stepdaughter once he and Skye get married as much as Renesmee has accepted Joshua as her stepfather.
- Turanga Leela (Katey Sagal) – Leela is the competent, one-eyed captain of the Planet Express Ship. Abandoned as a baby, she grows up in the Cookieville Minimum Security Orphanarium believing herself to be an alien from another planet, but learns that she is actually a mutant from the sewers in the episode "Leela's Homeworld". Prior to becoming the ship's captain, Leela works as a career assignment officer at the cryogenics lab where she first meets Fry. She is Fry's primary love interest and eventually becomes his wife. She is also Elena Fry's mother and Renesmee Fry's stepmother after she is married to Renesmee's father, Philip J. Fry while Renesmee's mother, Skye Hunt has started a romantic relationship with and marries to Renesmee's stepfather, Joshua Harris. Her name is a reference to the Turangalîla-Symphonie by Olivier Messiaen.
- Bender Bending Rodriguez (John DiMaggio) – Bender is a foul-mouthed, heavy-drinking, cigar-smoking, kleptomaniacal, misanthropic, egocentric, ill-tempered robotmanufactured by Mom's Friendly Robot Company. He is originally programmed to bend girders for suicide booths, and is later designated as assistant sales manager and cook, despite lacking a sense of taste. He is Fry's best friend and roommate. He must drink heavily to power his fuel cells and becomes the robot equivalent of drunk when low on alcohol.
- Elena Fry (Tara Strong)- Elena is Fry and Leela's daughter, Bender and Amy's goddaughter, Professor Farnsworth's distant niece, Renesmee's stepsister, Cubert's distant cousin, Yancy Sr. and Sherri's paternal granddaughter, Morris and Munda's maternal granddaughter, Yancy Jr. and his wife's paternal niece, Philip II's paternal cousin, Munda's mother's maternal-paternal great-granddaughter, Yancy Fry's paternal-maternal great-great-granddaughter, Munda's grandmother's maternal-paternal great-great-granddaughter, Enos and Mildred's paternal-maternal great-granddaughter and Mr. and Mrs. Gleisner's maternal-paternal great-granddaughter. Elena was conceived and carried by her mother during her parents' love-making on a romantic holiday of Casa Isolada on Simian 7 Planet in the Futurama's season 7 episode "Fry and Leela's Big Fling".
- Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth (Billy West) – Professor Farnsworth, also known simply as "the Professor", is Fry's distant nephew. Farnsworth founds Planet Express Inc. to fund his work as a mad scientist. Although he is depicted as a brilliant scientist and inventor, at more than one-hundred and sixty years old he is extremely prone to age-related forgetfulness and fits of temper. In the episode "A Clone of My Own", the Professor clones himself to produce a successor, Cubert Farnsworth (Voiced by Kath Soucie), whom he treats like a son.
- Amy Wong (Lauren Tom) – Amy is an incredibly rich, blunt, spoiled, ditzy, and accident-prone long-term intern at Planet Express. She is an astrophysics student at Mars University and heiress to the western hemisphere of Mars. Born on Mars, she is ethnically Chinese and is prone to cursing in Cantonese and using 31st-century slang. Her parents are the wealthy ranchers Leo and Inez Wong. She is promiscuous in the beginning of the series, but eventually enters a monogamous relationship with Kif Kroker. In the show's sixth season, she acquires her doctorate.
- Hermes Conrad (Phil LaMarr) – Hermes is the Jamaican accountant of Planet Express. A 36th-level bureaucrat (demoted to level 37 during the series) and proud of it, he is a stickler for regulation and enamored of the tedium of paperwork and bureaucracy. Hermes is also a former champion in Olympic Limbo, a sport derived from the popular party activity. He gave up limbo after the 2980 Olympics when a young fan, imitating him, broke his back and died. Hermes has a wife, LaBarbara, and a 12-year-old son, Dwight.
- Dr. John A. Zoidberg (Billy West) – Zoidberg is a Decapodian, a lobster-like alien from the planet Decapod 10, and the neurotic staff physician of Planet Express. Although he claims to be an expert on humans, his knowledge of human anatomy and physiology is woefully inaccurate. Zoidberg's expertise seems to be with extra-terrestrial creatures. Homeless and penniless, he lives in the dumpster behind Planet Express. Although Zoidberg is depicted as being Professor Farnsworth's long-time friend, he is held in contempt by everyone on the crew.
- Renesmee Fry-Hunt-Harris (Mackenzie Foy) - Renesmee is Fry and Skye's daughter and Joshua Harris' stepdaughter as well as the member of the Planet Express crew. She was conceived by her mother, when Skye was still 25 years old after Skye and Fry were having sex. When Renesmee was six years old, her parents were divorced after her father, Fry were having an impulsive affair with her father's co-worker, Leela in the Futurama's season two episode "Anthology of Interest 1" but Renesmee is even more upset that her mother, Skye has start a romantic relationship with and remarried to someone opposite to her mother's age, Joshua Harris. Renesmee hated the idea but she accepts her mother's remarriage to Joshua. Renesmee's parents will always remain best friends and contact for her sake.
- Zapp Brannigan (Billy West) – Zapp Brannigan is the incompetent, extraordinarily vain captain of the DOOP starship Nimbus. Although Leela thoroughly detests him, Brannigan—a self-deluded ladies' man—pursues her relentlessly, often at great personal risk. He was originally going to be voiced by Phil Hartman, but Hartman died before production could begin.
- Kif Kroker (Maurice LaMarche) – Zapp Brannigan's 4th Lieutenant and long-suffering personal assistant, Kif is a member of the amphibious species that inhabits the planet Amphibios 9. Although extremely timid, he eventually works up the courage to date Amy. Kif is often shown sighing in disgust at the nonsensical rantings of his commanding officer.
- Mom (Tress MacNeille) – Mom is the malevolent, foul-mouthed, cruel, and narcissistic owner of MomCorp, the thirty-first century's largest shipping and manufacturing company, with a monopoly on robots. In public, she maintains the image of a sweet, kindly old woman by speaking in stereotypically antiquated statements and wearing a mechanical fat suit. She occasionally launches insidious plans for world domination and corporate takeover. She has a romantic history with the Professor which left her bitter and resentful. She has three bumbling sons, Walt, Larry, and Igner (modeled after The Three Stooges), who do her bidding despite frequent abuse, and often infuriate her with their incompetence. In Bender's Game, it is revealed that Igner's father is Professor Farnsworth.
- Nibbler (Frank Welker) – Nibbler is Leela's pet Nibblonian, whom she rescues from an imploding planet and adopts in the episode "Love's Labours Lost in Space". Despite his deceptively cute exterior, Nibbler is actually a highly intelligent super-being whose race is responsible for maintaining order in the universe. He is revealed in "The Why of Fry" to have been directly responsible for Fry's cryogenic freezing. While the size of an average house cat, his race is capable of devouring much larger animals. He defecates dark matter, which until Bender's Game is used as fuel for space cruisers in the series.