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The Simpsons' showrunner Al Jean has worked on the animated series since 1989 when he came on as a writer. If anyone has a say in how this show should end (if it ever ends), it's him or creator Matt Groening. In an interview with CNN, Jean reveals how he thinks the ideal way to end the series would be. He wants The Simpsons to have a circular narrative, and his idea involves going back to the very first episode of the series that aired on Fox. That episode happens to be the famous Christmas special, “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire.” Here’s the idea that Jean came up with.
“There is an ending I've always had in mind, which was, I thought it would be cool if in the last episode they're getting ready to go to a Christmas pageant, and they go to the Christmas pageant that opens up the first episode, »
- Joey Paur
If you’re looking for a science fiction cartoon that is full of hilarious characters and sharp writing, then you should look no further than Matt Groening’s Futurama. As one of the most beloved cartoons of its generation, Futurama soared on Fox from 1999 to 2003, producing some of the finest in comedy animation.
It created a vision of the future that seemed credible while also being just nutty enough to sustain 22 minutes of humor week to week, along with a very grounded protagonist in Fry that was a charming stand-in for 20th century humans. And even though it was born from the same pedigree as The Simpsons, Futurama was able to attain an even higher degree of quality than perhaps any animated show ever did.
Futurama’s first run on Fox was easily the single best animated program ever made, with its consistent quality from episode to episode serving »
- Matthew Fisher
Even if you're not a watcher of "The Simpsons," one of the Fox series' great annual pleasures is the Halloween "Treehouse of Horror" special, which had its 25th edition Sunday night. Matt Groening and company have spoofed Stanley Kubrick before (see "Treehouse of Horror" classic "The Shinning") but Sunday was a true homage to the great director, a hilarious, unsubtle, over-the-top meta, allusion-packed mishmash of "Barry Lyndon," "Eyes Wide Shut," "Full Metal Jacket," "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "A Clockwork Orange." Along with a winking nod to the director's supposed cover-up of the Apollo moon landing (as alleged in Rodney Ascher's neat pomo doc "Room 237"). Here's a clip. Watch the full episode here. (Thanks, Vulture.) »
- Ryan Lattanzio
The genesis of “Simpsons World” — the authenticated app that is the multimedia playground for all things connected to the iconic toon — was a deal point in the megabucks syndication deal that brought “The Simpsons” to reruns to Fxx.
As FX Networks and Fox’s Twentieth Television were hashing out the transaction in the early fall of 2013, it became clear that FX would need expansive streaming rights to the 550-plus episodes to make the deal, with an estimated pricetag of $750 million, financially viable.
Throughout the sale process, Twentieth TV kept close counsel with James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and the other pillars of “The Simpsons.” Twentieth’s Steve MacDonald, FX’s Chuck Saftler and other other execs handling the deal wanted to make sure the creative stewards of the franchise were comfortable with the sale that made “Simpsons” reruns available on cable for the first time.
When it came to the »
- Cynthia Littleton
That’s right, coming up is a crossover with Matt Groening’s “other” show, the little sci-fi animated comedy that could, Futurama. Aired, cancelled, brought back in televised movie form, resurrected, then cancelled again – and now brought back by way of The Simpsons – it’s hard to keep the Planet Express team down.
Futurama has popped up a couple of times for throw-away jokes in The Simpsons, but this season sees a full blown cross-over between the two. The cast of characters are incredibly different, prompting some exciting potential moments. Really, the only thing close to the Futurama cast on The Simpsons would be Kang and Kodos, and they’re usually relegated to appearances on Halloween specials.
How will The Simpsons handle the influx of new characters? »
- Jay Anderson
Just in the same way that good people die, sometimes good TV shows get cancelled. And just like people, sometimes those TV shows rise from the dead with the sole purpose of finding us and consuming our brains. In a good way.
There are plenty of reasons a TV show can get cancelled. Whether it’s poor ratings, financial problems, or bad reviews, shows are regularly taken off the air to make way for something else. Sometimes shows aren’t cancelled because they were bad though, or even necessarily that unpopular. Maybe they just hadn’t reached the right audience. Perhaps they were ahead of their time or just weren’t a big hit in their home country. Maybe the network was just too shortsighted to see a cult classic in the making.
Let’s look at some shows that rose from the dead to live another day.
As you probably know, »
- Jonathan Milward
The Simpsons' media gimmicks, crossovers and auteur couch gags have become a bigger story than the show itself over the last few years...
“It's not selling out, it's co-branding. Co-branding!”
