Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening (/ˈɡreɪnɪŋ/ GRAY-ning; born February 15, 1954) is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, producer, animator, author, musician, comedian, and voice actor. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell (1977–2012) as well as co-creating two successful television series, The Simpsons (1989–present) and Futurama (1999–2003, 2008–2013).Groening made his first professional cartoon sale of Life in Hell to the avant-garde Wet magazine in 1978. At its peak, the cartoon was carried in 250 weekly newspapers. Life in Hell caught the attention of James L. Brooks. In 1985, Brooks contacted Groening with the proposition of working in animation for the Fox variety show The Tracey Ullman Show. Originally, Brooks wanted Groening to adapt his Life in Hell characters for the show. Fearing the loss of ownership rights, Groening decided to create something new and came up with a cartoon family, Matt Groening's Simpsons family, and named the members after his own parents and sisters—while Bart was an anagram of the word brat. The shorts would be spun off into their own series: The Simpsons, which has since aired 549 episodes. In 1997, Groening and former Simpsons writer David X. Cohen developed Futurama, an animated series about life in the year 3000, which premiered in 1999. After four years on the air, the show was canceled by Fox in 2003, but Comedy Central commissioned 16 new episodes from four direct-to-DVD movies in 2008. Then, in June 2009, Comedy Central ordered 26 new episodes of Futurama, to be aired over two seasons.Groening has won 12 Primetime Emmy Awards, ten for The Simpsons and two for Futurama as well as a British Comedy Award for "outstanding contribution to comedy" in 2004. In 2002, he won the National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award for his work on Life in Hell. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 14, 2012.