THE INSIDE SCOOP

An image of the decaying ruins of Washington, DC - Fallout concept art by Craig Mullins

The Fox Network has renewed the popular television cartoon The Simpsons for yet another two seasons, ensuring audiences nationwide will still be entertained during the final months of the republic and beyond.

From the press release:

Emmy Award-winning Animation Domination kingpin THE SIMPSONS has been renewed for its 33rd and 34th seasons on FOX, carrying the series to 2023 and a total of 757 episodes. ¬°Ay, caramba!

As the United States enters its death throes under the Biden regime, new episodes of The Simpsons will provide a sense of stability as our beloved homeland collapses, assuming of course that television will continue to broadcast.

This is the first renewal since Disney’s acquisition of the company formerly known as 20th Century Fox (Fox, the channel, is still owned by the Murdochs). Some had speculated the show might move to producing new episodes exclusively for Disney+, where it’s consistently one of the service’s most popular shows. In the linear world, however, ratings continue to dwindle, and The Hollywood Reporter called it a loss leader for the network. Nevertheless, fans can rest assured that the comedic antics of Homer, Bart and the other Simpsons will continue to provide a fun diversion from the corpses piling up outside.

[FOXFLASH]

THE INSIDE SCOOP

future crowd

In an unprecedented move, The Fox Network has renewed the The Simpsons for 254 additional seasons, ensuring America’s Favorite Family will be delighting audiences for centuries to come.

According to a press release, the renewal includes funding for a program codenamed Virtua Script, which developers boast will dramatically cut down on production costs by automating scripts. The program is part of long-term plan for the show to become fully automized by 2041, and achieve sentience soon thereafter.

“I could not be happier about this renewal,” tweeted showrunner Al Jean, who said he plans to upload his consciousness to the machines as soon as it is technologically feasible.

NOISELAND ARCADE

You can rest easy, everybody. It looks like negotiations are over, contracts have been signed, and The Simpsons will be returning from its hiatus.

I speak, of course, about the franchise’s extended hiatus from video game consoles. Hard as it may be to believe, it’s been over seven years since the release of a Simpsons game on a dedicated gaming system. With EA’s attention focused on The Simpsons: Tapped Out, the hugely successful freemium game for iOS and Android devices, the prospects of a followup to 2007’s The Simpsons Game looked fairly dim. But now it looks like Homer and the gang just might be returning to consoles… just not in the way anyone expected.

Yesterday, The LEGO Group and Warner Bros. announced LEGO Dimensions, a new game & toy series in the lucrative “you have to keep buying plastic junk” category pioneered by Skylanders. Once you’ve plunked down a hundred bucks for the starter pack, you can buy additional characters and content from various franchises. Unlike its rival Disney Infinity, LEGO Dimensions won’t be limited to franchises owned by the same megacorporation – they’ve already licensed Back to the Future from Universal, for example.

On Twitter, @UKVGDeals highlighted what could be a clue to a certain other franchise in the extended trailer:

Lego Dimensions trailer

That’s right: a donut with pink frosting and sprinkles, 100% clear-cut confirmation that The Simpsons will be a part of the game in the future. (Aside: When and how did “donut with pink frosting” become the defining icon of The Simpsons, anyway?)

Still not convinced? Well, as fellow Twitter user Ryan W. Mead pointed out, a New York Times article mentions “Characters owned by 20th Century Fox are also expected to join Dimensions as it rolls out.” Clearly they must be referring to the Simpsons because, ha ha, does Fox even have any other franchises anymore?

So, there you have it, folks: The Simpsons is almost definitely coming back to consoles in the form of an add-on pack to LEGO Skylanders: The Game, by next year, probably. What’s less clear is if the show will still be on by then.

Wait, I just remembered the Minecraft pack. Eh, whatever.

FOX NEWS, TOON BEAT

family guy

Holy crap, Lois! According to Deadline, Fox network executive and Seth MacFarlane enabler Kevin Reilly has announced he is resigning as Chairman of Entertainment, “amid a major ratings downside for the network.”

Back in 2010, Reilly stubbornly insisted the network’s strategy “is not all Seth, all the time” at the same time they were planning to give him a fourth goddamn show (presumably the abandoned Flintstones reboot, which mercifully didn’t come to fruition).

NEWS BRIEFS

police dogAh, a new year is upon us, giving me a chance to catch up on all the news stories I’ve neglected over the past few weeks before they get too old to post.

  • The administrator of the now-defunct pirate streaming site WatchTheSimpsonsOnline, which was shut down in October, has been ordered to pay $10.5 million in damages. Now that’s a lot of “D’oh”!!!!! [TorrentFreak]
  • Fox is getting back in the theme park game! Twelve years after the miserable failure of their first park, Fox is bringing “Twentieth Century Fox World” to Malaysia, with plans for more. They won’t be allowed to feature any Simpsons attractions since the franchise is licensed to Universal, which is kinda like Comedy Central making a theme park without South Park. But they will have a recreation of the Titanic!!! [Variety]
  • Mrs. Krabappel and the late Simpsons writer Don Payne were depicted as angels for a split-second in a recent Christmas episode. That’s heartwarming and all, but why are there angels at the North Pole? [E! Online]
  • The Simpsons has teamed up with BAPE for a line of streetwear where they all look dead. [BAPE]
FOX NEWS

simpsons rich

Scrappy cable underdog FXX landed a major deal with its fellow 21st Century Fox subsidiaries 20th Century Fox Television and Twentieth Television (which are different companies, somehow…?) for the exclusive cable and streaming rights to The Simpsons for ten years, and now a bunch of rich people are going to get richer, hooray! The deal is valued at $750 million, making it the largest off-network sale ever.

