NEWS ROUNDUP

Homer strangles Bart while Scoey and Bob Iger look on, and the Australian guy looks at his phone bill.

Howdy pard’ners, he’s some ace-high Simpsons news tidbits rounded up for your reading pleasure.

  • According to Simpsons Wiki, the last time Homer strangled Bart in normal continuity was in 2019’s “The Winter of Our Monetized Content,” so it would be accurate for Homer in 2023 to say he doesn’t do that anymore. There, I’ve done more research than 99% of the articles about Stranglegate. You know what other gags they haven’t done in a long time? Bart prank calling Moe. Bart saying “Cowabunga.” Troy McClure listing movies you might remember him from. Mr. Burns not remembering Homer’s name. Inappropriate songs playing when characters get put on hold. Marge reminding Homer of a previous lifelong dream. McBain’s crusade against Mendoza. Search for the Sun. Homer’s love of mambo. The family going out for frosty chocolate milkshakes. I guess my point is sometimes things get dropped.
  • I rarely buy Simpsons merchandise, but I was convinced to shell out some simoleons for Super7’s Scoey and Troy McClure with Fuzzy Bunny figures. Preternia has noted that something is going on with their Simpsons line, but it’s unclear what it is. Concerning.
  • Disney officially announced they’re buying Comcast’s remaining stake in Hulu, ending speculation that they might instead sell their stake as CEO Bob Iger had floated back in February. In related news, Disney+ will be adding some Hulu content next month for bundle subscribers, with an official rollout in March 2024. I’m curious if Hulu The Disney+ Brand Tile will include next-day episodes of The Simpsons, or if that will remain exclusive to Hulu The Standalone Service.
  • How do you spell the currency mentioned in “Bart vs. Australia” and an episode of Bluey, dollarydoos or dollar-adoos? Writer Josh Weinstein posted the script, revealing it’s actually dollaridoos. By the way, for just one dollaridoo you can get a Dollarita at your local Applebee’s [SPONSORED CONTENT].
DIS INFORMATION

An image of the Simpsons and Apu from one of the video games running in the speedforce.

Remember when you watched The Simpsons in syndication and you could just enjoy a random episode, without the burden of having to consciously pick one? What if instead of being limited to one episode per evening (or perhaps two or even three depending on your TV market), the show was constantly airing 24/7? Well, that could become a reality sooner rather than later if streaming analysts’ predictions hold true.

Now that the streaming business model has imploded, the studios have realized that the linear TV model it disrupted wasn’t so bad after all and are eager to recoup their lost revenue by getting into FAST (free, ad-supported television) channels, which are essentially fake TV channels with commercials you can stream, many of which are dedicated to one show. Some even have their own services featuring these channels: Paramount has Pluto TV and Paramount+, Fox Corporation has Tubi, NBC Universal has Peacock, and Amazon has Freevee. Warner Bros. Discovery is launching their own service later this year. Even Netflix has hinted at getting in the game.

Disney has had an ABC News Live channel for years, and in May they added a few FAST channels on the ABC app, but so far they haven’t made any major waves in that space. Streaming analysts have mused on the viability of Disney embracing the FAST market and posit that a Simpsons channel would be a no-brainer.

Next TV:

The real question around Disney’s decision to launch an ad-supported Disney Plus offering isn’t whether it’s a good move. Rather, it’s when are they going to take the next step and launch a free ad-supported streaming TV service (FAST) that can compete with Paramount’s Pluto TV, NBCU’s Peacock and Fox’s Tubi?

Vulture:

Of course, the other possibility here is that rather than go for a quick buck now and sell to outside ad-supported platforms, Disney could just launch its own FAST service, as Warner Bros. Discovery is exploring. I don’t think it would make much sense to put anything too obviously Disney on such a platform as it might cheapen the brand. But a service which leaned heavily on the 20th titles, as well as content from ABC (including ABC News), could be a winner.

MarketWatch:
Additionally, internal FAST channels from other streaming companies — such as a “Simpsons” or Marvel channel for Disney+, or a teen-drama channel for Netflix — could be coming sooner than you think.

The Streamable:

The first 10 seasons are widely regarded to be the show’s best and would make perfect fodder for a dedicated single-series FAST channel. Disney+ could keep newer seasons behind a paywall, and still have plenty of content for such a channel.

What’s interesting about The Simpsons in particular is that they already were on FAST-like channels, as FX president John Landgraf mentioned in an interview:

When we bought The Simpsons, we built an app called Simpsons World that had every episode ever made in a perfectly searchable system. Then it had so-called channels, which were linear streams of Simpsons episodes. Eighty percent of the consumption was from the linear playlists, and 20 percent was on demand.

