I’m going to go out on a limb and declare that The Simpsons will finally, mercifully end in 2011, after twenty-two seasons.
- The show has yet to be renewed beyond the 2010-2011 season (season 22), so there’s no guarantee there’ll be a Season 23.
- In November, the Animation Guild blog mentioned that the writers were working on “another thirteen episodes”. Each production season, the last couple of episodes become the first episodes of the next season; these are called “holdovers.” The current season (season 21) has eight holdovers – notice the production codes in this chart. Presumably, this means next season will also have eight holdovers, which when coupled with the aforementioned thirteen episodes will fulfill a complete season order of twenty-one episodes, with no holdovers for a 23rd season.
- The show has been losing a million viewers each season for the past couple seasons with no end in sight. It often gets lower ratings than Family Guy. Each episode costs somewhere around $3 million. All of these must be major concerns for Fox executives… but then again The Simpsons is the sixth-highest earner on television, and makes like a billion dollars from merchandise and syndication, so ratings are probably irrelevant.
- The 20th anniversary hoopla feels like a final victory parade to me, a last hurrah before they ride into the sunset. It’s probably wise to end it while goodwill is high.
- I just want to be right so I can look prophetic.