FXX is a terribly-named spinoff of FX that launched two months ago. It airs comedy shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, reruns of Parks & Recreation, and who knows what else. Next August, they’ll have every episode of The Simpsons. So many, they don’t quite know what to do with them:

FXX is expected to stack six to eight episodes on one or two nights, probably in thematic packages, rather than air them across the week as in traditional syndication.

Hey, I already made things easy for them! Imagine a whole night of those dumb trilogy episodes where historical/fictional figures are replaced with Simpsons characters.

Additionally, every episode will be available streaming on demand:

Deal also calls for the vast archive of “Simpsons” segs to be available on VOD via the soon-to-launch authenticated FXNow mobile viewing app — which is sure to be a draw for the service as “Simpsons” segs have never been widely distributed online and have never been on any SVOD platform.

Well, not legally – in a weird coincidence, the internet’s most popular Simpsons streaming site shut down just a few weeks ago. Naturally, to use FXNow you’ll have to prove you’re a cable subscriber and not one of those freeloading hippie cord-cutter types. Meanwhile, local stations have run out of good seasons to air:

Most local stations have used up all of their allotted runs of older seasons of the show, even as they get access to the most recent episodes after the conclusion of each season on the Fox network.

Haw haw, nobody wants the newer episodes.

Harry Shearer is bitter because the official press release about the deal names eleven executives – John Landgraf, Chuck Saftler, Gary Newman, Dana Walden, Greg Meidel, Steve MacDonald, James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Chris Antola, and Lori Bernstein – and zero cast members. Shearer and the rest of the cast won’t get to share in the profits, and neither will the animators, who continue to deal with pay reductions, shortened production schedules, and longer layoffs.

[Variety]

TOON BEAT

Bordertown

With The Cleveland Show cancelled and American Dad heading for TBS, it was looking like Fox might be down to just three Seth MacFarlane-produced shows on their schedule: Family Guy, Dads, and the upcoming Cosmos reboot. Luckily, Fox immediately sprang into action and greenlit his latest cartoon (his fourth for the network), thus maintaining their quota:

Fox has given a 13-episode order to Bordertown, from MacFarlane and Family Guy‘s Mark Hentemann. Set in a fictitious desert town near the U.S.-Mexico border, Bordertown centers on the intertwining daily lives of neighbors Bud Buckwald and Ernesto Gonzales. Bud, a married father of three, is a Border Patrol agent who feels threatened by the cultural changes that have transformed his neighborhood. Living next door is Ernesto, an industrious Mexican immigrant and father of four, who is proud to be making it in America. As Bud and Ernesto’s paths begin to cross, their families become bound by friendship, romance and conflict.

Continue Reading →

D'OH REPORT

doh

Late last week, Fox announced plans to honor the passing of Simpsons voice actress Marcia Wallace by airing the classic Season 3 episode “Bart the Lover,” for which she’d won an Emmy.

However, viewers on Sunday were instead presented with the Season 22 travesty “The Nedliest Catch,” the stunt episode where viewers got to decide the fate of Mrs. Krabappel and Ned Flander’s relationship, also known as “Nedna.”

Entertainment Weekly, which had announced the news, updated their story to explain the switcheroo:

The network originally announced plans to re-air Wallace’s Emmy-winning episode from the show’s third season, “Bart the Lover,” but “technical issues” clearing the 20-year-old episode prevented the last-minute switch and a newer episode featuring her character had to be chosen instead.

Apparently, Fox is now literally incapable of broadcasting quality Simpsons episodes.

WEB-WATCH

WTSOThe internet’s most notorious site for illegally watching The Simpsons online, WatchTheSimpsonsOnline, has unexpectedly shut down after at least four years of operation.

Here’s an outdated Wikisimpsons article about the site. Currently, visitors are greeted with this vague goodbye message:

Hello, The website you’re trying to reach has been permenantly shut down.

If you wish to watch new episodes of the simpsons online please visit hulu.com or fox.com.

Thanks for your understanding.

Continue Reading →

NEWS BRIEFS

police dog

  • The sleuths at Bleeding Cool, hot off the heels of their Bapper discovery, noticed that Matt Groening recently bought the domain lifeinhell.tv, which could only mean one thing: Groening is moving to the islands of Tuvalu, which owns and operates the .tv domain. [Bleeding Cool]
  • The Awl has a good piece about the Simpsons-themed area at Universal Orlando (does it have a name?) and the “Experience Economy” that reflects my ambivalence to the whole thing. [The Awl]
  • Nick Offerman, who plays Ron Swanson in Parks & Recreation, casually mentioned that he recorded a part for The Simpsons, a show he’d been “ape-shit” about for a couple decades. [A.V. Club]
  • Continue Reading →