Here’s a screenshot of what those channels looked like, via Fast Company.

The Simpsons is already the most popular show on Disney+. Imagine what those viewership numbers would be if they added a channel that allowed you to drop in and just watch a random episode, freeing you from the tyranny of choice.

WAGON TRAIN

A picture of Moe from The Simpsons carrying a picket sign that says Bring Back Wagon Train.

Well, folks, after decades on the air, it looks like they finally stopped making The Simpsons

…at least in part and only for the time being, as the writers have traded scripting pithy lines for carrying picket signs. The Writers Guild of America declared a strike after arriving at an impasse with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Here are some highlights:

  • Over at Jacobin, labor writer Alex Press has a good overview of the strike and the issues surrounding it.
  • In the lead-up to the strike, former American Dad! writer Kirk Rudell tweeted about how 20th Television screwed them out of money when the show moved to TBS:

  • The Animation Guild – which covers Simpsons animators – put up a Q&A on their website regarding the strike.
  • Simpsons writer Rob LaZebnik wrote a Twitter thread outlining what had been achieved in previous strikes:

  • Former showrunner Josh Weinstein tweeted about how “mini-rooms” deprive newer writers from the opportunities he had.
  • Deadline interviewed showrunner Al Jean on the picket line.
  • Could a prolonged strike actually benefit streaming services? Financial Times:

    Rich Greenfield, an analyst at LightShed, said a prolonged strike could even boost profits for the major streamers because they would not incur expenses for programming that had not been made — similar to the impact when the pandemic halted production.

    This could be especially helpful for entertainment groups carrying heavy debt loads, such as Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount.

    A prolonged strike “could lead to notably better than expected streaming profitability”, Greenfield said. “Multibillion-dollar operating losses could come in significantly better than expected.”

  • Disney subsidiary ABC Signature, which produces live-action shows, sent out a letter “reminding” showrunners they are required to work in their non-writing capacities, even though the WGA prohibits this.

That’s all for now. Solidarity forever!

THE INSIDE SCOOP

An image of David Zaslav dressed as Thanos, erasing the Simpsons from existence.

Content consumers were aghast last month when Warner Bros. Discovery suddenly removed many beloved animated series from its streaming service HBO Max and cancelled the nearly completed $90 million film Batgirl, locking them away in the studio’s iconic water tower like a certain trio of animated maniacs. Many were quick to point the proverbial finger at CEO David Zaslav, who is as focused on cutting costs as the Batman villain Zsasz is on slashing throats. Worryingly, it seems not even The Simpsons is safe from his tyrannical purge.

Suddenly, with only weeks of warning, 18 Simpsons episodes were removed from Hulu over the weekend – vanished into the ether, perhaps never to be seen again. These episodes comprised the bulk of the show’s thirty-third season, including the Emmy-nominated “Pixelated and Afraid.” It remains unclear just how Zaslav masterminded this feat, particularly as the show is produced by a rival studio and WarnerMedia sold off its stake in Hulu in 2019. What is clear is that derailing Infinity Train and closing up shop on Close Enough weren’t enough to satisfy Zaslav. Following in the footsteps of Judge Doom, he will not rest until every toon is eradicated. The creative community should be on high alert now that his reach is no longer confined to his own entertainment conglomerate.

18 episodes may not seem like much, and some of those episodes definitely sucked, but people spent a lot of time and effort making them and they deserve to have the fruits of their labor available for people to watch. Anyone seeking a legal means of viewing those 18 eradicated Simpsons episodes will simply have no choice but to purchase them from digital marketplaces, or wait until October 5, when the entire season is added to Disney+ as per licensing agreements.

BIZZFAD

An image of Lisa Simpson with Billie Eilish.

Hello Search Engine user, are you wondering “where can I watch the latest The Simpsons short on Disney+?” Well we will tell you where to watch the latest Simpsons short on Disney+, right here, in this article, after some unnecessary paragraphs to pad out the length.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of American life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

A Disney press release stated that the newest Simpsons short is entitled “When Billie Met Lisa,” and the plot synopsis is as follows: “Lisa Simpson is discovered by chart-topping artists Billie Eilish and FINNEAS while searching for a quiet place to practice her saxophone. Billie invites Lisa to her studio for a special jam session she’ll never forget.”