So says Homer Simpson in the throes of a feverish nightmare at the beginning of Brick Like Me, the 550th episode of The Simpsons, which then unfolds mostly in a Lego version of Springfield.
It's a cute way to start an episode that uses an exercise in product placement to tell a story about parenting and creativity, which is mirrored at the end of that story when the episode acknowledges how The Lego Movie did the exact same thing a few months earlier.
Such meta-textual hat-tipping may be appreciated by more pernickety fans of The Simpsons, (it's also telling that the antagonist of Brick Like Me »
"The Simpsons Guy," the highly anticipated crossover episode between animated staples The Simpsons and Family Guy, hit airwaves on Sunday night. The hour-long Family Guy premiere found the Griffin crew stranded in Springfield after their car is stolen; Homer bumps into the family at the Kwik E Mart and offers to let them stay at the Simpson home. Chaos, naturally, ensues: Peter and Homer employ a number of insane tactics to track down the missing vehicle, holding a "Stolen Car Wash" and guzzling gasoline in order to "think like a car. »
After more than a year of hype, the first families of Fox finally came together on Sunday’s Family Guy season premiere. So, did the Simpsons crossover meet your expectations?
It certainly met mine. I found the Griffins’ visit to Springfield to be a bizarre-yet-perfect marriage, one that taught us all a valuable lesson: Despite their inherent similarities, it’s Ok to love both shows for (very) different reasons.
So, without further Apu, here are 10 moments that stuck out to me — for better or worse — from the premiere: »
As the much anticipated crossover featuring The Simpsons and Family Guy characters is set to air Sunday, one scene is already causing a furor. The scene, released in advance of the episode, involves Bart Simpson showing Family Guy's Stewie and Brian how to make one of his signature prank calls to Moe's Tavern. Bart's call is mischievous but tame — causing Moe embarrassment related to his backside — but Stewie's effort involves a rape joke. "Hello, Moe — your sister's being raped," Stewie tells Moe. Parents Television Council president Tim Winter found the joke troubling and contacted Simpsons creator Matt Groening and Family Guy honcho Seth MacFarlane, requesting that the
- Ryan Gajewski
They are two of the most famous creators in the universe. Their work is quoted almost as often as Scripture. They have turned their pens into ATMs, making them richer than the creator of the universe. They have given rise to—and remain the symbolic deities of—two sides of a pop culture debate that is being fervidly argued out on some message board as you read this. But on this toasty summer afternoon in L.A., dressed in white shirts, jeans, and sneakers, Matt Groening, the 60-year-old creator/exec producer of The Simpsons (and Futurama), and Seth MacFarlane, the »
- Dan Snierson
The Simpsons enters its 26th season Sept. 28. Pause and try to absorb that information. Good? Okay. Now think about how recognizable and familiar the style of The Simpsons actually is: Can you think of another animated series from the past quarter-decade of American animation that's quite as iconic? Family Guy comes close, but it's still far off. Which is what's so cool about this collection of art from DeviantArt user Adn-z. It takes the familiar Simpsons aesthetic and applies it to other popular TV shows, like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. (Adn-z runs the Draw The Simpsons Tumblr, so he's something of an expert. »
Among the many gratifying aspects of Fxx's recent Every "Simpsons" Ever marathon was the way that it helped shift the overall critical narrative about the series ever-so-slightly away from the conventional wisdom that the series is a shell of its former self — that "The Simpsons" should have gone away after season 9, and that its legacy is forever tarnished because it kept on going and going and going. I've written before of my strong disagreement with that idea — that if the show isn't as consistently great as it was in, say, seasons 4 or 5, that it's still capable of greatness a few times a season, and still one of the more satisfying comedies on television even outside its best recent outings — and was pleased to see so many critics and fans continue watching the marathon in its later days and admitting that, hey, "Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind" or "500 Keys" or »
- Alan Sepinwall
It's Simpsons Week here at Vulture, and we're paying homage to the longest-running animated sitcom on TV. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Fox's subversive family of five has wreaked havoc in Springfield for 552 episodes. This week, we'll take a look back at the show's success and throw in our own two cents here and there. Below, we've sifted through the archives to see how Matt Groening's proponents and detractors responded to the show in the late 1980s and early 1990s.From the Los Angeles Times, December 16, 1989 ["TV Reviews : 'The Simpsons' Get a Show of Their Own for Christmas"]: They're a bickering family of five, lovable mutants with yellow skin, golf-ball eyes and absolutely no resemblance to "The Brady Bunch." ... Weird ... but wonderful. From the Chicago Tribune, December 17, 1989 ["Sam Kinison Drops Into a Noel-fashioned Nightmare at the Bundy Household"]: What the Bundys are to the Cleavers, the »
- Sean Fitz-Gerald
It’s finally time for Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin to bro down and drink up. On Sept. 28, from 9 p.m. all the way to 10 p.m., the animated worlds of Fox’s The Simpsons and Family Guy will collide colossally when Family Guy’s season premiere features the Griffins breaking bread/donuts with the Simpsons. Friendships are formed between the two families before Homer and Peter get in a massive fight over their respective beer of choice.
