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greg danielsFormer Conan O’Brien roommate and Simpsons writer extraordinaire Greg Daniels (“Homer Badman,” “Lisa’s Wedding,” “Bart Sells His Soul”), who left the show before it got bad to co-create King of the Hill, then the American version of The Office, then Parks & Recreation, is getting back into animation, it looks like. NBC appears to be interested in prime-time animation, so they’ve signed Daniels to a “major production deal… [that] will include various programming but emphasize animated series.”

Of course, Fox is the only broadcast network in the past quarter-century to have had found success with prime-time cartoons – it currently has five series on the air, with more waiting in the wings. Other networks try, occasionally, with little success so far; the last two animated series to air on NBC were Father of the Pride (they’re just like a normal family, except they’re lions!) and Stressed Eric (America loves to watch cartoon characters get nervous breakdowns!). Mayhaps Daniels, with his amazing track record, can reverse the trend??? [AP via Deseret News]

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Mr. Long is the writer of the Simpsons episodes New Kids on the Bleech, Million Dollar Abie, Elementary School Musical, and Brake My Wife, Please. [Twitter]

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mike reissClassic Simpsons writer Mike Reiss usurped current Simpsons writer Matt Selman’s Xanga page to spin a sordid tale of lies, deceit, greed, and avarice. In the cutthroat world of children’s literature, celebrities have all the advantage, while run-of-the mill schlubs like Emmy Award-winning comedy writer Mike Reiss are forced to eat bowls of tough breaks for brunch. It seems a certain “Steve Martin,” famous person and noted bluegrass musician, penned a little book titled Late for School (adapted from the song by the same name), which as M. Reiss points out, is uncannily similar to Reiss’s 2003 book, also titled Late for School:

Both tell the story of a boy facing adventure on a mad dash for school. Both are written in verse. Both have the boy jumping over a pool (it rhymes with school). The biggest difference is that my book’s final twist has the boy arriving at school right on time, and then – spoiler alert! – realizing it’s Sunday. In Steve Martin’s book, it’s Saturday.

Well, well, well. Looks like these celebrity punks who’ve been taking picture book jobs away from real Americans are finally going to get their comeuppance. Reiss is holding all the cards here. Undoubtedly, he’ll slap Martin with a lawsuit so fast his head will explode. This will be the literary theft case of the decade. This will be —

I’m not saying Steve ripped off my book, or even knew it existed. Steve Martin is a brilliant comedian, playwright and novelist. I’m thrilled that we had the exact same idea. And that I had it seven years earlier.

I… b-but…. whaaa?…. *sputters incoherently* [Techland]

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U.K. funnyman Ricky Gervais, apparently unsatisfied with having written and starred in the Simpsons episode “Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife,” has vowed to create his “own Simpsons,” which will air on HBO. In an interview with the BBC, Gervais claims “we’ve got our own Homer,” a transparent admission that he and his crew are blatantly ripping off Simpsons characters, i.e. by renaming Homer Simpson “Karl Pilkington.” [BBC Newsbeat]

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Former showrunner and occasional (?) Simpsons writer Mike Reiss wrote a film, My Life in Ruins, which was savaged by critics. Reiss seems most perturbed that nobody got his nerd joke:

Several critics singled me out, calling me “an idiot,” “an imbecile,” and “sub-literate.” Now, I opened the film with an allusion to Voltaire – a sign reads “Pangloss Tours: ‘The Best of All Possible Worlds’.” In Candide, Dr. Pangloss utters these optimistic words before his group sets out on an utterly disastrous journey. Just like the tourists in my film! Get it? The critics didn’t. Not one caught the allusion. Otherwise, they’d have called me a “sub-literate moron who reads Voltaire.”

[Nerd World]

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In a fan Q+A, The Office writer-actor Mindy Kaling (Kelly) namedrops Simpsons writer Danny Chun, who was apparently “raving about Hot Chip and Vampire Weekend like fifteen years ago.” Given Mike Scully’s love for NRBQ and Al Jean’s love for on-the-nose musical montages, Chun needs to be promoted to executive producer immediately. [Office Tally]

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Former The Simpsons writer and current The Office executive producer Greg Daniels answered a question about how long The Simpsons will go on:

Simpsons will be on until the computers develop intelligence and shut down the meat people’s world, or until a Mega Volcano destroys our culture, or until the per episode syndication price falls below the cost of producing an episode.

[NBC.com]

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Someone claiming to be Simpsons writer Bill Odenkirk posted a thread on the No Homers Club message board to respond to internet criticism for the punderful title of upcoming episode “Mona Leaves-a” and defend the use of titular punnage:

Most of you are showing hate towards the episode title, Mona Leaves-a. I’m the writer for this episode, and also pitched the title. I’m here to say that it’s supposed to be a bad pun…

We don’t mind you people criticizing the episodes after they’ve aired, but judging them like you do, when all you know is the title, really makes us mad towards you. Hey, what a great pun! New episode title here we come!

[No Homers Club]

UPDATE: See follow-up post I guess??

UP LATE WITH McBAIN, WRITER WATCH

Responding to a comment by current show runner Al Jean that he would have simply ”laughed” off an invite to work on the movie, in Entertainment Weekly for its Simpsons cover story that hits stands this Friday, O’Brien deadpanned:

“I cleared my talk show schedule for a year at great financial cost to myself, got an apartment right outside the Fox lot, and told them I was ready to report to work. All I heard back was that they were having trouble finding me a parking space, and then they stopped returning my calls altogether. I am stunned and disappointed…. Truth be told, I worry that the Simpsons-writing portion of my brain has been destroyed after 14 years of talking to Lindsay Lohan and that guy from One Tree Hill, so maybe it’s all for the best.”

[Entertainment Weekly]

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“Matt Groening rang me up because he’d seen The Office on a flight, ages before it was shown in America. I did a very rough sketch and wrote a song. So the only things that were mine were the song, a couple of jokes and the Wife Swap idea, which was Jane’s anyway. So I mustn’t take too much credit – I said as much once, but they said no, no, that’s always the case. Whoever it says ‘wrote’ the episode goes through the same process. So that made me feel slightly less guilty.”

[The Guardian]