Billie Eilish (Singer) Biography, Age, Height, Weight, Boyfriend …https://www.celebrityborn.com › biography › billie-eilish Mar 5, 2022 — Billie Eilish was born on 18-12-2001 in Los Angeles in the state of California, United States. She is an American Singer, Songwriter, Musician, …AGE (in 2022): 20 Years Old WEIGHT: in Kilograms- 52 kg; in Pounds- 114….HEIGHT: in centimeters- 165 cm; in meters- 1.65 …BIRTH PLACE: Los Angeles, California

The latest Simpsons short, “When Billie Met Lisa,” can be streamed on Disney+.

DIS INFORMATION

An image of Homer Simpson cheering in front of The House of Disney+.

Later this year, Disney+ will finally give users the option to watch The Simpsons as it was originally meant to be shown: with commercials.

The service recently announced the addition of a new lower-cost, ad-supported subscription tier, which has been a long-time feature of its streaming sibling Hulu. It will launch in the US in late 2022 and expand internationally in 2023. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Media analysts at LightShed Partners are skeptical of the move:

Lowering price and jamming in ads does not feel like the answer to driving usage — if anything it feels like it will have the opposite effect. Disney needs to focus first and foremost on delivering more must-watch, buzzy content on Disney+.

Sure, some might gripe about paying for commercials you can’t skip, but this is great news for Simpsons simps. When Disney+ first launched, much ado was made over the fact you couldn’t watch the pre-HD episodes in their proper 4:3 aspect ratio. They eventually rectified this oversight by letting you toggle between aspect ratios, allowing you to watch the show the way the artists originally intended it to be shown. By adding commercials, Disney+ is furthering their commitment to artistic integrity by presenting the show as it was meant to be viewed when it originally aired on regular TV. With commercials, the meta jokes from “And Maggie Makes Three” and “Treehouse of Horror VI” will hit harder, act breaks will have more dramatic weight, and you’ll stay informed of new products. Best of all, it will cost you less money than the ad-free tier, and with the money you saved, you could potentially purchase something you saw in one of the ads. It’s a win for everybody, but especially for Simpsons fans craving a more authentic viewing experience.

DIS INFORMATION, MY TWO CENTS

An image of Lisa Simpson holding up a phone from the short Plusaversary.

As Disney+ Day turns into Disney+ Night, I thought I’d toss off some thoughts about The Big D’s lackluster non-event.

Why wasn’t there a livestream? A few weeks ago DC Comics had their second annual “FanDome,” a multi-hour livestream that touched on all the company’s upcoming projects and culminated in a new trailer for The Batman. Disney couldn’t have done the same? Instead they just dripped out new announcements in a Twitter thread, and then there were a couple short presentations from Pixar and Marvel added to Disney+. Oh, and they mentioned the wrong Will Smith, who continued to be tagged in every subsequent tweet. Weirdly amateurish for something that was supposedly a big deal for the company. Apparently they went all out at the theme parks and had giant balloons in major cities to promote this???

As for the new Simpsons short… eh, whatever. Seems like maybe it could’ve been a decent series of commercials back when Disney+ launched. “Look, all your favorite characters are together in one place.” Why wasn’t that their marketing campaign? Ah well. Also, I suspect they were using a fake mockup of the service as reference and nobody ever bothered to correct them.

In general, I feel David Silverman’s talents are being squandered on these shorts. Disney+ should just give him a huge budget and let him go hog wild.

Speaking of Simpsons shorts, where are the original shorts from The Tracey Ullman Show? I know it’s a long shot but I was kind of hoping for an announcement. Back when FXX launched Simpsons World, they tried and failed to get them. Disney+ should do what Simpsons Worldn’t: figure out what’s going on with the rights, fire their giant money bazooka at the problem, and get them out there. Now that would be a Disney+ Day miracle.

MEANINGLESS MILESTONES, SPRINGFIELD SHOPPER

An image of the Simpsons Season 1 DVD cover.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of The Simpsons: The Complete First Season DVD boxset in North America (tip of the hat to illustrator Bill Mudron for mentioning this). It was, for a time, the best selling TV show on DVD until it was eclipsed by Chappelle’s Show a few years later. Now that physical media has been rendered a relic by streaming services, let’s take this opportunity to look back at what’s been lost.
Continue Reading →

MY TWO CENTS

lisa simpson computer

Simpsons World, the much-anticipated Simpsons streaming service from FXX, just went live a few hours ago. Here’s my initial impressions of it. Please note I’m just using the web version, so I don’t know if there’s anything different about the mobile version.

Continue Reading →

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]