Dying to know how this crossover came to life? Wondering what to expect when the Quahog crew cruises over to Springfield? Still »
- Dan Snierson
There's no point of reviewing Sunday (September 14) night's The Simpsons Take The Bowl show from The Hollywood Bowl, at least not in a traditional way. Sunday's presentation was the third and final night for The Simpsons Take The Bowl and, alas, if you didn't catch one of the shows... That's it. Sorry. Timed to loosely synchronize with the classic comedy's 25th anniversary, the show's recent syndicated move to Fxx and Sunday, September 28 premiere for the new season, The Simpsons Take The Bowl was a terrific two hours of live music, singing and dancing, culminating in fireworks. The event featured an assortment of new animation tailored around the venue, but also included classic "Simpsons" bits including Homer's plummet down the Springfield Gorge, Homer's gambol through The Land of Chocolate and the transition from the Ajax Steel Mill into The Anvil. I'm not sure that all of my favorite "Simpsons" musical moments were acknowledged. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Even the creators of The Simpsons know we love the old stuff. Specifically, the first 10 to 12 seasons. That’s the period in which Matt Groening‘s iconic yellow family took the world by storm and became a television institution. Since then many fans have fallen off the show, citing a decline in quality, and maybe […]
The post Videos From ‘The Simpsons Take The Bowl’ Musical Event appeared first on /Film. »
- Germain Lussier
In even more depressing news that I'm getting old, "The Simpsons" turns 25 this year - and to mark the occasion, Matt Groening and friends have been entertaining their asses off at L.A.'s iconic Hollywood Bowl all weekend. Didn't get to go? Sucks for you! Below are 8 YouTube clips that will make you wish you'd been there to "Do the Bartman" with awkward abandon. The opening sketch Oh boy, this must have been really exciting live. Boy. Conan O'Brien sings "The Monorail Song" But not before taking digs at the Bowl's season ticket holders. "Weird" Al Yankovic performs "The Ballad of Homer and Marge" Oh my god, he's famous again. Yeardley Smith and Nancy Cartwright perform "Minimum Wage Nanny" Still the definitive Mary Poppins parody. Nancy Cartwright sings "Do the Bartman" You knew it was coming! 1990 was awesome. The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles performs "Spider Pig" Only in America. »
- Chris Eggertsen
For a show entering its 26th season, "The Simpsons" has been generating a lot of fresh news lately. There was last month's Fxx Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, in which all 552 episodes and the movie were aired in sequence, single-handedly transforming Fxx from a cable curiosity into a destination. For lucky residents of Los Angeles, there's this weekend's The Simpsons Take The Bowl three night event. Starting on Friday, September 12, Hank Azaria will host a trio of live shows at the Hollywood Bowl featuring the likes of Conan O'Brien, Nancy Cartwright, Beverly D'Angelo, Jon Lovitz, Yeardley Smith, "Weird Al" Yankovic, series creator Matt Groening and more, with musical performances accompanied by clips. [Timed around the Bowl show is Thursday night's "Simpsons" music-themed marathon on Fxx, which runs from 8 p.m. to midnight.] And then for everybody, "The Simpsons" returns to Fox on Sunday, September 28 with a fall of new episodes that include a major character death and a "Futurama" crossover and that's not even mentioning the "Family Guy" premiere, which features a much-discussed visit to Springfield. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Not content with crossovers with fellow Matt Groening show Futurama and rival Fox animated series Family Guy, it has now been announced that The Simpsons will be meeting up with their original counterparts from The Tracey Ullman Show shorts as part of the annual ‘Treehouse of Horror’ Halloween special…
According to Entertainment Weekly, the October 19th ‘Treehouse of Horror’ will feature “a segment that parodies The Others, in which the Simpsons are haunted by another ghostly family living in the house. These ghosts turn out to be none other than their crudely drawn former selves.”
The Simpsons of course made their debut back in 1987 as the stars of a series of 48 animated shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, before the launch of the actual show in 1989. It returns for its 25th season on September 29th.
- Gary Collinson
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